Sunday, June 03, 2007

C'mon Lucky Bamboo! Mama needs new shoes...

Last year I bought some stalks of Lucky Bamboo at a street fair on Second Avenue. I was so thrilled with the idea of an unkillable plant that needed neither soil nor much light that I thought I might be able to keep this stuff alive in my not so plant-friendly apartment. Of the 5 stalks I bought, two died many months ago, one is making a game effort to join them, and two are doing fairly well.

this is some seriously dead 'lucky' bamboo right here

I have been trying to find more because even though I lost some, they do actually seem to be fairly hardy (they held out longer than plants usually do 'round here) and it's really nice to have some living greenery around. So when I realized there was a huge Second Avenue Street Fair going on today I was on a mission to find a good deal on the Lucky Bamboo.

In the morning I met my friend Lori at the gym to share the pain and oddly exhilarating compulsion to do cardio whilst laughing and chatting at inappropriately loud volumes. (Hey, it keeps annoying people away from the elliptical machines - really, try it!) And after some lunch and a shower I hit the street fair, determined to find the bamboo (and some socks - this running is ruining my socks big time). Last year the vendor I bought from was stationed conveniently on my corner - and that's where they were today as well. But the prices were not as good as last year so, ever the intrepid bargain hunter, I walked 10 blocks of street fair searching for bamboo. There wasn't any. Though I did find some socks... just as the rain began.

I was 10 blocks from home and it was raining. Did I mention I was wearing flip-flops? Oh yeah. And not the kind that work well at the beach or pool side. I was wearing fancy-schmancy SLIPPERY flip-flops. Not that I knew they were fancy-schmancy, nor slippery; but I found out. Just add water and these bad boys come to life.

I also discovered that I have a much longer stride than I would have imagined. I found this out because as I walked I found myself wearing only one flip-flop (or is one only a flip? Or a flop?). The damned things were as slick as Astroglide and my left foot just came swinging out and there I am one shoe on, one shoe off and I looked behind me to see the errant slippery flip sitting on the curb a good twenty feet behind me. Okay that's an exaggeration, but really I had to take two steps back to retrieve it - yet I had only taken one step forward when I lost the shoe. So either I have developed wildly long legs (I wish) OR the flip-flops were making a run for it. "Save yourself", yelled the right flip. "No matter how long it takes, no matter how far, I will find you," retorted the left flop as it scooted down Second Avenue doing it's best Daniel Day-Lewis impersonation.

Okay, maybe I just have a really long forward stride.

But it kept happening! I don't feel I'm bragging when I say that I have mastered various forms of footwear over the years and I would think I could keep a stinking low-rent sandal wannabe on my foot when I walk. Apparently I missed the class on keeping your thongs attached. That's what I get for being a compulsive truant. Stay in school kids, that's all I've got to say.

By the time I returned to the bamboo vendor there were only 3 stalks (of the less expensive size) available. They were priced at 3 for $5... I stood in the rain debating. The vendor rushed over, pulled the three last stragglers out of the plastic bucket they were soaking in and said: "Just take them, $4 - no arguing." Um... okay. His wife was sitting at the back of their stall laughing, "He knows how to force a sale, huh?" I said. She just laughed. I did too. Hey, I got the bamboo I wanted and on 'sale' so why not laugh?

After getting an opinion from the cunning salesman on why my previous stalks of death-defying bamboo had opted to walk into the light I waved good-bye and headed home. But what's this? The OTHER end of the street fair that I had not trekked in my trodden sliders. And there it was, an equal distance from home as the first vendor: you got it - ANOTHER bamboo vendor. *sigh*

I wandered far and wide, in the rain, fighting the fleeing shoes just to find that everything I wanted was right outside my own door. Does anybody feel like singing "Over the Rainbow" about now? Go ahead, I'll wait.

Pretty. You should record that.

Now back to me.

Since I'd gotten a deal on the other bamboo I thought I might go for a few more stalks and increase the odds of having more survive until the next street fair rolls into this neck of the woods. This vendor was not as friendly, but had far more options. I got 4 more stalks for $5 and figured I'd better quit there.
So here are all the newbies hanging together while I decide what Feng Shui corners most need their bamboo-y luckiness. They are pretty. Hopefully they'll live. And hopefully I'll find a less slippery pair of flip-flops very, very soon. Hey, lucky bamboo, right?


Gary said...

This story was a riot! You are like Mary Tyler Moore "who can take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?" It's you girl.
The bamboo looks lovely, now try not to kill it!

Joy said...

I've always identified more with Rhoda... but I'll take any and all praise! Thanks!!!

Happily Anonymous said...

Well...I for one....gotta admire your persistence.

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

LOL! I love the whole Flip and Flop conversation you've got going on here.

Let me know if those hold up. I like plants but I'm the Ted Bundy of plant care. I need something that can live through anything (a.k.a. me).