Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The world's butt-ugliest "ornamental" plant

A big, horrible-looking plant was growing in our garden.

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"What is this?" I asked my spouse, H. "Is it a weed or a plant?"

"It's a hollyhock," she said.

"Do you want me to pull it out?"

"No..."

"But it's so ugly."

"I know, but [our neighbor] R gave me the seeds."

"So what? It's hideous. Let me pull it out."

"But she might come over and see that it's gone, and then her feelings would be hurt."

"What about my feelings? It hurts my feelings just knowing there's something that ugly in our garden."

All I got in return for that last line was a roll of the eyes. The hollyhock stayed. It got even bigger. It didn't get any less ugly.

Then some flower buds started growing. I like flower buds. They're very pretty. They carry a promise of new life and beauty. Except these flower buds didn't look like flower buds. They looked like Brussels sprouts. Pale Brussels sprouts. Zombie Brussels sprouts.

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I don't like Brussels sprouts. I like them even less when they look like they're going to rise from the dead and try to eat my brain.

"Well," H said, "the flowers must be really spectacular. Otherwise nobody would want such an ugly plant."

"They'd better be."

Eventually, one of the zombie Brussels sprouts bloomed.

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"Um, are you sure you don't want me to pull it out?"

"I wish we could. I really wish we could."

In the end, the hollyhock managed to produce some decent-looking flowers, but the leaves stayed just as ugly.

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I wish I could pull it out. Because hollyhocks are the world's fugliest "ornamental" plant. If somebody tries to give you some seeds, just say "No."

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