My deck gave birth to a litter of cilantro plants yesterday. I must tell you, cilantro babies don't look like cilantro adults at all. When they come into this world, they are all like two tiny leaves and one tiny stem and they are barely green and so helpless, they don't even wave when you blow wind in their face. But when you pluck off those tiny leaves and taste them, you can feel the cilantro spirit not yet surging, but definitely germinating inside them.
They took a long time waking up. I first planted them in an old pot, a pot full of dirt left over from the previous owner. I called up my mother and told her, "Hello mother, prepare, for once, to be proud of your son for he is now helping the world meet its food-production needs."
My mother said, "what are you food-producing?"
I said, "Cilantro, mother, cilantro." I come from a family of cilantro fanboys. "Are you excited for me?"
My mother replied, "Yes, yes, I am excited. Did you break the seeds before planting them?"
I allowed a stunned silence to elapse for about a minute and a half.
"Break the seeds? Why?"
"Well, you have to kind of break coriander seeds before you plant them in the dirt."
"Okay mother, I will talk to you later." I had not broken the seeds.
I went and prepared an additional pot for cilantro-planting. Again, an old existing pot. This time I broke the seeds. Alright, that should appease the fussy Cilantro Deity.
But it didn't. I waited and waited some more. It didn't help that the weather suddenly turned cold. A week went by. Not a lot happened. I did improve my COD4 rank from 41 to 51 but that's another story which I could narrate again if you were to so desire.
I decided that it was the old dirt that was the root of the infertility. So I went and bought a fresh bag of dirt from the grocery. My suspicions were confirmed. The dirt manual told me that dirt only lasts for three months or so. Dirt comes with a manual. Long live Western Society. So I went and prepared a third pot for cilantro plantation with all the new dirt I had just purchased. I broke the seeds, used new dirt and watered the pot. Conditions couldn't get any more perfect than this. And then I waited.
And waited some more.
And finally, just as I was about to give up my agricultural dreams, two of my pots went into labor. It happened while I was at work so I couldn't share in the joyous moment but when I came home in the evening, I saw the cilantro babies and it was one of my proudest moments since the time I achieved rank 52 in COD4, but that's a different story.
The funny thing is, the two pots that first gave birth were full of old dirt, including the one with the unbroken seeds. I appear to be breaking new ground in cilantro cultivation technology.
Secondly, I have also planted tomatoes. No progress there. Tomatoes fussier than cilantro. Also, experience has now taught me that a farmer needs to be patient with his crop.
The other day, an Indian kid, claiming to be one of my neighbors, came by and offered to mow my lawn. "Really, does it need mowing," I asked him. I could barely see him through the grass so I asked him to shoot a flare so I could find him.
He answered yes, that in his professional opinion, my grass did indeed require mowing. I haven't been able to start my mower yet. I think it needs gas and I am waiting for the war to end for gas to become affordable again. So I said wokay, son, please do the needful. As I was watching him work on my lawn, he noticed that I was looking at my plants with pride and said to me," You know those are all weeds, don't you?", and he pointed towards basically everything in my garden.
The news stunned me. For a number of days, I had been watering those plants with love and water. I felt betrayed, like a prison guard who's discovered that the convict he took under his wing was actually stealing money from him. I was unconvinced.
"Are you sure? Is this a weed?", I asked, pointing to a small pretty yellow flower, a lot of which were scattered throughout my lawn.
"Yes", said the kid.
"What about this one", I said, indicating the tall thing with the crown of white things that disintegrate and blow away when you blow on it.
"Yes, that one is the worst", replied Dr. Greenthumb.
"Okay", I said with resignation. I had weeds.
The kid offered to rip them up for me but I declined the offer. They were my weeds. I had raised them and I would put them to sleep. So I bent down, began to uproot those ungrateful suckers and arranged them in a big pile.
"That is not a weed. It's actually a tulip", said the kid who was still hanging around like some kind of tomato fungus. I handed him the tulip root I had just pulled out of the ground and told him, "Okay, YOU do the weeds. I will be inside playing COD4."
I am ranked 53 now, but that is another story.