This is supposed to be a sailing blog. What does a stupid basil plant have to do with sailing?
OK, nothing, but other serious bloggers get away with posting about their basil plants and nobody takes them any less seriously for it.
Bonnie recently posted about her basil plants and dozens of people commented. She went on to talk about all of the plants in her garden, but frankly, I wasn't too interested in those.
When I got to the picture of the basil, I just went all ga-ga.
There was this verdant patch of basil, overflowing its bed, even after Bonnie had picked off leaves for some salads and for - get this - pesto! Damn, she even makes her own pesto! I just stared at the photo, this sick feeling at the pit of my stomach.
You see, I've had this quiet crusade running in my kitchen for the past couple of years trying to get basil - any basil - to grow. You may have guessed by now that I'm not big into horticulture. I don't believe in fussing with plants too much. I do this kind of tough love thing with them.
They get a pot, a place in the sun, and a reasonably regular water ration. That's it. After that, they're on their own. I don't have the time for any mollycoddling.
And most plants in our kitchen have bought into the program quite nicely, thank you. We have a gaggle of 'Christmas Cacti' that put out this unbelieveable bounty of red and pink flowers every year. I've never understood how they know it's Christmas. Our nearest calendar is in the next room, where they can't see it. But the Christmas Cacti are definitely happy campers.
Not so, my basil plants - most of which are long departed. They seem content enough for a few weeks. Some have even made it a few months. But eventually, they all start looking like the one in the photo there - a few scrawny twigs, some wilting leaves, and a gloomy aura of impending death hanging over the pot.
I know what's about to happen. I'll come home from work one day, and there will be the crumpled remains of an ex- basil plant. No note, or anything.
I usually bury them in the back yard, but lately I think some of the neighbors are getting suspicious.
I'm starting to think the basil get some sort of nervous disorder living in the kitchen. That is, after all, where we do the cooking. They see all of the grinding and shredding and chopping that happens to their fellow basil leaves. For them, it must be like living on death row.
Maybe Bonnie's right. I guess I should move them outside.
But then they'd see the burial grounds.