Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Square Peg - Fertilizer

Copyright S. Bradley Stoner

It started out innocently enough. One little green thing in a little white plastic pot from the grocery store. I put it on the kitchen window sill. It looked lonely. I got it a friend. And then another, and another. You know how it goes.

I watered them. They drooped. I put them in the sun. They turned brown. I played music for them. They shriveled. I wrung my hands. I bought books. I even read them. Nothing.

Then, feeling depressed one Sunday morning, I turned on "Face the Nation." That didn't do anything for my depression, but the effect on the plants was amazing. They started to turn green again. They stood up straight, even the ones that weren't supposed to. When "It's Your Business" came on, one or two of them grew a little.

I experimented. I tried soaps. The Wandering Jew wandered away from the set. I tried game shows. The palm folded its fronds. Discouraged, I was about to turn off the TV when "NEWSBREAK" came on. It was stupefying. The plants opened up and strained toward the tube. I knew then that I had them. No longer would I have to hide in shame from all my green-thumbed friends.

I put the plants on a rotating schedule of news broadcasts. They grew full and beautiful. I watched my kitchen turn green. I was glad. I no longer had to look at dirty dishes. I had to part the ivy just to find the kitchen sink. My plants especially like Ted Koppel. The spider plant sends out shooters whenever he speaks.

The other night a friend stopped by late in the evening for a chat. He marveled at my plants. I detected envy in his voice as he sought my secret. "You must have discovered the perfect fertilizer," he said.

I just smiled and said, "You'll have to excuse me... 'Nightline' is coming on."

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