Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Ironic Superhero

I have lately been cherishing my speed reading of the Deseret News here in Orem, inasmuch as our old paper carrier quit here last week and the new paper-person (man, woman, girl, boy?) has had some difficulty finding my front porch. On a couple of days, he, she, or it has had trouble finding the neighborhood. I will not go into the trouble that I had reporting this fact to Media One, the diabolical franchise commissioned to field questions from the public about newspaper delivery, because it would sound so familiar to my regular readers that they would think that there is an echo in this blog. The whole reporting process has been computerized, with voice recognition software. My accent is so outrageous (heavy Southern Californian) that eventually the recorded voice started making typing sounds. That went on for a couple of minutes and then the woman’s voice came back on to say, “We are experiencing technical problems. I will now transfer your call to a dying chimpanzee in Outer Mongolia”. The rest of the morning passed away in a manner that you would expect, given the setting.

In any event, when the paper arrived last Monday I thought to spend a little more time with it than usual, inasmuch as I might not be able to get through to the monkey again if the paper failed to show up the next day. I was taken in by the headline on page C3: “Iron Deficiency is a Big Problem for Trees and Shrubs”. Now there was a newsflash! All sorts of “tree-hugging” thoughts came into my mind, what I might do to help the little “dears”, since I have a plethora of the very molecules that the trees and shrubs in Utah seem to need. I read Larry Sagers’ article with rapt attention. I thought that if I spent enough time with the star of KSL’s “The Greenhouse Show” that I would come up with something for my blog. What an optimist I am! He went on ad nauseum about which trees are particularly susceptible to iron chlorosis (silver maples, red maples, sugar maples, Amur maples, birches, dawn redwoods, sweetgums, pin oaks, willows, pears, bald cypresses, crabapples, white pines, cottonwoods, and aspins). Did he stop there? No! He went on to list the shrubs (boxwoods, cotoneasters, flowering dogwoods, hydrangeas, privets, pyracanthas, spireas, roses, raspberries, strawberries, peaches and Concord grapes). I asked myself, “Are there any other kinds of trees or shrubs in the whole state?" (I think not.) "Do I have any of these in my back yard?” (Without question.)

Actually, within a hundred yards of my house, every single one of these varieties is flourishing fabulously well, while the rest of state, according to Uncle Larry, is succumbing to the symptoms of iron chorosis (leaves turning light green, yellow, or white, while the veins remain green). Why is my neighborhood doing so well? Why do you think? I walk around the park, my skin flakes and graying hair flitting about, nourishing everything within wafting distance. The cynic may say, “Hey! You don’t shed enough hair and skill to fertilize ten acres of neighborhood!” That may be, but what I do shed is really, really, really, really good for the plants.

In a fit of boredom last night, I turned on the television and surfed just long enough to find Disney’s “Sky High”. I actually watched about half of it before the predictability of the storyline caused my brain to implode. All of the superheroes were stereotypes, or parodies of stereotypes, save one: Layla Williams as played by Danielle Panabaker. Layla has the power of plant manipulation; she is also a pacifist and a vegetarian. I figured that out early on when she joined her love interest, Will Stronghold, on the roof of his house by causing the apple tree in the yard to grow while she hung on to one of the branches. I said to myself, “There is a girl with hemochromatosis, a superhero with an iron-overloading problem that she has turned into a superpower asset!”

I have decided that this is to be my new calling in life. I am going to be an Ironic Superhero. I am going to drive all over Utah, up and down the I-15, the I-80, and every other major highway in the state. I am going to do that in my wonderful, 1993 Mustang convertible with the top down. I am going to single-handedly cure the woodlands and pastures, the hills and dales, the flora and fauna of the Great Basin Empire. In addition, I will simultaneously stimulate the economy by stopping at every Burger King along the way, with an occasional purchase at a Macy’s supermarket strategically placed along the Wasatch Front. With all that Whopper and maple bar consumption, I will bring peace and harmony to all living things.

Take that, Larry!


shydandelion said...

It sorta grosses me out to think of little plants consuming your overly iron-rich body particles. Ewww...Although, I am sure the bald cypresses will appreciate it. I can imagine in 100 years, all the plants will resemble you slightly, and the Utah will be full of laughing foliage, tickled by their own jokes that nobody else gets or refuses to let permiate their brain. :P

Zaphod said...

Yes... What bliss!

Rebecca said...

Okay! That was funny! I was laughing out loud (I'm at work on my lunch break) - almost disturbed my co-workers... :)

So, I wonder if egg shells and coffee grounds have iron? That's what we put into the soil around our roses and other deciduous trees.