The Artful Dodger: First the Flowers Bleed, Then You Spread Your SeedI'm proud of myself for tossing the word "nosegays" back into the common lexicon. And oh yeah — Coachella all the way.
Whenever people consider the victims of Valentine's Day, they either think of the boneheaded — those who blow their paychecks on pink and red foolery like those chalky conversation hearts — or the socially untouchable — those whose appearance, hygiene, mental stability, speech impediment or need to wear orthopedic shoes have rendered them dateless.
I propose, however, that one mulling over the malignance of the big V.D. should recognize the silent victims: flowers.
Yes, flowers — those cheerful spots of color that line our walkways, beautify our neighborhoods and bob so inoffensively in the breeze. Each February, they become prey to a juggernaut of romantic conquest called Valentine's Day, just because we heartless humans like to give our sweethearts bouquets of them.
Think about it: You are a posy or a carnation or whatever, doing your flower thing in some plot of dirt somewhere. La-di-da, right? No! Little does your little flower brain know that you're growing on a cut flower farm. And on this day before Valentine's, Mr. Farmer comes and chops you off at your base so Joe Schmoe from the soap factory can give you and a bunch of your dead pals to One-Legged Patty in hopes of getting some action.
Sure, I know flowers don't actually have brains, but floral genocide sounds like a shit deal, doesn't it?
The entire concept behind the giving of flowers for any holiday is fundamentally flawed. When one picks a flower, they're removing it from the landscape and destroying the chances of some other passers-by to enjoy it. Additionally, they're dooming the blossom's beauty to rot away. Even if the recipient sticks the thing in water, it's still going to die. Thus, giving somebody cut flowers is like saying, "Here's something pretty that I killed because it was pretty. Soon it will not be pretty anymore. I love you." This, I think we can all agree, is insanity.
The senselessness of this all seems a lot more obvious when we replace the flower with a different gift. What if somebody decided to give a puppy to their beloved, but chopped the little guys legs and tail off first? "Here's something cuddly and fun that I killed. Even if you care for it, it's probably going to die. I love you." And if that line gets any action, you have more problems than the suffering of flowers.
Now this does not mean that one should let Valentine's pass without getting something for the it's-the-thought-that-counts category. Besides, flowers seem permanently crammed into the Valentine's tradition. Love it or hate it, it's all about the nosegays.
So rather than showing up at the door with a sense of horny anticipation, I suggest giving the year-round blossoms of a live plant. A lot of local stores are willing to sell you something just as pretty as a cut flower without killing it first. And the price range is just as wide - from red roses for those playing hard to get, to daisies for the loose ones. Hell, on Valentine's Day, those ones will probably hop in bed if you give them clumps of grass from their own lawn.
Naturally, this course poses a problem if your valentine has no green thumb. Rather, some have the black thumb of death and will kill a vegetal gift faster than you can say "unfit mother." This misfortune requires some invention. Instead of porking your sweetheart up with chocolates or exotic meats, I suggest combining the worlds of plants and food with edible produce.
"Here's a crate of crab apples I picked for you. I dug all the worms out. We can sit on the curb and eat them. I love you."
Now you show me a girl who won't melt at those words, and I'll show you a girl who doesn't deserve to have a valentine at all.
Incredibly, Daily Nexus opinion editor Drew has never has a successful date on Valentine's Day. Crab apple?
Saturday, February 14, 2004
Belatedly, the Artful Dodger muses on Valentine's Day: