November 30, 2009

In Memoriam

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As it must to all of us, death came to my last surviving sweet basil plant this past weekend.

In the end, passing to the eternal life came as a blessing, as Mr. Basil suffered from an extended debilitating illness that had left him pale, and a mere shadow of his former, robust self.

A lifelong resident of the O Docker kitchen, Mr Basil was sometimes encouraged to relocate to a climate where he might establish deeper roots, but confinement to a flower pot precluded that.

He is survived by seven narcissus bulbs, two philodendrons, numerous Christmas Cacti, and one of those generic houseplants that everyone recognizes but no one can identify. He was preceded in death by an overwhelming number of fellow basil plants.

He will be remembered as a generous soul who gave freely of himself. He was a frequent contributor to salads, omelettes, and to countless fish and chicken entrees. His very presence was often enough to lift the spirits of anyone around him.

It was the decedent's wish that his remains be composted and scattered in the bed of an azalea bush that gave him much joy in life.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that fresh hearts of romaine, green onions, bell peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes or pesto be sent to O Dock, preferably via FedEx Next Day service.

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17 comments:

  1. My heartfelt condolences on your loss. I knew Basil many years ago when it was my sad fate to work with him at his establishment in Torquay. I can honestly say that he was one of the most snobbish, miserly and xenophobic bullies I have ever known. How did he do it?

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  2. Snif snif, sigh, RIP! We are all born to die...at least he gave of himself to anyone who would take.

    Farewell Mr B.

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  3. Thanks, Zen. I'm doing the best I can without my beloved basil. Your sniffs only remind me how much I do miss him.

    Manuel, I can't help but think my basil was not the Basil who so troubled you. My basil mixed well with so many other herbs, it's hard to imagine him trying to overpower anyone. And, as I mention, he seemed always to give willingly of himself.

    It is said some basils are neglectful and go to seed in later life, turning bitter. The basil I knew was sweet to the very end.

    I can't really speak to his being xenophobic, as I have no idea what that word means.

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  4. "Xenophobic" means you don't like people who are different from yourself. Speaking personally, I have discovered that half of the human race is quite different from myself and that I tend to like that half in a somewhat more intense way than I like the half that are like myself. I make an exception for Sarah Palin of course.

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  5. Hmmmmm- I do believe that Basil's health began to deteriorate when well-intentioned guardians began to argue over her gender and the amount of nourishment needed to sustain her. She did indeed give, and give, and give only to be overshadowed by the lush blossoms of on her narcissi and Christmas cacti cousins. Shame.

    Not many attended her funeral as so few realized she had passed.

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  6. With a name like basil, I just assumed our beloved plant was a 'he'. That, and the fact that dropped leaves were just left to lie where they fell. I'm still not convinced.

    Tillerman, thanks for the clarification. I think I'm always confusing xenophobia with xylophobia, an unnatural fear of wooden objects. As a boat owner who tries to do my own maintenance, my hands begin to shake whenever I see too much teak at one time.

    I think I have the opposite of xenophobia. I like only people who are different from me. I don't know how anyone puts up with me at all.

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  7. I don't know about basil but rosemary can get very woody. I once found a piece of stick in my shepherd's pie at a local Irish pub. When I complained the waitress went and talked to the chef and she came back and said it was from some sprigs of rosemary he had added to the pie. I am quite xylophobic about pies and I'm not going back to that pub again.

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  8. Herb that is born of seed is of few days and full of trouble.

    It cometh forth as a seedling, and is cut down: it spinneth also in the Cuisinart, and is serveth on pasta.

    My sincerest condolences on your loss.

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  9. I'm sorry, did I stumble into the wrong bar again? I thought you served up sailing here? Pesto, turkeys, and spam can make a guy hungry....or in my case thirsty. Since this is a wake, I lift my glass and bid a fond farewell to your departed friend, Basil. Wasn't he on a show called Fawlty Towers?

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  10. Is there an echo in here?

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  11. But you must also have good basil for your ratatouille.

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  12. ¿Que?

    Joe, there's no such thing as the wrong bar, only the wrong clothes.

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  13. Are you saying that it would be appropriate to walk into the Sugar Barge in a Budweiser tee-shirt with barbecue stains but not into the Top of the Mark? I've always wondered why they gave me the old heave-ho into the gutter.

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  14. Ratatouille? I haven't made any bleeding ratatouille.

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  15. At 13 bucks for a Mojito, the Top of the Mark oughta let you drink naked.

    Maybe they do.

    Has anyone seen my Siberian hamster?

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  16. Major Gowen12/2/09, 9:49 AM

    I shot your Siberian hamster.

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