Plant on Windowsill to Other Plant on Windowsill, August 2011

We can watch the sunset. I know, we do that every night.

Hey!

You wanna watch those leaves, buddy? I can grow spikes, you know! Yes I can, under significant stress.

I’m just messing with you. You want to watch a movie or something sometime? I mean, if the Waterer turns the television on. We could call it a date.

I know you don’t mate with plants of other species, but frankly, there are no other basil plants in here and I get pretty…lonely. I’m not saying we should cross-pollinate today or nothin’. Let’s just get a drink of water, watch a movie, and see where things go.

Well, obviously, things aren’t going anywhere because we can’t move! Am I right? And we can’t see either!

But seriously, I think we have a lot in common. I’m not a racist or nothin’ but I think we both think that ivy in the corner is a jerk. Always muscling in on everyone else’s pots. It’s like, hey back off, buddy. Am I right?

Well, think it over. I’ll be here.

Yours,

Basil Plant

Analysis:

When a team of Botanists working round the clock at Sagglesfield University and Laundromat announced that finally, basil plants had been proven to be intelligent, the news was met with a collective yawn from the public. Housewives and servants had known of basil’s ability to communicate for hundreds of years. In fact, an “Archbishop Basil” is mentioned as the advisor who sold Pope Innocent III on the idea of a Fourth Crusade. So while science has struggled to confirm what has long been known, this is still the first proof anyone has that basil is capable of writing as well as speaking.

Basil is, of course, a notoriously shy plant. Nearly all basil plants will go their entire lives without muttering anything more substantial than “Could you turn me slightly, please?” Tradition holds that basil only speaks to one person at a time. However, botanists are aware of a cousin of the standard basil plant, called Ocimum Politicum, which has been dubbed “Yapping Basil.” This plant has astounded researchers by not only talking freely, but writing, singing, and even using email. The plants talked openly about politics, philosophy, and the highlights of the sporting world. Two plants became engaged in a heated debate about the relative merits of 1930s pitchers Lefty Grove and Carl Hubbell, which ended when one tried to douse the other in tomato sauce. Eventually, researchers were forced to cancel the project because “they just never shut up.”

Due to budget cuts, the plants were sold to greenhouses and passed on to unsuspected customers. The letter above comes from one lonely basil plant on Dr. Danan’s windowsill. Sadly, scientists have yet to find other talking plants, so this plant just yabbers away by itself. Still, this plant, named “Chuckles,” has other avenues of intellectual pursuit, including writing a novel, corresponding with Dr. Leo DeBasil of the University of Northern Provence, and appearing as a regular guest on both “Good Eats” on the Food Network and “Hardball” on MSNBC, where he discusses political issues of the day with Chris Matthews, another talking basil plant.

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