Wednesday, September 17, 2008

In The Beginning

In the beginning, there was a student. Smart, but not that smart; the type to crack a (hopefully) knowing smile at witty dialogue or nerd jokes, but never to join in, to chuckle derisively at improperly phrased Physics adages uttered by his friends, but never to explain (or even understand, necessarily) their impropriety.
He discovered, studied, found the meaning of life in, grew bored with and summarily discarded the following subjects: Anthropology, Physics, Astrophysics, Linguistics, Organic Chemistry, Volleyball, Quantum Physics, Molecular Biology, Anthrophysics, Astrolinguistics, Ethanology (not so readily dismissed), Frisbee, Philosophy, Molecular Volleyball and, finally, Botany.
Botany proved easily translatable into a college degree without requiring a whole lot of touchy-feely, confidence-building human interaction. Plus, it was genuinely interesting and allowed hedonistic, booze-fueled weekend nights in the botany lab poking at weeds under a pair of microscopes. Unfortunately, a Botany degree itself does not translate well into the language of post-collegiate job markets, as there are very few Fortune 500's willing to hire or even to sub-contract someone to hole up in a an expensive lab and count carpels 'til the cows come home.
Not willing to abandon a plant-based career, the (now) graduate sat down and thought very long and hard about how plants could be associated with money. "Well now, is there perhaps a place where people exchange money for plants?" He asked himself. The answer was yes, and the next thing he knew, he was up to his knees in the bark mulch of the glorious retail nursery industry. He wiled away nigh on two years thusly, then dusted off his dichotomous keys and expectations and moved to the city to seek his fortune (this being staggeringly difficult to come by in said nursery industry).
Like an injured person dumbly prodding their injury to establish that, yes, they are still injured and for crying out loud yes, it still hurts, the graduate secured a white-collar cubicle job to see it it really was as miserable as it gave every indication of being. It was. After four months of alternately staring at a computer screen, making scientific labels and envying the lucky immigrant workers blowing leaves on the sidewalks outside, he slapped himself awake with an immunohistochemistry diagnostic manual and got the hell out of there. He made off with naught but a snazzy collection of office-casual sweaters and mild claustrophobia.
An unspecified and inglorious period of unemployment was to follow, as he sought compensation for getting his hands dirty and correcting stranger's bad botanical Latin. Then, like a drunken fisherman piling fish in the boat after baiting his hook with bits of powdered donut and beef jerkey for a good laugh, he discovered that this was, in fact, the job description of a gardener. He became... a gardener. He wears a hori-hori knife and two pairs of pruners on his belt. You never know, he could be... your gardener.

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