My Bob Marley Social Faux Pas

Mrs. Curmudgeon and I were having lunch at a coffee shop in a nearby small town.

“Hey”, says I, “let’s go check out that new hydroponics shop that just opened up.”

Indeed there just happens to be a small hydroponics and indoor gardening shop in this town. Living in the middle of nowhere this is somewhat unexpected. I, being a nerd, am fascinated with all technology at all time. Imagine growing strawberries during the freezing ass end of winter!

“What’s the matter?” Mrs. Curmudgeon laughed, “need to raise some dope?”

I was shocked, shocked I say! I’m no fool, I’m well aware that the plant light economy is probably driven by stoners raising crops of the whacktacular herb. But it seems to me that the same technology that can grow dope can grow anything.

I soldiered on. “You know that trashed out spare bathroom we’ve got? I was thinking of tearing into it and maybe doing a hydroponic setup. The bathtub is toast right? Maybe I can pull it and substitute some sort of water circulation deal.”

“Yeah, so you can get baked Chong!”

“No dammit. I’m totally serious here. It’s like a zillion degrees below zero out. Wouldn’t fresh… I dunno’ fresh strawberries maybe… wouldn’t that be bitchin’ cool? Plus I don’t want to fiddle with that old leaking showerhead. It could be a silver living to a crappy spare room. Rebuilding a bathroom sucks.”

“Tell it to the cops stoner. You’re gonna’ have black helicopters overhead and teams of bored DEA agents following you around all day long.”

I was getting frustrated. “No I’m not! It’s the same damn technology that…” I realized Mrs. Curmudgeon was toying with my head. “…oh I see. You’re messin’ with me.”

“It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.”

Alas, I was already on one of those mental trips that takes hold of people who think too much.

“Remember science fiction in the ’70’s? Every space station showed a garden. It was like hydroponics was the wave of the future.”

“Or soylent green…”

“And then those jackoffs in Star Trek came up with the replicator and now it’s all unicorn power.”

“Tea! Earl Grey! Hot!”


“With pot in it.”

“Dammit. I’m thinking ‘outside the box’ here. Imagine a little ‘salad farm’.” I gestured toward the snow outside. “When it’s -30 degrees and dark out, and there’s nothing fresher than a can of beans, think of a fresh cherry tomato.”

“Mmm… that’s a good point.”

Ah ha! I’d won an argument! Write this date down for posterity! It can happen.

“But,” Mrs. Curmudgeon came back for the kill, “you just know you’re going to go into the store and it’ll be all pot all the time.”

Sigh… she was right. “I suppose you’re right. I’m thinking strawberries and tomatoes but it’s going to be Acapulco Gold.”

“Ha ha ha.”

“And I’m going to be asking about pH and they’ll be writing scripts for glaucoma!” I was laughing too.

“He he he.”

“And they’ll have Bob Marley on the stereo!” We were both laughing. “Beanbags in the corner!

By now my nerdy idea of checking out the hydroponics store for winter salads was totally upended into a big Cheech and Chong joke.

“But hell,” I grabbed my keys, “I’m going to go anyway.”

Mrs. Curmudgeon agreed.

I continued. “…But if I see dreadlocks we’re friggin’ outta’ there!”

I paid the waitress and grabbed my jacket. A deep voice behind me cleared it’s throat.


“Uh yeah?”

“We’re closed right now for lunch.”

It was a middle aged fellow. The sort of guy that would look absolutely at home at the wheel of a minivan. No sign of counterculture at all.

“Come again?”

“It’s my store. I shut it down for lunch.”

I turned beet red. “So you probably heard…”

“Bob Marley? Really?”

“That’s what I was saying!” I defended myself.

“I know, heard it all. No strawberries though.”

“Sure that’s fine. I was just ya’ know thinking of stuff that could grow…”

“Beans, lettuce, cucumbers, got a nice bunch of peppers coming up too.”

“Yeah! Food!”

“Precisely. No bean bags. But I’ve locked up for now.”

I was still fatally embarrassed. “Maybe some other time I’ll check it out.”

“Please do. You’ll love it. Especially if you’re in a space station.”

I turned red again.

I made my best attempt at a graceful exit and shuffled out before more stupidity got pinned on me.

Mrs. Curmudgeon laughed all the way home.

About Adaptive Curmudgeon

I will neither confirm nor deny that I actually exist.
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12 Responses to My Bob Marley Social Faux Pas

  1. Cloudbuster says:

    Oh, that was beautiful! You know, he sounds like a decent guy with a sense of humor. You’re probably going to end up best friends with him when you finally go check the place out. 😉

    • Mark Matis says:

      Either that, or you could call the police anonymously from some public phone and report that when you walked by his place, you smelled some strongly sweet burning, and want to be sure everything is OK out there…

      • The hydroponic guy was really nice. I did go to his store and it was interesting (no beanbags!). It’s always good to learn new things. He did have one giant rotating plant barrel of doom that totally impressed me. On the other hand you’d need your head examined to drop that kind of money on something that grows lettuce and other leafy vegetables.

        I think he mostly caters to local “master gardeners” who, due to our climate, start plants very early indoors and then transplant half grown vegetation to the garden. There’s some high tech vegetable gardens out there!

        My initial idea that an old bathroom was ideal for hydroponic was misinformed. I thought hydroponic needed lots of flowing water but that’s not the case. At Curmudgeon Compound the idea is tabled until I have more “spare” time or the zombie apocalypse interrupts the planetary carrot supply.

  2. abnormalist says:

    Thank you for continually reminding me why I stop by here daily, and why I get so bummed when there’s not something fresh.

    That said, after my rental house was turned into a grow house by some sublet tenants, every time I see a hydroponics store, I’m sorely tempted to firebomb it.

    I doubt you will be growing things at the same rate my tenants where, but if you do watch out for moisture issues (read mold and dry wall problems), pest issues (carpenter ants and termites) and they seemed to consume an amazing amount of power (scorched outlets through out the house).

    Ended up it was the better decision to let that house go back to the bank than bankrupt the family in an attempt to fix it and rent it again when it wouldnt sell…..

    ah well

  3. Matt says:

    Did you discuss Hydroponic Bacon?

  4. Bruce says:

    I made a similar mistake when I went to the local ‘Tobacco and Pipe’ shop, except Tobacco and Pipe is straight head shop. Being right next to Tokyo Massage should have been a clue…

  5. MaxDamage says:

    Near as I can tell hydroponics is a method of growing plants for people without access to actual dirt. Given we live in the upper midwest with access to plenty of dirt, perhaps we would both be better off growing plants and worms in said dirt. Truck farm the plants, sell the worms as bait. I tried to get My Good Wife, the master gardener, interested in truck farming. I explained the tax benefits, the monetary possibilities, how easy it would be to grow sweet corn instead of purple potatoes and beans and how little work row-crop can be with modern machinery.

    Her reply was that I needed to get a better truck. Ouch.

  6. Ruth says:

    Since you’re burning wood for heat I doubt you’d have a moisture problem in the winter at least. Or rather, your moisture problem would be keeping enough moisture IN the system….

    I’ve looked at hydroponics, its tempting as heck, but I don’t have the sort of space needed to pull off a decent set up. But they have all sorts of usefull stuff for getting my plants started inside early!

  7. rapnzl rn says:

    Giant rotating plant barrel of doom??? Making a person salivate in below zero weather is really not nice, AC. I have to wait another two whole months to start my basil and pepper seedlings. Gotta hand it to Mrs. AC – she’s definitely a keeper.

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