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Conspiracy theory for gardeners. January 19, 2012

Posted by ourfriendben in Ben Franklin, gardening, wit and wisdom.
Tags: , , , , ,

Our friend Ben is generally no fan of conspiracy theory. Even if the theory turns out to be true, it seems to me that it does no good to sit around wallowing in paranoia when you could be doing something useful and rewarding instead, such as getting on with life.

However. After Silence Dogood and I recently received two long-anticipated gardening catalogues that arrived in our mailbox ripped to shreds, I may have to rethink my position. After all, we regularly receive clothing, home, pet, and cooking catalogues here that invariably arrive in perfect condition, however little we wish to see them. Why would the post office single out gardening catalogues for this abuse?

The answer seems obvious: The post office is involved in a massive conspiracy to wipe out home gardening in America. Either that, or it’s attempting to hasten its own demise by driving outraged gardeners to the online versions of gardening catalogues, which as we all know are never as satisfying as the ones we can hold and page through after dinner. What kind of organization would deliberately attempt to drive itself out of business? Thus, our friend Ben is left with no alternative but to fall back on the conspiracy theory. But why persecute a bunch of harmless gardeners, you might ask?

Hmmm. Perhaps the post office is in secret negotiations with Monsanto, and is hoping for a second life in the private sector after the government shuts it down. Perhaps gated communities across the nation have enlisted the post office’s assistance in their attempts to ban all plants from yards except lawn grass. Perhaps the entertainment industry has decided that gardening is dangerous, since it keeps people outdoors and away from their TV sets, and it’s bribed the post office to destroy catalogues on the grounds that any activity besides shopping and watching TV or playing computer games is clearly unAmerican. Perhaps grocers and florists have lobbied the post office to do its part to keep people from growing their own.

Then again, perhaps the post office has been taken over by outraged residents of the former planet Pluto, who have mistakenly blamed gardeners rather than astronomers for their home planet’s humiliating demotion. The possibilities are endless. Our friend Ben invites you to choose your favorite or add your own to the list.

This whole business is especially offensive given that our hero and blog mentor, the great Benjamin Franklin, was the Founding Father of the U.S. postal system. Though no agronomic whiz like his fellow Founders Washington and Jefferson, old Ben was also extremely interested in plants and gardening, introducing several species, including rhubarb, to the Colonies. A rare and wonderful small native tree, Franklinia alatamaha, was named to honor his contributions to botany and gardening by his friends, the famous early American botanists John and William Bartram. Harrumph! Et tu, post office?!

Incidentally, in case it turns out that everybody else is getting their gardening catalogues in perfect condition, our friend Ben can still fall back on that oldest form of paranoia: Why me?!!! But frankly, I think it’s the Plutonians…



1. Arnold Curtis - January 22, 2012

I’m trying to think of a fictional conspiracy theory that has something to do with the Lewis and Clark Expedition. I can’t get a good start to it. I need to know what the conspiracy was and why there was one. And it maybe could link up with some other important U.S. events.

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