Thursday, November 19, 2009

Carrot Seeds

“I watered it, I pulled the weeds~
Carrots grow from carrot seeds.”

Growing up, I didn’t realize how ahead of their time my parents truly were. My dad had figured out a way to hardwire our bedrooms with speakers that ran to the tape player in the cabinet in the living room.

Mom would record all the children’s specials on teevee, leaving room at the beginning of the tape for her to record our standard bedtime prayer. Each night, we’d be tucked into bed (my two sisters and I in one bedroom, my brother in a room of his own…lucky bastard) and Mom would hit “play” on that evening’s selection. She’d listen as the four little voices dutifully recited our prayers along with her recorded one….and then the story would begin.

No video…just the audio. Sometimes it was a movie…like Cinderella. Other times, it was a compilation of children's songs that told a story. One of my favorites was the musical version of Alice Through the Looking Glass. That’s where I learned to say (and subsequently sing) the alphabet backwards.

It’s one of those unique creative abilities that could prove to be priceless someday….because really…you never know when you could be held hostage at gunpoint and realize that the only way your kidnappers will let any of the hostages go free (the hostages consisting of: you, the blind orphan, the 86-year-old veteran grandfather of twelve...and the abandoned Guiding Eyes For the Blind dog with only three legs) is if one of you can SING THE ALPHABET BACKWARDS…WITHOUT STOPPING.

At which point, you break into “Z Y X , and W V U, T S R Q P O N M L K, J I H G F E D C B A and that’s the backward alphabet!”


From there, it's a parade in your honor....a key to the city by Mayor McCheese and a lifetime supply of jawbreakers in every color of the rainbow.

The other bedtime memory I have is a story about a little boy who decides he wants to grow carrots….because really, what little kid does not dream of growing his very own carrots? Not Twinkies….not Twizzlers….but carrots??

The narrator tells the story of how the little boy (we’ll call him Timmy) decides to plant some carrot seeds. We are not told how Timmy acquires said seeds, but we assume he bought them on the infamous carrot black market (or CBM), from a guy named Butch who was repeating fifth grade for the fourth time and who carried a pack of candy cigarettes in the rolled-up sleeve of his sweat-stained t-shirt.

Timmy announces, “I’ll water it, I’ll pull the weeds. Carrots grow from carrot seeds,” at which point Butch backs away warily, mumbling something about his mom calling him in for his piano lesson.

Timmy returns home, digs a hole in the backyard, drops in his “carrot seed”, waters it faithfully and waits for something to grow. Evidently, Timmy spends an inordinate amount of time watching and watering this particular plot of land. After several psychological evaluations and a whole lot of weeds later, Timmy was released on $5000 bail and happily forgot all about his stupid, stinkin' carrot seed.

Which is just as well...because according to the song, Timmy’s parents say, “Parents know a lot of things that little boys don’t know…so don’t be disappointed if your carrot does not grow,” which means that either Timmy’s parents gave him no encouragement whatsoever to follow his dream of someday attaining the possibly unattainable…or it was a euphemism to prepare Timmy for the possibility that his manhood may never grow any larger than it already was. My guess is that it was probably the latter, as Timmy’s older brother is then heard singing, “Nyaaah. It won’t come up. Nyaaah. It won’t come up. Nyaaah. It won’t come up. Your carrot won’t come up,” which…in my humble opinion, is just downright mean.

But in the end, with the help of science and an un-named source at an unidentified pharmaceutical company, Timmy’s carrot finally did come up.

And the moral of the story? Do you really need me to help you with this?? I think I’ve provided enough for one day….now you’re on your own.

You tell me the moral of the story. Go ahead….I double-dare ya.

Elfie said...

The moral of the story is if it hasn't come up yet, then your probably just a late bloomer... (and also, I'm not sure if it is necessary to pull them there weeds. That really just sounds too painful)

Wow, I wish I could sing the alphabet backwards.

~:C:~ said...

The moral of the story is that no pagan ritual involving the burial of "seeds" could ever compete with the little blue pill. Either that, or the story is trying to smear vegeterianism. ROTFL

Thanks for making me giggle hysterically first thing in the morning.

Fierce said...

The moral of the story is *blank stare and crickets chirping*. Oh I'm sorry, you were waiting for me to complete that? You say you've been waiting 5 minutes to hear what I have to say? My bad!

That's a very ummmm entertaining post you got there.
xoxo

Cynica Sarcastamos said...

Perhaps one of the things that parents know that little boys don't know is that if they keep playing with the seeds, then the carrots won't grow. (just a thought.)

Heather said...

I have no clue what the moral of the story is.

Your parents were very inventive. Neat way to put the kids to bed.

Runnergirl said...

I have no idea, but I am once again in stitches at your unique view of the world. I love that memory of your childhood as well!!

Lol!!!

Gillian said...

We learned how to say the alphabet backwards at the Brownies.

nashashibi said...

ok, Some time we will have to let our dreams go, but not before we try first, we owe it to our selves to try and try, and we shall not care what people say, i think this is the moral of the story, correct?

book*addict said...

I think the moral of this story is to make sure Kathryn (you) doesn't tell bedtime stories to little children. jajaja. I'm just playing. LOVE the adult version of that story.

JD at I Do Things said...

Ohhh. I think it's so sweet that your parents went to all that trouble so you could lie in your little beds and listen to movies and stories.

AWWWWWWWWWWW!

Now onto the carrot. I'm surprised they didn't leave the moral at: Parents know more than kids. That's usually the moral. If the carrot did actually grow, I think this is a tale of revenge. Timmy goes psycho with carrot power and goes on a rampage, killing Butch AND his own family. With the carrot. And then he eats it, because by eating the bloody carrot, he ingests the power of all the people he's killed.

Then he becomes a politician.

The end!

Maureen@IslandRoar said...

Are you trying to tell us that Timmy invented Viagra??
Cool!

ValleyWriter said...

I like Cynica's moral of the story ;-)
As odd as the story is - it sounds like one of a bunch of great memories to have!

Gingerella said...

The moral is that life is full of disappointments, so learn to deal with them and don't let them discourage you from ever trying anything again.

(right!?) :)

WannabeVirginia W. said...

The moral of the story is if bed time stories are read through a loud speaker (lol) and involves singing the alphabet backwards... Don't drink the kool-aid! (lol)

Allegria said...

Moral? Buy your carrots at the supermarket. :o) BTW, his probably didn't grow because he simply dug a hole in the yard, and the soil had too much clay. If he would have added sand to the soil the story could have had a happier ending. A fortune spent in therapy when all that was needed was a $5 bag of sand. It's a shame, really.

jmberrygirl said...

Wow. And I thought my dad was weird for entertaining us with bedtime tales of dogs chasing racoons. Guess the old man was pretty normal, after all!

Spot said...

They ask you to say the alphabet backwards when they're seeing if you're drunk or not. I know this because I have two friends who are state cops! So you are way ahead there...

Obviously Timmy is the blacksheep of his family. Blow that popsicle stand Timmy! Move to the Pacific Northwest and start a commune!!

♥Spot

Dreamfarm Girl said...

Clearly the moral of the story is that life sucks (what is up with that big brother, anyway?!), but with the help of chemicals, it's ggrrreeaaat! Hm, let's guess who sponsored that show....maybe Merk?

Great story-telling! I loved it! I'm still laughing.

Tom Bailey said...

What I got out of your story was thinking about the backwards abc's I know how bad I am that I could be sober and be hauled off for being drunk for failing the test.

I know compound interesting 20 years out but abcs backwards? Forget it.

Anonymous said...

Awww, I loved that one. Mom used to go to the library too and get albumns of children's stories and copy them onto the reel to reel. Bet you didn't know that I have all the old reel to reels!? They're buried in my storage room. I looked a few times on ebay for a machine to buy so we could hear them, but I think the ones I found were going to cost hundreds to ship (machine is so friggin heavy). Dad threw ours out (wasn't working). See you tomorrow!

Sara said...

“Parents know a lot of things that little boys don’t know…so don’t be disappointed if your carrot does not grow,”

Yup, the dog was peeing there and the acid was keeping them from growing, much like it kills your grass. But the parents figured at least he was outside and getting some fresh air so they didn't want to tell him the truth.

Erin@TheLocalsLoveIt said...

The moral of the story is:

Dropping your seeds into improper soil makes bad carrots.

which basically means...

Having sex with certain types of girls can cause your wanker to malfunction.

Wendy Blum said...

Oh, dear Kathryn, I don't have a moral. You have such a colorful and entertaining mind,LOL. Love the idea of Butch having to go to piano lessons. As if! This made me laugh =D I needed that. THANK YOU!

PhilosophyBran said...

the moral of the story is, 'if you spit in your right hand and wish with your left, one will fill up faster.'

Breanne said...

that was so funny! i almost peed my pants. your comments about the CBM and Butch made me laugh so hard! i dont have a moral, but i do have a comment: Philo, i didnt get that from it at all.

Oddyoddyo13 said...

Huh. You really think this stuff through don't ya?

I think the moral is to go with the 5000 dollars and wait for the scientists to grow your carrot, which you will one day chop up for your kids and put it in their stew, announcing proudly that you made 5000 dollars out of the situation. *shrug* Its what I'd do.

Gigi said...

Kathryn - it's a Friday - the end of a very loooong week. No moral. Just tell me what your version of the moral is?

Kathryn said...

Elfie: Ha! That sounds good...encouraging the "late bloomer", but also a gentle suggestion that he leave the "weeds" alone for a bit. Very, very wise!!

~:C:~ You're welcome! Right back at-cha! HA...the little blue pill. How come WE don't get any stinkin' blue pill??

Fierce: (Foot taps impatiently) Your assignment will be to Google where carrots come from. For the next generation...!

Cynica Sarcastamos: HA! This is PERFECT! I think you've nailed it, honey!

Heather: I found the audio version of the story online somewhere. It was strangely disturbing by today's standards. But my parents ROCKED at being inventive.

Runnergirl: Thank you! Now MY memories can be YOUR memories!

Gillian: Ah. WHY??

nashashibi: Yes! You are correct! The little boy never gave up, even though his un-feeling parents and horrible brother said he'd never get anything to grow. Now, he's in therapy 2X/week.

book*addict: I think you are correct as well. I've somehow lost the desire to tell the "clean" version...I'll have to get it back in about 15 years or so!

JD at I Do Things: Woah. "The JD-Nightmare-of-Timmy's-Insanity" version....always a treat! He kills the family...with the carrot...which he then ingests to consume the power of Butch, et-al?
Is his becoming a politician supposed to be the happy ending...or the part where I wake up screaming??

Maureen@IslandRoar: HA! Maureen!! You naughty girl! And we all thought Timmy would never amount to anything!

ValleyWriter: I like Cynica's too! Yes, it's a great memory. I kinda wish I'd left it alone...hearing it as an adult was too creepy.

Gingerella: RIGHT! Even if your parents (who are supposed to know everything) say it might not work. They just might be WRONG.

WannabeVirginiaW: HA! So, THAT'S what happened to us! It was the Kool-Aid! I should've known!!

Allegria: HA! Yeah, and you and I could've been waiting at the market to sell him some carrots for the bargain price of $2,000! Poor, clueless Timmy...

jmberrygirl: Hey, dogs chasing raccoons is nothing! That's the family-channel-version of bedtime stories!

Spot! Uh huh. You expect me to believe that you just HAPPEN to know this backward-alphabet fact? It just HAPPENED to come up amongst you and your state-trooper friends? Uh-huh. If you say so....

Dreamfarm Girl: Oh, this comment is PERFECT! You ROCK! Yeah, sucky big brother....and definitely brought to you by ONE of those drug co's! Yikes!

Tom Bailey: Well, we'll have to tell the cop to ask you to compute something...that's all. What if you're dyslexic? They can't hold that against you!

Anonymous: I'm sorry...do I know you? Are you the little girl that slept in the bed next to mine?? Why am I not surprised that you've got the tapes? Do you have my E-Z Bake oven in there, too??

Sara: Aw....that makes perfect sense! Stupid dog pee...and poor Timmy never understood why everything grew AROUND the yellow spot...

Erin@TheLocalsLoveIt: And, there you go! The moral to end all morals! (You KNOW we'll never look at carrots the same way again, right?)

Wendy Blum: Aw, I'm glad I could make you laugh. Or, the thought of Butch playing the piano could...with his candy cigs stuffed in his shirt sleeve...

PhilosophyBran: Huh. I totally do not understand that.

Breanne: I'm glad you liked it! The more I kept thinking about it, the stranger it began to sound!

Oddyoddyo13: Uh-huh. I'm what you call a "deep thinker". So, the future kids are gonna feel "required" to eat said carrot, 'cause it cost a whopping 5 grand to create...and it'll give them super-powers on the side, right??

Gigi: Oh, man! I'm gonna have to go with Cynica's general sentiment. "If you want something to happen, stop messing with it. And sometimes doing everything right doesn't mean it'll go the way you'd planned. And childhood stories should sometimes NOT be re-visited when you're an adult, because then they just sound creepy and you can't get your mind out of the gutter." There.

Mark Price said...

I tried to grow some carrots once, key word tried. I'm not so sure that the story has anything to do with carrot growing. It could be about weiners but thats probably inappropriate for kids stories. I guess the moral, and keep in mind that my morals have come into question many,MANY times...is to keep trying. perseverance. sometimes carrots need to be gently coaxed up, no pressure see...LMAO The other part of the story should have been not to let a fully grown carrot go to waste. You should get that carrot right into the stew pot as quickly as possible. wink, wink!
Aaaaaannnnd, now I'm hungry.

Ann said...

I am laughing so hard at your story and all the comments. By the way, you have forced me to change our planned supper menu; I've taken the carrots out.

Lily Johnson said...

Girl, you are simply hilarious!Thanks for making me laugh. Again.

serendipitous said...

Your parents were very creative! I would have never thought of doing any of those things to put a child to bed. That is awesome, and gives me good ideas for whenever I do have a child. Thanks for teaching me something new today!

snoble24 said...

no clue about the moral but your parents had a cute idea for putting you guys to bed. plus you had a intresting spin of things. liked your spin on the stories

Kathryn said...

Mark Price: HA! You completely NAILED it, my friend. I do believe that if you're a child, it's about growing long, pointy, orange veggies. Upon hearing it as an adult, it took on a whole. new. meaning. "Aaaaand, now I'm hungry." LOVE IT!

Ann: HA! I'm guessing it'll be a while before any of us can look at carrots without snickering....!

Lily Johnson: You are very welcome! Your comments make me smile as well!

serendipitous: I agree...my folks were way ahead of their time. Looking back, I like the fact that we could just close our eyes and listen...it lulled us to sleep.

snoble24: Thanks! It's okay...you're not required to figure out the moral!

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