It is barely 20 degrees outside the whorehouse this morning as the sun peeks through the brittle fingers of the trees on the horizon. Winter crept into the neighborhood last night on tip-toes as unwelcome guests often do. The east flank of The Blue Ridge is quiet and cold, but, the whorehouse is hopping and warm. “Mott the Hopple” plays loud on the sound system and more Glam Rock will follow as the day progresses because if there ever was a type music that fit with orchids… Glam Rock is it.
We call the orchid room the whorehouse because, at this time of year, it reeks of sexual exhibitionism and flagrant displays of sexual anatomy. This is Angie. Her real name is Angraecum sesquipedale and she is the most brazen of all the hussies in the place. To satisfy her it takes a customer armed with something at least a foot long… 16 inches would be better. Her kind was discovered in 1796 on the island of Madagascar, hanging around trees in the damp lowlands. Charles Darwin, after being sent several flowers of A. sesquipedale noted the defining characteristic of the species, its extremely long spur. Darwin surmised, in his 1862 publication On the various contrivances by which British and foreign orchids are fertilized by insects, and on the good effects of intercrossing, (and what a page turner THAT is), that there must be a pollinator moth with some kind of a “thingy” long enough to reach the nectar at the end of the spur.
Well, as you can imagine, for some time after this prediction the notion of a pollinator with a 35 cm long “thingy” was ridiculed and generally not believed to exist. After Darwin’s publication, George Campbell published a book in 1867 titled, The Reign of Law, in which he argued that the complexity of this species implied that it was created by a “supernatural being”. (They never give up, do they?) However, in 1903, such a moth was discovered in Madagascar by Lionel Walter Rothschild and Karl Jordan. This confirmed Darwin’s prediction. The moth, and a randy little bastard it turned out to be, was named Xanthopan morganii praedicta. To this day many moths of this species make a very comfortable living starring in pornographic “Whorticultural Movies” marketed mostly to florists and lonely greenhouse workers.
David Bowie is now singing “Changes” and the lyrics certainly suit what’s going on down the other end of the whorehouse. “Time may change me, but I can’t change time” blasts from the speakers as the Phalaenopsis Boys proudly show off their erections. No Viagra… No Levitra… Pure Solar Power all the way!
I swear you can almost watch them grow. In another month they will explode into flower and their true colors will be apparent. They are sissy boys, glamor queens, all made up for saturday night and out for a good time.
Ian Hunter is singing now:
“Well billy rapped all night about his suicide
How he kick it in the head when he was twenty-five
Speed jive don’t want to stay alive
When you’re twenty-five
And wendy’s stealing clothes from marks and sparks
And freedy’s got spots from ripping off the stars from his face
Funky little boat race
Television man is crazy saying we’re juvenile delinquent wrecks
Oh man I need tv when I got t rex…”
Now T-Rex is singing what I like to think of as “Our Song”. For years I have told people, whenever this particular song plays, that this was the song we selected to dance to as a newly married couple at our wedding, 44 years ago. Of course it isn’t true, but, it pisses my sweetie-pie off to no end. Then again, so does the smell of all the orchids. I have observed that men seem to like the scent while women find it to be… just too much.
“Well you’re dirty and sweet, clad in black
Don’t look back and I love you
You’re dirty and sweet, oh yeah
Well you’re slim and you’re weak
You’ve got the teeth of a hydra upon you
You’re dirty sweet and you’re my girl.
Get it on, bang the gong , get it on
Get it on, bang the gong, get it on
You’re built like a car, you’ve got a hub cap diamond star halo
You’re built like a car, oh yeah
You’re an untamed youth that’s the truth with your cloak full of eagles
You’re dirty sweet and you’re my girl.”…
(So, where’s your Shakespeare now?)