GEORGETTE OF THE
1 November 2002
I'm thinking of buying a machete to keep in my desk in the office.
Just in case--you know--I want to get myself a drink of water or something.
Dr. G is a gardener, and the exhuberant growth of the hanging plants
around the office is a testimony to the care he takes and the love he lavishes upon them.
I hate them.
Hanging plants are OK in their place, but their place is NOT in
front of the water cooler, hanging into the typwriter, or totally blocking access to the
||Call me picky, but I just have a problem with having to
do battle with a spider plant simply to get to a shelf to get a pillow case for the exam
I don't like philodendron tentacles gently caressing my
neck as I type...
|...and I'd rather not have to poke through leaves to
get a cup so I can get a drink of water....
||....or heat up a TV dinner.
Maybe I'm just asking too much...
"Watering the plants" is a ritual around the office. Thank
God it's a ritual which Dr. G does himself (he knows better than to leave it to me!). It
appears to be a 2-step process (I try not to learn it...it's safer that way), which
involves his going around to all the hanging plants in the office (there are only 7 of
them, but it feels like more) and moistening the soil, allowing the water to seep in while
he finishes his dictation, then he finishes up the watering. On busy days, he asks me to
finish up the watering. If I'm feeling cooperative, I will. (heh heh heh)
Actually, the plants in his office aren't too bad. There are three
spider plants (which are any thing but eensy weency) and two lush ferns. Three of the
plants can be reached while standing on the ground and have deep dishes under them, so
watering them is a piece o'cake.
The two largest plants, however--a fern and a spider plant, hang
higher, over a counter, and require climbing on a small step ladder to reach. This used to
be the worst part of the job for me, trying to haul my bulk up the stairs, finding
something to hold on to, and hoping I didn't topple over while watering. That has long
since ceased being a concern. Now I just hop right up that sucker, balance very nicely,
thankyew, and get down with only the slightest help from my hand resting on the top of the
ladder. I feels positively svelt.
The plants I hate, loathe, despise and abominate are the two
philodendrons in the front office.
They both have doubled in size since I started working in there
(which would tend to disprove the supposed effect of bad vibes on plant life--I've been
sending them hate messages for months and they refuse to listen). They both hang higher
than the ones in Dr. G's office, so they can't be watered by standing on the second step
of the ladder, but require teetering on the top step. I may be leaner these days, but I'm
no steadier than I was 80 lbs ago, and I'm sure I'm going to lose my balance and topple
into the filing cabinet one of these days.
The one that hangs over the water cooler is the highest of all, and
I just know I'm going to knock over the water bottle eventually.
But the worst thing about these plants (other than their
determination to take over all of the working space available) is that they are planted in
big pots and sit in impossibly shallow dishes. It seems that if you pour more than 1/4 cup
of water into the top, you end up with an overflow out the bottom. Dr. G used to forever
end up watering the typewriter, in the days before we got the computer. Now he just pours
water onto the papers waiting for filing. Papers which have been printed with an inkjet
printer, and which then need to be reprinted.
"Oh, did I do that again?" he asks innocently, while I
I made the terrible mistake of deciding to give the plants a trim,
having bitched about their long tendrils enough to Dr. G, and his agreeing that it might
be a good idea. Know what happens when you clip leggy plants? They grow faster. I swear
that they are twice as long as when I cut them three weeks ago.
My next ploy is to attempt to train them to grow across the tops of
the windows and away from my neck. At the rate they're growing, we could easily have a
real rain forrest in that office in the foreseeable future.
Maybe I should just give up and get a parrot or something.