Wednesday, April 23, 2008

More Gardening Advice From Doctor Flora

Periodically Dr. Flora Fleshinger, a.k.a. "The Harridan of Horticulture" and sister of a slightly better known but equally bossy talk radio advice maven, writes a guest column for the Men's Garden Club of Wethersfield's newsletter, which I edit. Here is her latest.

A piercing nasal voice shrieks over the loud background noise of Amy Winehouse singing a retro/hip-hop/urban/new-age/acoustic/reggae/a cappella version of "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme".

Dr. Flora: I'M BACK! No time for niceties today - let's get right to our first caller.
Caller-1: Hello Dr. Flora. My name is Bob and I am a phone advice addict.
D.F.: And you called me on the phone because you want advice on how to stop calling on the phone to get advice?
C-1: Well Dr. Flora I am actually only addicted to one advisor - and it's not you.
C-1: Dr. Flora! Dr. Flora! Are you still there?
D.F.: I was sulking in silence Bob. Who is this other self-help charlatan that presumes to tell my listeners anything? Did I say other? I didn't mean to say other!
C-1: Well it all started because my wife and I couldn't get my peony to stay up. It would try - the stem would harden - but then the head would get too puffed up and the whole peony would just droop limply in her hand. Then my wife would take it and...
D.F.:(panting quickly) Bob stop! I'm getting distracted. Thanks to our one-minute tape delay you listeners did not get to hear all of the juicy details that Dr. Flora heard. But now I must calm myself down. Dr. Flora needs to be totally focused in order to save the world. I simply cannot mix work and fun.
C-1: Well I had heard about these hotlines for different problems and I figured there must be one for my flaccid flower. So I looked in the yellow pages under "W" and found this horticulture hotline...
D.F.: Bob. Horticulture doesn't being with the letter "W".
C-1: But I found this..
D.F.: Bob what you found was the "Hot Whore Line".
C-1: But it worked. Dominatrix Spadix told me exactly what to do..
D.F.: Bob. This is way too yucky. You have to stop.
C-1: But she gave me complete blow-by-blow instructions...
D.F.: Bob. Shut up!
C-1: Yes ma'am.
D.F.: Bob. You are to no longer call that filthy phone number. You are instead to send me all of your savings and I will send you in return a full month's supply of "Dr. Flora's Cute Little Magic Blue Pills." Just place one at the base of your peony one hour before - and relax. You and your woman might even want to bring your bathtubs outside and sit in them knocking back Margaritas while you are waiting, now go stand in the corner.
C-1: Anything you say Dr. Flora.

D.F.: (voice squeaking) Oh I do love my job! Next caller!
Caller-2: Hello Dr. Flora. This is Evelyn. Our single plants of eggplant, cantaloupe and zucchini produced nothing last summer, even though we have fantastic soil on a southern slope. Do vegetables like these require both male and female plants to produce crops?
D.F.: They're gay!
C-2: What?
D.F.: G-A-Y! Gay! The vegetables you mentioned and many more have both sexes on the same plant. Some, like melons, squashes and corn, have separate male and female flowers. Others, including eggplants, tomatoes and beans, have flowers that are called complete or perfect because they have both male and female parts. But sometimes the little boy parts are more interested in the other little boy parts. And the little girl parts likewise. And it is all your fault.
C-2: Because...?
D.F.: Now I know that lots of fancy schmancy scientists and religious clergy say that it is genetic. But I just know better than them - I just do! After all I do have my own doctorate - right here on the wall in front of me. I have a degree in MBSAHTSI (Male Bovine Scatology And How To Spread It) from this cute little mail order college that operates out of a temporary storage bin somewhere in New Jersey. Now here how YOU did it! You probably played Broadway tunes and opera music while you were watering the little boy flowers - maybe even some Judy Garland records. Or you were watched Ellen, or you listening to Melissa Etheridge when you were potting the little girls. It can happen that quickly! Or maybe you bought the plants from some prison outreach organization - you know what happens in those places.
C-2: But Dr. Flora, What should I do?
D.F.: Shun them! Condemn them! Burn them! Cast these heathen herbs into the eternal flames of perdition! (more heavy panting). And buy my new book "Straight Talk on Plant Fertilization or How To Recognize the Real Pansies in Your Garden!"

Thankfully that is all the time we have for today. Dr. Flora is exhausted and needs to relax and have some fun. Can you guys in the control room play that censored portion of Bob's phone call on my private headset? I am going to go to my dressing room and pour myself some Chablis. And put the tape on perpetual play - I'm going to want to hear it again, and again, and again. This is Dr. Flora - preaching, teaching and nagging. Bye!

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