Friday, June 4

Human Traits for Inanimate Objects, and Some Vegetables and Fruit.

It has long been a joke in our family, to regard inanimate objects as possessing human traits or characteristics.

Or to regard fruit and/or vegetables to possess very real human characteristics.

My post titled "Interviewing the Oranges"  demonstrates this belief. (I do perhaps feel some folk were bewildered by this post.)

We have in the past had pot plants which had names. My mother had an 'Arthur', in the best tradition of Mad Magazine's Arthur. My Mother's plant was a huge Mostera Deliciosa, and it used to grow huge aerial roots, which would embed themselves in the carpet if a vigilant eye was not kept on them. It sometimes 'wept' when it had been overwatered. 

 Our Mother sat in her favourite chair, positioned beside this huge plant. Often at first glance into the lounge room, our mother was not always visible, because of Arthur's huge leaves. We used to laugh about it, and declare that one day we would find a small pile of bones that would be remains of our mother, after Arthur had devoured her.

I swear when we were all gathered in her warm lounge laughing and enjoying each other's company, Arthur laughed right along with us.
Arthur's tears were not always induced by overwatering.

Arthur grew to be so huge he had to be retired to the garden, where he ~or was it she? ~ fruited happily, and grew to truly monstrous proportions..

Keeping the family tradition alive I had a huge Aspidistra which lived in our lounge and other lounges various dwellings, where we lived,  and she was called Gracie, after Gracie Fields, who sang a song about the Biggest Aspidistra in the World. I really did love that plant, and was amazed when it rewarded me with the very secret and quiet little white flowers that are rarely seen.
A friend had given me a beautiful wooden plant holder to house Gracie, and it was with sadness I gifted Gracie and her holder to another good friend when we moved over here to live.

As to other inanimate objects, cars are things which require some respect. I once had a very old small Morris Oxford car. It served me so faithfully for the years I needed it, and it never let me down. I was sad to see it go. I also once owned a Torana, which was a true Aussie. It never let me down either and I cried when I had to sell it because it was 'surplus to our needs', once I had given up my career to go Hotelkeeping once more with Gom.
The car we have now has a name, though I seldom use it. When I was not the prime driver I didn't tend to think of it in terms of it's name. Now, however, I do, because I need it to serve me faithfully.

My Mother was inclined to keep her electric appliances for long stretches of time. She swore it was because she genuinely cared about them, became fond of them, and above all, treated them with respect and reverance. She had one such ancient toaster. She kept it in a cupboard,  covered with a cloth, when it was not in use. When it began to give the user small shocks, it was with great alarm I declared she must  get a new one. She laughed and said it was not malicious, she was quite sure it was just toying with us, and would never really hurt us! The fact that it erratically changed settings & seriously burnt the toast, seemingly at will, from time to time was 'just a quirk'. "Just to keep us on our toes!" she laughed.

When she became ill, I wasted no time in getting a replacement... which promptly broke! I took it back, and had it replaced, but you may imagine my mother's mirth over it all. She was convinced the old toaster was 'laughing at me'. And, bedevilling the new one to boot!

This is just Morty, ignoring all and sundry. I just threw this pic of him in here for a little light relief.

I do not currently have any pot plants with names. Our current house is not really conducive to keeping pot plants. Last time we had a cat, it ate all my African Violet's flowers, so perhaps it is just as well, with Morty romping about the house. Eating the corners off letters and shredding magazine covers!

We have a contrary, ornery, doorbell. It is a cordless one, with two sound outlets. It was given to us by a friend when he learned of the sorry saga of our doorbells. I will not retell those sagas here, but just say, there have been four, each sorrier than the last. All equally useless at the end of the day.

The new doorbell has performed very well... until recently! Suddenly the doorbell has begun chiming at odd hours. Sometimes it does the full series of notes, as though pushed long and hard.
Mornings, chimes ring out. I hastily dress, shout down the barking mutts.

Carefully, descend the stairs. Open the door. No one. Not a soul to be seen, in the drive on the street, on our lawn. Just NO ONE.

Evenings, afternoons, chimes. No One. It has happened when our Son was here staying. It is a mystery how it is triggered.
As it happens, I do believe in ghosts, having had some first hand experiences with such phenomena.

However I do not believe it is a ghost resposible for the chiming of the doorbell. I am sure there must be some logical explanation to explain the 'phantom callers'. I just wish I knew what it is.

Cat Stevens, Moonshadow.


Ali Honey said...

Our Arthur became very bad when too big for the house and was planted outside, his roots got into all the crack round the windows and parts of the ranchslider doors. ( he is dead now - we killed him )

Lots of my appliances have names and I thank them when they do a good job. Sometimes Mrs. Nilfiskthe cleaning lady ( vacuum ) falls over and is told to drink less during working hours. My F & P washing machine has a smiley face that displays at the end of a wash - wishing me a happy no wonder I talk back.

Penny said...

Nope, haven't got round to naming the house plants or appliances. But we've always named our cars. I think people who name things look after them better as well.

We have one of those doorbells. It can be set off by a heavy truck rumbling past or heavy footsteps in the hall.

Thimbleanna said...

Perhaps it is just your doorbell being lonely and wishing to sing you a little song? All of your plants sound wonderful -- I never have any success with houseplants. I do love to name my cars, and especially my beloved sewing machine though! A very fun post Meggie!

Jennifer said...

Funny - the doorbell in our last house used to sometimes ring by itself, and we never found out why. So far this house hasn't done anything funny like that!

Catalyst said...

The BRD has given us a huge SUV to do her courier duty in. It is a Ford Explorer, which she named "The Exploder." Fitting, I think.

BTW, the doorbell may not be chiming at all. Your "hearing it" may just be because of all those "pot" plants in your house! ;+>

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Sometimes I wish the bell that alerts me to a customer would stop working!! Some nights when I lay down I can hear it in my dreams. I believe in ghosts, too. Ghosts, spirits, entities, whatever one may call them.

ancient one said...

My car doesn't have a name... but today, as I walked back to the house from the mailbox... I found myself patting it in the driveway and thinking how much I have enjoyed it... Husband keeps suggesting me need a new one... and I keep holding on to the one I have...This post made me smile...

Pauline said...

This post reminds me of the Cynthia Rylant book, The Old Woman Who named Things. Made me laugh, Meggie, to read of that old toaster. I don't believe anything is truly inanimate ;)

Cathi said...

We have a tendency to name things -- the sewing machine has a name, the car as well, even an iron has been named.
No house plants as our exposure isn't conducive to their growth and the two house lions might have something to say about it. LOL

Katherine said...

I have a doorbell down at the gate. It rings at odd times too, and I've almost put my foot in it once when I laughingly accused a neighbour of teasing us. It wasn't him, he insisted. I think it could be moisture that gets in and shorts it out sometimes. It's a pain when it triggers those barks, tho'!

Bren said...

The doorbell thing would make me nuts!!
I love to see pics of Morty. He is such a beautiful creature! Sass loves paper too and plants....mostly paper.

The Sagittarian said...

I had a rubber plant given to me for my 21st birthday, I named him Heathcliff. Not sure where he is now, I think I left him with friends when I went overseas many years ago and never reclaimed him....

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