Saturday, November 17, 2012


The Rev. Dana Prom Smith, S.T.D., Ph.D. (11/17/2012)


Q.  You may not remember me.  My name’s Abigail.  I wrote you last year about my husband Rusty who used to like to watch Ice Road Truckers.  Now, he’s on Animal Planet and Finding Big Foot, especially after he saw Big Foot come out of the Museum Club late one night in December.  He’d been in the Club, “hoisting a few” and chewing the rag with some buddies about the dangers of foreign influences in Flagstaff.  After he left, he sat in that old broken down pickup of his running it in neutral to heat up the cab.  He swore he saw Big Foot dodge the traffic of “66” and head down to the railroad tracks.  He said it disappeared in swirling snow as it moved on towards the new Walmart.  What do you make of it?


A.  Yes, Abigail, I remember you well.  As I recall, Rusty didn’t like picking weeds because he thought it was against nature.  I don’t want to be rude, but I have doubts about Big Foot sightings after someone admitted to “hoisting a few” beforehand.  Also, some exhaust may have seeped into his cab, something like the Oracle at Delphi in ancient Greece who breathed carbon dioxide vapors coming out of the rocks before she pronounced her prophetic hallucinations.  Her vapors were probably just like Rusty’s.    


Q.  That’s what I thought, but Rusty got all bent out of shape when I asked him how many “brews” he drank in the Museum Club, but I never thought about his broken down exhaust.  Then he went into a tirade about the foreign influences in Flagstaff and that Big Foot is just “a sign of the times” like some kind of apocalypse, you know, “the end of life as we know it.”  He talks a lot about “things just ain’t what they used to be.”


He saw a woman in the market with a head scarf, and it nearly freaked him out.  Turned out that she was a little, old woman from Poland who was visiting her son, a prof at NAU.  She was wearing a babushka to keep her head warm in the winter.  I think what really got him was that she told the butcher that American sausage is inferior to Polish and that our beets were dried up and withered, too.  The manager told him to control himself.


A.  Well, Abigail, I have a plan.  Weeds in the nature of the case are foreigners.  We don’t get many weeds from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, or Finland.  Most of them come from Russia and Asia, especially Asia Minor, and from the lands around the Mediterranean.  Even the Scotch thistle, which came here from Scotland, originally came from Italy along with its thistled cousins, the artichoke and the diffuse knapweed.  Now, if he wants to fight foreigners taking over Flagstaff, he can begin with weeds.


      Q.  But he says he doesn’t believe in intruding into nature.  He said that we should let nature take its course.  The result is that our yard, both back and front, is a mess.  It’s full of weeds.  Like you said last year, I put in some bearded iris, and they were bright spots in our desolation. 


A.  Well, you and Rusty can go native as a way of resisting the foreign takeover of Flagstaff.  Plant a lot of American vegetation, such as grasses like sheep fescue, Arizona fescue, and blue grama.  They don’t take a lot of upkeep since their native and hardy, leaving him time to watch Animal Planet.  Besides, they’ll blot out any of those foreign intruders.  Weeds are foreigners who want to take over the high country and exploit it.  Cheat grass’s root system spreads out, using too much moisture, and knapweed poisons the ground around it so that nothing else can grow.  They’re subversive like the Dalmatian toadflax which uses it’s siren beauty to take over the natives and shove them out.  Keeping America strong means planting native vegetation and picking foreign weeds.  This way after a day of planting natives and picking foreign weeds, he can run the flag up the flag pole and salute it. 

Copyright © Dana Prom Smith

Gardening Etcetera is edited by Dana Prom Smith and Freddi Steele.  Smith can be emailed at, and he blogs at





1 comment:

JUDY said...

"But he says he doesn’t believe in intruding into nature." Well, please tell Rusty that mankind no matter from where they come are part of nature, they/we aren't weeds .. I mean, we ain't ETs or nuttin' like that ... well maybe some can be considered "not of this world."