The ‘tree whisperer’
There’s politics, and there’s foliage. One’s about nurture, one’s about nuttiness.
I’m a New Yorker, “pave it, don’t prune it” kind of guy. But for the last couple of months, for several hours a week, I’ve been forced to take a hose to outdoor potted plants. (Wait! I water the bloody plants, I don’t BEAT them!)
There’s a huge fern devouring my Clovis front door, elephant ears and birds of paradise out back. Lots of stuff that has names, but — what, expect me to learn them? (Sorry, dear, I can only go soooo far.) And then there is the lemon tree out front. I just don’t water these critters, I splash their leaves, fronds, plant follicles or whatever. Oh yeah, their fruit gets a cleansing from Central California pollution, too.
The lemon tree has nine thriving lemons. I counted them, and paid the price — thorns, why wasn’t I told? And if any miscreant takes a liking to them green mini-baseballs, well, I have a hose and I know how to use it.
Speaking of lemons, nearly 1,000 pomegranates of legislation made it to Gov. Schwarzenegger’s desk last session — about normal. He was required to sign or veto all of them by September 30. He signed 726 and juiced 298 others — about a normal percentage for him. The California Hospital Association says he set the record for rejects in 2008 — more than 400 bills or about 35%. The association also said he’s had four of the six highest percentages of vetoes in recent history.
The governor with the fewest vetoes and lowest percentage? The man who would be governor again, Jerry Brown.
I’ve talked to more than a few politicians in my career, helped draft legislation — one piece (AB 936) was eventually signed into law in 2003, creating the crime of baby stalking (people loitering in hospitals looking for a chance to snatch or talk somebody out of a newborn) — and seen little bits of kumbaya and lots of sheer self-serving lunacy.
It’s more therapeutic to be hosing and chatting with my lemon tree.