First, and foremost, because today’s blog is about real scary carnivorous plants, a tribute to Levi Stubbs from the movie, “Little Shop of Horrors.”
It’s not very often that I localize a news story that takes place in my own back yard. Well, not really in “my” own backyard, but in Charlie MacDonald’s back yard in New London, Connecticut. (no relation to Ronald MacDonald)
But this story by the “New London Day” newspaper, which is, in New London, just in case you’re reading this in lower Estonia or some other country, really jumped out at me due to its unusual nature. Charlie collects carnivorous plants….hundreds of them. 200 to be exact.
Now I myself am familiar with one particular carnivorous plant. That being the ever popular “Venus Flytrap.” Only because it probably is the most popular of those plants and also due to the movie, “Little Shop of Horrors” which was first made into a movie in 1960 and, for you trivia buffs, (people who study trivia while in the buff) also starred Jack Nicholson in a minor role at the beginning of his acting career.
In 1986 a remake of the movie starring Rick Moranis, along with the plant, “Audrey II” was released. Eventually it also became a Broadway play in 1982. Another piece of trivia for you buffs, as long as you’re naked, Levi Stubbs, (Four Tops) played the voice of Audrey II.
OK….enough of that trivia/buff stuff.
So, Charlie has 200 of these carnivorous plants all over his house. They’re in his backyard, kitchen, basement and on shelves. By the way, Charlie’s wife hasn’t been seen in some time either. I think.
Along with all of these plants are of course dead bug carcasses. Which is what some of these plants leave after eating the tasty parts of bugs….I guess. But Charlie says, with regard to bugs, “better there than buzzing over a half-full trash can or gnawing away at the vegetables.” Good point Charlie. Better to hear gnawing of insects being eaten by plants in the middle of the night when you’re trying to sleep than gnawing at your trash can or vegetables. Thumbs up on that one.
There’s even, as if we didn’t know, an International Carnivorous Plant Society. Oh joy! Which I assume holds meetings to discuss the various aspects of raising carnivorous plants and at the same time holds services for those dearly departed carnivorous plant collectors who may have suddenly disappeared in the middle of the night.
(Anyone wishing to check out their website or searching for lost loved ones who were into carnivorous plants can visit their site at http://www.carnivorousplants.org)
HEY! In the movie Audrey II, the plant, was addicted to human blood. You’ll recall, if you’ve seen the movie, that poor Mr. Mushnick who owned a flower shop, was Audrey’s first victim. And a bunch of other lucky plant enthusiasts soon followed.
(NOTE) If you visit or know Charlie personally you might wanna visit him AFTER feeding time. Just sayin.’
Oh yeah, they have meetings as well. You know the old saying. Birds of a feather flock…um….no, that’s not it..um….oh, yeah, carnivorous plant growers of a bunch lunch together. This years meeting, for those of you who may be into carnivorous plants or have a lot of bugs in your house is being held in Seekonk, Massachusetts just over the Rhode Island border. Bring bugs.
Yes, they do get a lot of “Little Shop of Horrors” jokes according to the article. But, ya gotta take the good with the bad when you’re into plants that eat things. Kinda like me getting used to the old line, because my name is “Richard” and they call me “Dick” for short, I have to put up with the ol gum on your “dick” line. Which is the main reason I carry lots of Wrigley’s gum on me…or….in my pocket.
An interesting fact about these plants is that they only survive, not only on dead bugs, but require special soil and special water because they developed in areas where they have very nutrient-poor soil and water. Charlie points out that “if you try to water them with standard tap water, you’re probably going to kill them.”
Oh sure Charlie….now everybody has to go out and by expensive bottled water like Evian, Perrier or something! Hmmmm……suddenly a scene from “The Wizard of Oz Comes To Mind.” (below)
With this upcoming conference in Seekonk, Charlie plans to bring 70 plants with him. That is if he actually survives the trip with 70 very hungry carnivorous plants sitting around in the back seat of his car.
FEED ME!!!! FEEEEEEED ME!!!!
When asked about the science of raising carnivorous plants. Charlie’s response: “Couldn’t care less. It eats bugs. I think that’s cool.” Charlie’s such fun guy.
I tend to agree with him. Anything that eats bugs is cool.
Now if they could only develop a carnivorous plant that eats door to door salesmen, bill collectors, ex wives and politicians that knock on my door I’d be willing to join the International Carnivorous Plant Society myself.
Until then, it’s time for me to to “bug off.”
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