So there I was, week before last, frantically getting plants repotted for the big Texas Frightmare Weekend show at DFW Airport. Literally up to my my armpits in sphagnum moss, both milled and long-fiber. Lighting tiki torches and stabbing them in the garden not out of any hint of stylishness, but in a desperate hope that low-flying mosquitoes might catch afire and crash before they could drain my last few thimbles of blood. In all of this, I get a message from a friend asking “Would you be interested in a radio interview?” Amidst the screams of flaming mosquitoes and the gaseous burble of rehydrating sphagnum moss, I game her the only answer I could: “If I nail a duck’s foot down, does he waddle in circles?”
That’s the short version of how I ended up on the “Fangirls: Dames of the Round Table” show on Deep Ellum On Air on the last weekend of April. I won’t even start with the by-now expected sight of my spending early Sunday morning catching rainwater during another rare cloudburst. Suffice to say, that’s how I ended up in Deep Ellum on a Sunday afternoon with tubs of carnivorous plants, wondering “Do I look as strange hauling tubs of Sarracenia flava as I feel?” If the answer had been anything but “Yes,” I’d have been worried.
Now, after a few years of television, newspaper, and radio interviews, you’d think I’d have been prepared for oddness. What I wasn’t expecting was the long-running tradition of the Fangirls to show off their costuming skills. Or, I should say, I wasn’t expecting multiple interpretations of Dr. Pamela Isley, better known to comics enthusiasts as the Batman villain Poison Ivy. This was more than fair: I’d ingested and inhaled enough peat moss that morning that I felt like AJason Woodrue.
The cross-pollination started early, after meeting Natalie in her lab coat. That, naturally, was my opportunity to ask her if she’d heard the song “Lab Coat” by the immortal New Orleans lab rock band The Consortium of Genius. And it only got going after that. By the time the actual interview got started, we’d already gone through a good dozen different odd subjects, including asking “Do you mind if we fed the ants on your tubs to the plants?”
In the end, everything turned out incredibly well, with all four going home with their own carnivores and my offering that if they needed more plant geekiness, I’d be there. (Among other things, Hillary, our board operator, was blown away by the idea of “Cthulhufruit“, so I may have to bring out a few when the Buddha’s Hand citron in the greenhouse ripens the half-dozen fruit on it right now.) If you need a dose of four brilliant women and an utter spastic discussing exotic flora, check out the video below, but be warned. I have a voice that Fran Drescher finds nasal and annoying.