May 032009

Today I annoyed hung out with Alisha, who brought up Phipps Conservatory at least fifteen times because she is apparently wildly obsessed with weeds. I let her babble on about all her exciting trips there, and then I remembered the one whole time I went. It was two years ago, and it was with Kara, who doesn’t live her anymore so I feel compelled to repost this since I don’t have any fresh examples of torturing her.

Learning About Plants & Kara

Originally posted August 21, 2007

There I was on a dreary Sunday, sitting around in just Henry’s underwear and watching instructional knitting videos, when Kara arrived to hang out. I started to get up from my filth to fetch her a particularly swiss-cheesy pair of underroos, when she stopped me. It seemed that in lieu of festering in Henry’s waste and eating freezer-burnt bonbons while watching 70s horror porn, Kara was in favor of actually leaving the house and going to that place where people go — I think it’s called the outside. Outdoors? Public? Slaughterho—no wait, I’m thinking of something else.

She seemed desperate to wile away her afternoon at Phipps Conservatory, where a riveting Chihuly glass exhibit was underway. Not wanting to get in between her and culture, I agreed. It gave me a reason to use my rainbow backpack that I bought specifically for Warped Tour but then left it hanging on the knob of the bathroom door.

Did I mention the adorable unicorn appliqué on the backpack? I hoped people would think I was a lesbian. A lesbian with an enviable collection of black light-sensitive felt unicorn posters in a day-glo array.

Flowers and non-flower plants don’t really get my fancy very tickled, but I was pleasantly pleased to discover some new species that I had never heard of.

P81900921. Creepy Laughing Male:

Balding on the crown of his head and clad in an army jacket, this species will creep up behind you and molest your ear drum with his scandalous laughter, which feels like a big wet tongue and makes your shoulders raise to your earlobes in hopes of acting like a condom, before whipping out his camera and turning his molestational instincts onto the helpless plants. He is accompanied by his presumed paramour in a striped shirt and he will later make you recoil when he appears to be snapping perverse shots of a random baby in a carriage. Later you will learn that the baby is really his and his companion is his father, not paramour. But watching him slouch in his seat in the cafe still doesn’t make you feel like planting his seeds in your garden.

More angles of Creepy Laughing Man:
P8190091 P8190094

P81900972. Witch Disguised as Pedestrian:

Slipping into a pink sweater does little to camouflage this white haired witch’s natural aura, especially when she is incapable of denying her vast knowledge of every spice and herb growing in the outside garden. Your first reaction will be to assume she’s planning on making a brew that will eradicate the entire elf population of Western Pennsylvania, and you’re ashamed when you find out that really she’s just planning on whipping up an aromatic stew for her dinner guests that evening. Way to be prejudiced. You’re probably also the kind of person who would slide over a chalice of bat juice to a witch without actually taking their beverage order, when maybe they’d have preferred a nice White Russian in a frosted high ball.

But yeah, you’re right. She does have some magical locks.

P81901073.Thai Food Aficionado:

Can be found predominantly in the tropical gardens of Phipps’ Thailand Section, monopolizing the employee inside a kiosk displaying samples of Thai spices. He will pressure her until her eyes water in fear, demanding to know every last datum of curry until she eventually fakes the need to blow her nose continually, causing him to shrug and leave. If you have the misfortune of finding yourself ogling a lotus while he is within earshot, do not speak poorly of it, for his female companion (wife or mother, relation is unknown) will sneer at you and lambaste you about the sweet, sweet balm the lotus secretes, causing Thai Food Aficionado to radiate death waves from his robotic eyes as he brusquely chimes in that lotus root is best served as a tempura. Interaction with Thai Food Aficionado learns you that it’s about as savory as spending an afternoon under a willow reading Chaucer with some stink weed.

Here, Thai Food Aficionado is deciding if the pond fish would taste delicious with a nice curry. Later, you hear him spinning yarns of pad Thai and lemon grass.

To my delight, I also learned some new things about my friend Kara:

  • Kara doesn’t like orchids; they are ugly and gross and they scare her.
  • Kara is scared to death of butterflies and will pull all kinds of exaggerated faces to convey her dismay while trapped in the butterfly room. She explains that it’s “like bugs crawling all over [her].” Hopefully, Kara’s first born will be a butterfly.
  • Kara thinks star fruit is gross and ugly.
  • Kara will yell “Ew!” as if she has just put her hand in a jar of eyeballs, when really she has only touched a soft leaf called a Lamb’s Ear.
  • Kara hates lotuses and they remind her of worms and make her protectively cover her boobs.
  • I had to double check my ticket to see if I was in Kara’s Haunted House.

    Kara was also kind of cranky and surly. She admitted it was probably because she was hungry and in a very strange and disorienting moment, I realized that it was almost like hanging out with myself. If that’s the case, then damn, I’m annoying. Wait, don’t people tell me that all the time?

    In typical Erin fashion, I ignored the fact that there was a finger print on the lens. It gives the pictures character. Charm? No? Ok.


    Life would be worth living if these were what eyeballs looked like. Or nipples.

    When penii party.

    Would suck to fall on.

    Kara’s fortress will protect her from all the scary flowers and sinister butterflies, but I fear she’s on her own with that foreboding sky.

    Afterward, I fed Kara’s face in the cafe, where Creepy Laughing Man had been joined by his wife and kid and that dude we thought was his lover but really was his father. It was kind of comforting, even though I kept hearing him laughing and it was really like having my ear fingered, which kind of made me blush and wish I had a rosary to nuzzle.

    Right before we left, Thai Food Aficionado stamped in with his mother-figure and proceeded to ask the girl behind the counter what every dessert tasted like. Kara and I tried to hold back squeals when they chose the table next to us. His companion, having fallen in love with her cake, made the life-or-death decision to go back and get another hunk, which she paid for in exact change. She then cut it right down the middle, employing an enviable steady-handed precision. I took it upon myself to imagine the dialogue exchanged was akin to her telling him that he just hadn’t lived until he prayed with the Tibetan monks, but instead it was really, you know, tasting some crappy cafeteria dessert. Thai Food Aficionado, well on his way to becoming Stale Dessert Connoisseur, speared his half with a fork and raised the entire chunk to his mouth. He gnawed off a large portion, swallowed, and then engulfed the rest.

    I hope there was at least some coconut milk in it.

      10 Responses to “Less About Plants, More About Stalking”

    1. Hahaha, that day was awesome!

      I am still terribly afraid of butterflys and happy to report that my first born is a boy, not a butterfly. Though I guess I shouldnt say that yet, as hes got another 4 months to mutate. If he turns out to be a butterfly im dropping him off on your door step!

      Also, this is why lotus flowers are creepy –
      (warning, nsfl and will make you cover your boobs in horror.)

      I miss Pittsburgh and hanging out with you!

      • That day really was awesome! You are one of few people I can be an asshole around. I forgot about that part about wishing your first boy to be a butterfly, and it made me LOL when I read it. You know. Since you’re pregnant. With your first child.

        Pittsburgh misses you! I saw you RSVPd and I’m so excited! Even if I just get to see you briefly, I don’t care!

    2. whatever that is its awesome and i wanna go there!

      ‘m drunk at the mo but thats ok

    3. You should write tour books, Erin. Then the dumb people won’t go everywhere I want to go.

      Hey, is that all Chihuly glass? It is awesome!!!

      • Yes, it’s all Chihuly! And thank god for that, because the flowers/plants alone would not have been interesting for me.

        Shit, Eve — now I want to write a Pittsburgh tourism book!

        • Your books would be the BEST!

          At the very least, you should be writing reviews of cupcake places! And bakeries! And veggie dining establishments!

    4. I remember wanting to go to that exhibit, but I didn’t. Its been quite some time since I was at phipps actually. I like taking my camera and shooting lots of flower closeups and pretending that makes me an artist.

    5. HAHAHA, oh shit. That was the best write-up about a conservatory I have ever read. Funny stuff! Thai Food Aficionado was my favorite.

    Say it don't spray it.

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.