1/14/2018

Goodbye to a pineapple

Christmas 2017
The Pineapple is dead. Long live The Pineapple.

Today we salute a Pineapple plant of humble origin that aspired to total apartment domination. Banished to the balcony, it turned disgustingly gooey following prolonged freezing temps.

Will there be a BBC mini-series?

As recently as New Years Day The Pineapple ruled the balcony and commanded a view of the swimming pool, belying its status as an exile from the living room. When The Pineapple was welcomed inside for protection during a Halloween cold snap, offenses were noted. The plant tried taking over the whole living room and was revealed to host unwelcome insects.

Pride and the fall : a special report

In happier times The Pineapple had served in the capacity of Christmas tree in the apartment. Tensions began sometime after a Calloways garden store cashier hinted that the plant had never borne fruit due to under-fertilization on the part of the actual apartment tenant in late November of this year. The tenant flatly denied the accusation.

Halloween 2017
Cashier recants insinuation of negligence.

Christmas 2016
During it final year The Pineapple became increasingly unstable, and required stakes and bungee cords to remain upright even while continuing to grow. Media depicted The Pineapple through rose-colored glasses, but those close told of a prickly disposition.

World leaders remember The Pineapple

Early December 2016
Modeling career




In adolescence The Pineapple traveled to the office, flirted with daffodils, waved to fans from the apartment front door, and scandalously cohabitated with hen and chick. Spin changed this to a tale of sheltering underprivileged sedum.

Little Pineapple on the Windowsill
Beginnings in a coffee mug

Originally proud of its mission as a teaching example of kitchen scrap gardening, The Pineapple later strove to erase records of its humble beginnings and even botanical records of a decapitation-transplantation operation.

Summer 2015

Family ancestor

Tonight we celebrate the continuation of The Pineapple legacy. A new plant was found under the soggy, gooey leaves at the base of the legendary lion. This new plant sits tonight on the same window sill where its famous parent took root.


The Pineapple : The final podcast


© 2013-2017 Nancy L. Ruder

Scrabble eggs and bacon


The second grader held the plastic fork in front of his eye and squinted. His teacher suggested he wouldn't want to poke his eye out, and moved the fork away. The little boy held the fork back up to his eye. This time the teacher asked why. "I'm putting her in jail," he said, pointing at the little girl sitting on the other side of the cafeteria table.

Is that brilliant?! So very useful in these trying times.  I've been practicing for the next time I watch the news.



It would not work with a spork, the utensil of my sons' school lunch years. Glad kids get knife, fork, and spoon nowadays.

And speaking of sporks, a deceptively brilliant coworker complemented my new coffee cup while we were not riding in the elevator. "There's a name for that thing," he said. "Huh?," I said. "That thing around the cup," he said, "There's a name for it." Then he pushed the floor button, and the elevator was not as slow as it seemed.

As soon as he could look it up, he reported back. "Zarf. It's a zarf." "Is that like a spork, like a scarf for .......   for coffee?," I asked. He was smart enough to push the elevator button, but did not know the word origin.

Apparently zarfs are a thing, and way beyond Starbucks. Without knowing their name, I spotted some in an easy-to-knit book. The word is Turkish or Arabic dating from 1836 and meaning "vessel", and it's worth a lot of points in Scrabble. True, you would think many of the folks you see on the news would be in hot water. The idiom "to be hot water" may or may not date from the Middle Ages and trial by ordeal. We can be sure that watching the news is an ordeal.

1/12/2018

I contain multitudes : unhappy macnam

Many people on this ride have been wondering how to put the President in maintenance mode today. Never imagined I'd be turning on extra lights and peering through my bifocals to find "I Think We're All Bozos On This Bus," in a stack of dusty CDs. While the chief executive is a whirling vortex of contradictions, the general sense of his messages sinks lower and lower.

On lunch break I started reading Ed Yong's book, I Contain Multitudes. It is much less upsetting to my innards to imagine my body full of whirling microbes than it is to listen to the latest news. The gut microbes are my friends. With this President, who needs enemies?



Walt Whitman's quote from "Song of Myself" inspired the book's title:

Do I contradict myself? 
Very well, then I contradict myself,
I am large, I contain multitudes.


On the gut scale between beneficial microbes and nauseating news there is the eerie experience of the remote I.T. contractor roaming around inside my work computer. I can watch the progress via a teeny tiny camera on the nose of a giant intestinal worm. Occasionally my physical effort is required to to reboot or type in a password. 

Are the billions of microbes within each of us the original I.T. department? Have they been making adjustments and corrections invisibly since we slithered from the cesspool?

I hold out small hope for Clem to say, "this is Worker speaking." If you don't know Firesign Theatre, it's not too late!



© 2013-2017 Nancy L. Ruder