Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Dear Stupid Ass Questions & Kevin, A friend of mine gave me a Christmas Cactus last year.  Yesterday I noticed it was blooming and it was only October.  Why would she lie to me?  Should I dump her as a friend?

Size Does matter so click picture to enlarge

Kevin: Dear Not a Botanist,
Do not blame your friend for the early blooming cactus.  Your friend was trying to give you a gift and is thus a good friend.  Don’t blame the cactus either.  You see the cactus is kind of dumb.  Cactus’ in general are a less intelligent species because they lack a central nervous system and because they are from the South West.  
Now don’t get me wrong I am not saying that everyone from the South West is unintelligent.  I am just saying that I have yet to meet a Nobel Prize Winner or a Rhodes Scholar wearing a turquoise belt buckle and a bolo tie.  The poor cactus can’t be blamed for thinking that early October is Christmas.  The blame goes to the pricks on Madison Avenue who have decided to force everyone to start their holiday shopping some time around early June.   Christmas has spread through the calendar like an aggressive tumor.  It used to be only one day.  Back in simpler times, folks celebrated Christmas on December 25th.  Children would get an orange in their stocking, mom would roast a goose and dad would get drunk.  Then one day of Christmas wasn’t enough they added Christmas eve.  This meant two oranges for the kids, now mom had to roast a goose and a turkey and dad could be drunk for 48 hours straight.  It was a small growth nobody seemed to notice and nobody seemed to be upset.
Then somebody got the bright idea to write a song about the twelve days of Christmas.  All of the sudden thanks to a catchy ditty Christmas had increased in size six fold.  
But almost two weeks of Christmas wasn’t enough.  Like an occupying force Christmas led a blitzkrieg into November and invaded Thanksgiving.  All of the sudden Santa Clause was appearing at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and the story of the Pilgrims breaking Bread with the Indians had moved from Plymouth Massachusetts to a manger in Bethlehem.   Thanksgiving was no longer about enjoying a feast with those closest to you.  Thanksgiving was no longer about taking a moment out to be grateful for what you have.  It was about focusing on what you want.  It was now about rifling through the JC Penny catalogue and camping out on line for eighteen hours at Best Buy so you could buy a tv for half price.  
Having effectively making Thanksgiving it’s bitch Christmas has taken over Halloween spreading this joyous season to a full two months.   Now all of the sudden Santa Clause is showing up at the Halloween parade in Greenwich Village where he continuously pops amyl nitrate and joins in on the Thriller Dance.
So of course your cactus got confuse and began to bloom in October.  How could it not think that it’s Christmas already?   On Halloween when your door bell rings you aren’t supposed to wonder if you will open the door to find trick-or-treaters or carolers.  It sure looks like Christmas when you go into the Duane Reade and the place is decked out like at any moment the Who’s down in Whoville are about to drop in and blast out a few bars of Fah who for-aze! Fah who for-aze! Welcome Christmas, Come this way! 
    Once Halloween falls we can pretty much expect the months of September and August to follow suit.   We can kiss the Fourth of July goodbye and expect to start shopping for Christmas at the same time we are shopping for Dads and Grads.  It won’t be long before on the last Friday in April we mark Arbor day by  cutting down our Christmas trees.     
I am sorry to tell you that life as you know it will never be the same.  We are moving into an era where the Holiday Season begins on New Years Eve and never ends.  It is a scary world.  So tonight hug your cactus a little tighter and enjoy the 365 days that it will be in bloom.
A Joyous Noel to You and Yours,

Kevin Bartini

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