Friday, May 21, 2021

Amorphophallus titanum: End of the Grift?


In Alameda, California a “local gardener” invited people to an abandoned gas station and let them smell and touch his giant misshapen penis . . . plant. Nothing sketchy about this at all.

Is it just me, or has the pace of stinky “corpse flower” blossomings slowed since the pandemic? We were usually good for several such exhibitions a year at botanical gardens around the county. All that was missing were the tour t-shirts.

Perhaps specimens of giant misshapen penis plant—the literal name according to its Latin binomial, not the consumer-friendly sanitized version—all just “happened” to cease sending up their grotesque, foul-smelling inflorescences at the same time. Or perhaps their owners adjusted lighting and feeding regimes to delay the blessed events until such time as paying throngs are once again able to attend in person. Just saying.

If this cynical conjecture is correct, we should witness an epic outbreak of penis plant erections later this year. (It’ll be the biggest interdimensional crossrip since the Tunguska blast of 1909!—Ed.)

Meanwhile, in a plot twist that sounds like it was ripped from the pages of an upcoming Nick Zollicker story, the Witte Museum in San Antonio plans to fake it till they make it. That is, the museum will present a life-size model of an A. titanum blossom and allow patrons to sample a recreation of its aroma from a “smell station.” Welcome to the Audio-Animatronics® version! It’s the Disneyfication of giant misshapen penis plants.

I expect the San Antonio folks will be getting an earful any day now from the  cartel of botanical garden directors.

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