Years after I wrote it, I submitted to a group of young adults who were doing a sketch comedy show on Manhattan Public Access TV. They liked the bit and took me and a couple of friends on as writers. That will be a tale for another day. But, they did produce the Plant Store and I included that version at the end. Excuse the bad picture ratio, this was one of the first videos I attempted to transfer from a VHS tape to digital and I never quite got control of the aspect ratio.
So, as I attempted to keep my presence felt at PHC, I submitted this to them, after re-fitting it to kinda fit the format of the show. It, too, was rejected but only in the sense they didn't use it. It's not like anyone was writing back to me saying, "no thank you."
GK: This portion of the show brought to you by Martin's Plant Emporium, the Emporium of Plants and plant-related items. Mr. Storman is happy to tend to you and your plant needs.
(store bell tinkles)
MS: May I help you, sir?
GK: I would like to buy a plant.
MS: Oh, you would? What do you think this is, a plant store?
GK: Yes, I do.
MS: Proud of yourself, eh? Of course it's a plant store. That's why all these plants are here. Any moron knows it's a plant store. I knew it was a plant store. What did you think it was, a brothel?
GK: A brothel?
MS: Who told you that?
GK: You just did.
MS: And don't you repeat it. Now then, what are you looking for?
GK: I'd like to buy a plant for my wife.
MS: Of course you'll buy a plant. I'm not giving them away, you know. This is a profit making enterprise. I mean to make money! Do you think I'm here for my health?
GK: No, sir.
MS: Well, I am. My doctor told me to get out of my last job because it was too dangerous.
GK: Really. What did you use to do?
MS: I used to be a white rat for cancer tests. Now then, what kind of plant did you have in mind?
GK: I was interested in getting a beautiful, delicate flower. At once pleasing to the eye and a delight to the nose. A sweet living object to brighten up a room.
MS: Oh, a pansy.
GK: Or some orchids. How about mums?
MS: Mom doesn't like flowers.
GK: Maybe poppy?
MS: He doesn't like mom.
GK: If I owned a plant, what would I get out of it?
MS: Sap. This is a nice plant.
GK: Twenty bucks.
MS: Twenty? That's outrageous.
MS: That's big business. Just like everything else.
GK: But plants?
MS: Hey, plants is a growth industry.
GK: That plant there. It looks all right. I like it. I'll take it and be on my way.
MS: But does the plant like you?
GK: What are you talking about?
MS: Plants have feelings, too. They have to love and be loved.
GK: I've heard about that. Is it really true? Do I have to talk to that plant?
MS: Certainly. You have to treat it right.
GK: And that makes it grow?
GK: How would I do it?
MS: Well, you bring the plant up close to you and simply say, "Grow you stupid little bugger or I'll tear your leaves off!"
GK: And that'll make it grow?
MS: It will if the plant knows what's good for it.
GK: I'm not about to stand around and threaten a flower.
MS: Why not? Nothing grows faster than an intimidated plant. Just vow to knock the pollen out of it once in awhile and it'll be in bloom before you can say Luther Burbank.
MS: If you can't do it, we have these CDs made up special.
VO: (recording) Start growing you scrawny little twit. If you're not flowering by the end of the week, I'll break your stem and tear up your roots.
MS: We have another recording in which the plant is threatened with being turned into a green salad. Also available in DVD and MP3s.
GK: I can't believe that would affect a plant.
MS: Are you joking? Of course it affects them. They sit about in complete fear of you. You have them totally in your power. They dread you. You have them shaking like leaves.
GK: Couldn't I just use fertilizer to make them grow?
MS: A wise move. I think you'll find a 16 oz bag, like this, suitable.
GK: Fine. What is the correct usage of it?
MS: If the plant begins to get out of line, you take the bag of fertilizer and beat it to a pulp like this...
MS: Take that! And that! I saw you. Don't think I don't know about your little plot to revolt! Ha! I guess I nipped that in the bud.
GK: I don't think I could care about a plant that seriously.
MS: You must! You always have to keep an eye on them. Never give them the chance. You let your guard down for one second and they'll turn on you...
MS: Straighten up, you sniveling little fungus, don't slouch when there's a customer.
GK: Is there a less intense way to care for a plant?
MS: Threaten to take away its pesticides. Nothing keeps a plant healthier than the thought of being covered with nasty little crawly bugs...right? I'm I right you stupid flora? You can't stand knowing that those creepy icky insects can start infesting your any time I want, can you? You miserable growth. Hahahahaha!
GK: I only wanted a plant for pleasure. What kind of pleasure could I possibly get from this?
MS: An extreme sadistic enjoyment....right? Am I right, you chlorophyll cretins. that's better. It's a wonderful hobby. For the kids, too. there's nothing better than the pure fun or ripping leaves off a defenseless living thing.
GK: Maybe I'll just get my wife a watch instead.
MS: A watch?? A watch? What good is a watch? Oh sure, you can pull off the little hands and tear out the mainspring and crunch up all the little gears but it's not a real living thing. You can't make it scream in pain.
GK: Plants don't scream.
MS: Sure they do. Listen next time you yank off a petal or two. It goes "eek! eek!" It's a wonderful sound. "Eek!" Gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.
GK: Well, that's ah, just too interesting. I think I'll be leaving now.
MS: No, wait, please buy one plant. I can't hold them off forever. Please! It's been a living hell since they saw "Day of the Triffids."
GK: No, really---
MS: I know, you're afraid that one may turn on you. Don't worry. I'll sell you one that isn't that strong. How about one that's turning brown? A wilting willow?
GK: That's weeping willow.
MS: Not this one, it's been locked in the closet for two weeks. that cold snap we had last week damaged a few plants. I could give you one. My tulips are chapped.
GK: On second thought, I'll just buy a box of candy.
MS: Sure, candy. Pinch the fillings out of them and what have you got? See, you stupid plants, you botched it up again. I'll never be able to sell you stupid-heads....(calming down) But its okay, daddy forgives you. Do you still love me? We'll find out, wouldn't we Mr. Daisy? You love me, you love me not---
GK: Martin's Plant Emporium, the Emporium of Plants and plant-related items. Plants make excellent house gifts...to an extent.