cDc paramedia: texXxt #394
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     ...presents...             Killer Plantz
                                                         by Tweety Fish

           __//////\   -cDc- CULT OF THE DEAD COW -cDc-   /\\\\\\__
                    __      Grand Imperial Dynasty      __
 Est. 1984   \\\\\\/ cDc paramedia: texXxt 394-07/28/2004 \//////   Est. 1984

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     This is half of an e-mail conversation with an old friend.  We used to
exchange e-mails pretty regularly, and even though we didn't hang out much or
really even know each other, it always seemed like we could get really close
in e-mail without any of the ironic detachment that's usually there.  It was a
two-way conversation but I'm not including any of my e-mails because, to be
honest, it was a really hard time for me in my life, almost incomprehensibly
so, and I said a lot of very personal shit in my e-mails that I'd like to keep
between us, and these really tell the whole story anyhow.

     About the pictures: I did see them, they looked pretty crazy but he was
taking stills from a digital video camera so they weren't like super hi-res,
so I guess they could have been faked.  I tried to find them, but I think they
got nuked when my C drive died last Fall.

     The last e-mail here is the last e-mail I got from him.  It's been a long
time now; that's all I know.

    -Tweety Fish

Date: Thu, 3 Apr 2003 19:53:07 -0400
Subject: crazy shit!

I got home today and there was this vine growing through the floor of my
kitchen. It had bent the linoleum up all around it, and there was
seriously this little 2 inch stalk coming out of the floor. It's right in the
middle of the kitchen floor. What makes it even weirder is I live on a man
made island, every other plant here is completely natural... Nothing grows,
the island's built on garbage. I called maintenance and they sounded really
confused, but they said they'd come out and look.

Date: Fri, 4 Apr 2003 19:42:19 -0400
Subject: killer plantz update

Well, I had to stay home from work today so the maintenance guy could
come take a look at the vine. It's like 4 inches tall now; I feel like I
should just like get high and chill out on my kitchen floor and see if I can
see it actually grow... if it's getting that much bigger I wouldn't have to
wait very long. It would freak me out, I guess, but it's so fucking strange. I
should report it to National Geographic or something. Or wait a while and
climb it and look for the giant. My daughter thinks it's great...
she told me today that it's her sister... I guess that would make sense if
my ex was a bio-engineered plant creature, and hiding beneath my floor
gestating babies, but that seems fundamentally unlikely. Anyhow, the
maintenance guy showed up and didn't know wtf to do... I think he
thought I'd dug up the floor and planted it there, he was acting really sort
of bitchy to me. He said he'd have to talk to the landscapers and get back
to me tomorrow. Why they'd think I'd plant a vine under my kitchen floor
is unclear to me. My daughter goes back to her mom's tomorrow, I'm hopeful
they won't send the botanical wing of protective services to come hassle me.

Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2003 10:04:47 -0400
Subject: why can't my life suck in normal ways?

This is starting to suck. Not only is that vine still there, it's now
2' tall and starting to sprout leaves... it's seriously jack and the beanstalk
style. As far as plants go it's pretty cool, and I guess the fact that it's
in the middle of my kitchen adds to the uniqueness factor... I can't take a
pic for you since I loaned my digital camera out to this girl I know who's
trying to get on ordinarily I would be going on and on about
that but I can't get my mind off this fucking plant! It has these sort of
velvety, purple leaves that tingle when you touch them. It smells
really neat, too, like jasmine almost, but a little bit more bitter. The
maintenance people haven't called me, but my kitchen floor is so fucked
up now that I'm thinking I might as well just say fuck it until the
weekend.  My daughter is coming again and when I talked to her on the phone,
seeing her "sister" was the only thing she could talk about. There's always
more toys at her mom's so maybe this way for once I can win the fun race.

Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2003 15:42:00 -0400
Subject: jungle king!

Ok the plant was a huge hit. I seriously am thinking I'm gonna run with
this... maybe I should send some pictures to Guinness or something.
It's like 5' tall now, and it has this crazy branching pattern that doesn't
even look natural. When I get my camera back I'm going to see if it I can to
some time-lapse captures to my webcam, because it's growing so fast.
The purple leaves I was telling you about are getting HUGE now... as it
grows the stalks at the top get bigger and more ornate; the pattern of veins
on them is so complex - it must be more complex than a regular leaf, I
haven't checked yet, tho. I broke one leaf off; I felt bad, sort of, but a)
this plant seems unbelievably hardy if it's growing as fast as it is, and b)
it's in the middle of _my_ kitchen. There are 4 thick, central veins,
and each of those splits into 4 smaller veins about 1" from the base of the
leaf. Each of those 4 splits into I think 12 veins about a half inch
after that, but past that I couldn't tell because they get to small... it's
crazy, though, the leaf is about 14" wide and the whole this is a
network of these progressively tinier and tinier veins. Oh my god too my
daughter LOVES it! We just watched the whole Star Wars series about a month
ago, and so she was making this whole barbie/ewok village thing in its lower
branches.. so cute. Would I be too weird if I kept the vine here for her? I
mean wtf it's in the dining room part of the kitchen and I barely use that,
and it's a hell of a conversation piece. I still haven't gotten my camera
back, but I promise to send you pictures when I do.

Date: Sat, 7 Jun 2003 22:10:15 -0400
Subject: RE: alive?

What's up.... 
Sorry I've been out of touch lately, but this vine thing is consuming a lot
of my attention. I actually got in pretty serious trouble at work because I
missed 3 days in a row. I have this project where I'm trying to actually
document the structure of the leaves because it's so crazy... it looks way
more like a generated fractal than a real leaf structure. I bought a cheapo
microscope and sure enough, that branching pattern I described goes down
even further than I can see under 10x... I asked about a microscope that
could see fine enough that I could look at cellular grain, but they're like
300+ and I can't afford that right now because I'm still paying off my new
amp. I haven't even been down to practice with the guys in like 2 weeks,
which seems kind of lame since I spent so much on the guitar and amp,
but oh well. I'll get there. The other day I was lying in bed and I heard this
thump against my floor... I walked downstairs, and sure enough, the vine
has hit the roof! The stalk is getting really thick, too, it's like 17" around
at the base... I noticed that the fleshy parts at the base seem to be getting
softer, and kind of pulpy... it almost seems like it's rotting, but if it's
growing this fast it must be healthy, right? Also to answer your question,
yeah I'm still working, tho I'm pretty sure they're starting to get pissed
when I work from home. They fucking need me so hell with them but I guess in
their defense I haven't been getting much done.

Date: Sat, 14 Jun 2003 12:29:01 -0400
Subject: progress update

Ugh it's been such a huge hassle keeping maintenance away.. the village
administrator called me today to ask about it, she's called like 3 times
this week... they want to come fix the hole in the floor but I have a feeling
that if they realized I was letting the vine grow they'd evict me.
I mean, not irrationally, I guess. But it's really working out well growing
this thing... like I've never been able to keep a plant alive; now there's
a 14' vine growing into my second story! It busted through the floor of my
bedroom about a week ago... I was a little worried about the damage that
would cause but the top part of the vine is pretty flexible, so I don't think
it's putting stress on bearing members or anything. I tried to water it the
other day, too, but I don't think it matters. It's been a month with no water
now and doing fine... maybe there's some underwater source.  I've been looking
online to see if I could find something similar... there are some pretty huge
vines in the southern hemisphere that seem like they have similar structure,
but nothing that grows remotely this fast. The base of it is almost 2 feet
around now. The rotting I told you about is going on for sure; there's this
whole outer goo that makes it pretty gross to the touch, but inside that the
main stalk structure is like rock solid. In worse news it's been a big issue
with my ex around my daughter coming to visit. I know she loves the vine, but
last time she came home she was talking about her sister breaking through
walls and I guess she punched her half-brother in the nose because she was
playing the vine and he was playing my house. That's an odd way to take it if
you ask me, but 5 year olds are weird. I've got to run to home depot to get
some plywood to reinforce the floor in my room around where the vine busted
through, but I'll talk to you soon

Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2003 12:29:01 -0400
Subject: I, jack

So heh. For her birthday I got my daughter this great illustrated copy of jack
in the beanstalk... god knows she's probably going to take it as gospel fact
with the scene at my house, but I really couldn't pass it up.
I talked to her on the phone after she opened it and the first thing
she did was ask if I was going to climb my vine and slay the giant. I told her
it wasn't tall enough to climb, but I'd sure keep her advice in mind.
So cute. She graduated from first grade last week! I wish I could have been
there to see it, but I had some leaf samples that I'd prepared in iodine that
would have gotten all fucked and I feel shitty about how much stuff I've been
cutting off the vine. Plus her mom is totally creeping me out lately; keeps
staring at me when I see her, which is blessedly not often.

Date: Wed, 9 Jul 2003 06:18:47 -0400
Subject: green thumb motherfucker!

Dude that fucking vine broke through my roof this week! Seriously! Thank
god it's summer or I would be getting soaked; it broke a 3" section of roof
away from the roof when it busted through... oh well tho, I switched to
sleeping in the office a few weeks ago since I was getting concerned about the
floor stability in my room. Ugh the other sucky thing is that the base of the
plant has started to smell from the rot. I don't know what the fuck to do
about it. I don't really want to spray pesticide all over my dining room, and
I've started trying to avoid asking people about this because they either want
to come over and look at it (which feels like a bad idea) or they tell me I
should call maintenance, and god knows that would be the end of this. I've
been leaving through the back door and spraying a lot of Glade; c'est la vie.
Guinness finally wrote back, they want to come look at the vine, but honestly
from the tone of their letter I'm not sure I trust their motivations, so I
think I'm going to wait on that tip. I will parlay this motherfucker into fame
and fortune, though, believe me :) oh so dude also I fuckin got laid off
today. I don't care though, fuck those assholes. That job was nothing but a
pain. If I don't have to deal with another marketing bimbo as long as I live
I'll be in heaven. By the way I finally attached some pictures; they're blurry
but you get a sense for the size of this thing.

Date: Thu, 17 Jul 2003 00:12:19 -0400
Subject: coolest thing ever

Oh my god I climbed the vine for the first time! It was so cool! It was like
being a kid again completely! I felt like I was in like the lost sequel to
goonies or something! I started from my room, which was a little precarious,
but there wasn't really a good way to start from the ground floor... I got
about 10 ft. up above the roof this time, and was totally stable.. it swayed a
little big in the breeze but rather than making me nervous it was actually
really restful, like being on a boat... It's been totally foggy lately so I
couldn't really see very far but I felt very high up... it was almost like I
was part of the plant, so far removed from my house, so far removed from the
island, so far removed from the fucking tech industry.

Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2003 05:55:55 -0400
Subject: RE: women fucking suck

So hey I'm sorry it took me so long to respond to your e-mail. I just want
you to know that I'm good. I've been climbing it a lot, I've gotten pretty
high up, but I tell you every time it totally feels safe... I haven't gone
all the way up yet because that's really awfully high in the air, but I
think today's the day. It's one of those days we get where it's not quite
foggy and not quite cloudy, just there's this THICK layer of super low
cloud that you feel like you could reach up and touch if you were just a
little bit taller... really you'd have to be a LOT taller, but ok. hey um
I'm sorry about all the shit with you... you know I don't really want to
take sides but it sounds like it's been pretty fucked up... hang in there...
I wish you could come climb with me.
It's like flying, it feels so limitless. 

Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2003 11:11:11 -0400
Subject: farewell, grandfather, farewell, farm

Hey again. I never made it up the other day; too cold. It's the same kind
of day out today though and I feel like a pussy for my failure last week so I
swear to god today I'm going to get to the top. I feel like I'm in the x-games
or eco-challenge or something; totally like a personal test.
If any hungry giants try to eat me or whatever I'll be sure to let you know...

Wish me luck.

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