Doing battle with daily dragons

Friday, May 13, 2005

Stuff in the Garden

Summer is definitely on the way. I know this because this strange plant here at the left has begun to bloom in earnest at the marina. We’ve noticed it only in the last week. Some plants dazzle with magnificent foliage, some plants sting or snare you as you pass, but this particular flowering shrub (Which, Moot generously pointed out to me this morning, is a member of the Berberis family) has a rather unique odor. It smells like…well…stuff.

This is how the dictionary defines “stuff.”

stuff n.

1. The material out of which something is made or formed; substance.
2. The essential substance or elements; essence: “We are such stuff/As dreams are made on” (Shakespeare).
3. Unspecified material: Put that stuff over there.

I propose a 4th definition.

4. A rather popular male bodily fluid: The CSI isolated the epithelials from the hair, blood and stuff left on the hotel bedsheet.

The shrub was fairly small when we first arrived at the marina 6 years ago, so the smell was not as noticeable as it is today. We only really noticed it two years ago when we moved to the mooring directly across from the offending hedge. We were sitting out one night and suddenly this aroma came drifting over.

Me: Um…what’s that smell?

The Rock Star: Dunno. But it wasn’t me.

It is especially pungent at night, when the Rock Star and I are returning from one of his gigs at 2 in the morning and get caught up in a miasma of…stuff. It can be slightly embarrassing when guests come around. You can see them sort of looking around for the source of the bouquet, trying to pretend that it’s probably just a lilac bush playing a practical joke.

We long to enlighten them, but it’s very difficult to find a nice way of explaining that we live next to a jizz tree.