The Great Plotnik

Tuesday, March 05, 2013


This may look like a feather duster to you. In fact, that is how it is marked on the bin at Loew's.  But if you buy this feathery fluff of imitation plastic (look in the mop department), plus the longest extension pole you can find, and toss in a nice-sized roll of duct tape  (look in the paint department), you end up with a Weapon of Mass Pollination, or: THE GUACAMOLUTOR!

Then, all you have to do is reach as high as you can into the fully blossoming avocado tree, rub each blossom with the imitation feather duster and then rub each other blossom. This is, after all, what bees normally do, but in Saint Plotniko the tree always blossoms long before it's warm enough to attract any bees. If you buy bees, they just sit in their hive until it warms up. All these beautiful fruit blossoms simply fall off without being pollinated, and the others turn into leaves.

Or so goes the logic here. Plotnik knows this tree can produce avocados, because he saw one in 1993, half-eaten by squirrels, and there is an avocado seedling growing ten feet from the first tree -- which proves a pit fell and sprouted and you can't have a pit without an avocado and you can't have an avocado without the tree knowing how to do it.

It's not as easy a process as you might think, and Plotnik could only reach maybe a third of the way up the tree, and only on one side. So perhaps, come fall, one side of this tree will be laden with avocados and the other side will grow only leaves and feel shame.

Plotnikkies must remember there was a time when Ducknik and Plotnik lived on a farm in Plotsylvania, where he planted a fruit orchard. He learned how to prune and pollinate in those years. And also how to fail as an orchardist, especially if you wanted to try doing it organically in an area with more hordes of predators than the sky over Kandahar.

But rules are rules. All bees do is fly into each blossom, rub around in it, and then fly to the next one, carrying the sticky male pollen from male stamen to female pistil. It works the same all through nature.

Of course, bees are more thorough than we are, and there are more of them, and they are also not trying to maneuver a heavy 20-foot pole. But we aren't looking for honey, either, just a couple avocados, to prove to the tree and to ourselves (The Optimists and the Women Who Love Us) that it's just a matter of time until this tree rewards us with luscious fruit.

Let's not even talk about that thick slab of avocado floating on top of a steaming bowl of caldo tlalpeño.


At 2:23 PM, Anonymous HankyGirl said...

Wanna come do my tree next? SF is full of avocado trees; I'm thinking this could be a great second (third? fourth?) career for you.

There could even be a song in it: "I want those avocadoes; come and dust my tree" or "Gonna get up in the mornin', believe I'll dust my tree." But I'm just spitballin' here—you're the real song writer.

And let me know when you'll be coming by with that guacamolutor.

At 9:02 PM, Blogger notthatlucas said...

This is amazing - I can't wait to see if it works. I love those pictures of you with that pole. Is there a Youtube video?

At 6:52 AM, Blogger Karen said...

Clearly someone has too much time on his hands. :-)

At 8:42 AM, Blogger Linda Davick said...

Have you set up a Kickstarter fund for the guacamoluter?

At 11:18 AM, Blogger mary ann said...

This is hysterically funny ~ I've never heard or seen anything like your new nature job. Good luck!


Post a Comment

<< Home