Bonsai: (n) an ornamental tree or shrub grown in a pot
It was scary.
I went over the bills three or four times just to make sure I hadn’t missed something, but at the end of my calculation, I discovered that I was temporarily endowed with abundance.
I wanted to do something lavishly weird–and not just lavish, like buying several cans of whipped cream, but weird. Something that would give others pause, but then they would feel foolish for questioning the wealthy fellow and his eccentric choices.
I hunted, I searched and I found a gentleman who sold bonsai trees.
I knew nothing about them. But I felt like owning one was a symbol of prosperity. So I bought two. Double the potency.
The fellow tried to explain to me the care of these plants and I listened with the attention span of a three-year-old who has to pee but also wants to ride the roller coaster.
When I got home with my bonsai trees, I realized that I had completely forgotten everything he said, and had left the literature behind, trusting my memory.
Then came that great, ridiculous American assertion: how hard can it be?
- So I watered them
- I trimmed their little branches (having remembered this being part of the process)
- And every day when I returned, they looked a little worse
It was like watching your Grandma die of old age. I was concerned but totally helpless.
Then inexplicably, they developed tiny insects which started eating away at the bark.
It took about five weeks, while I heroically tried to give CPR to these dying new friends, but eventually they turned brown–and for some reason, started to stink.
I threw them both into a big garbage bag, took them out to the curb and said good-bye.
I can’t swear to it, but I thought I heard one of them, from within the bag, gasp, “Murderer.”
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