There was something so pleasant about that place
Even your emotions have an echo
In so much space
-- "Crazy" (Gnarls Barkley)
I was enjoying a little quiet time watching shamelessly sensational tabloid television the other night when there was a break and the assault of holiday commercials began. The first commercial was for the Chia Cat Grass Planter set.
If you are not familiar with any of the Chia products, you have been living in an extremely deep cave. Over the years, many people have rushed to the Christmas tree to rip open a present, only to find a terra cotta piece of crap just itching to get started moldering on a windowsill. Okay, okay, I admit it. I secretly love the Chia products. They are the cockroaches of the gift-giving world and will likely survive centuries after the demise of such products including the Pocket Fisherman, the anglers' pole ready to produce from a suit pocket if the need arises during a business lunch next to a small body of water, or the Clapper, the name of which always makes me think of a vigorous course of antibiotics.
I am unfamiliar with the Chia Cat planter, but I soon discovered that it is a yellow flowerpot with the ominous-looking likeness of Sylvester the cat peeking around it. You sprinkle the seed mix packet provided into it, pour in a capful of water, and within a matter of days will see green shoots emerge from the provided potting soil. The cat featured in the commercial munches happily on the foilage, and all is well. That is, I imagine, unless precious Fluffy is later tested for the presence of lead.
I planted oat grass for Gracie once. The package claimed it could grow one inch a day in ideal conditions. My house must have been located in a true banana belt, because this stuff grew faster than bamboo (anybody see Creepshow?). It was soon out of control. What made things worse was that Gracie seemed to crave it as if she was addicted to the stuff. It was a feline version of Reefer Madness. She buried her face in it and devoured it violently, spraying chunks of soil around her in a one-mile radius. Between the rampant growth that threatened to take over my home like kuzdu vines and trying to keep my cat from spreading mud from one end of the kitchen to another, it was a disaster. And the vomiting. Oh, God, the vomiting.
In any event, I was calmly sipping my wine when this particular commercial aired. I watched the cat gently nipping at the grass from the crudely-painted planter as if it was at a little salad bar. It was then I felt somethinig strange bubbling up within me through my depression. I chuckled to myself. The chuckles became chortles. Within a matter of seconds, I was in a full-blown giggle attack that was beyond my control, the likes of which I have not experienced since the hormonal hell of my first pregnancy. The more I tried to stifle it, the more intense it became. Butterflies tickled my stomach, and my face began to ache. The fact I was completely alone and likely looked like a complete madwoman made everything that much funnier. All of the senseless, painful crap...everything heavy on my heart and mind...had been easily overtaken by all that was ridiculous in this world. I laughed so hard that I had tears streaming down my face. It was a delicious moment of the bizarre I apparently desparately needed.
Thank goodness for the ridiculous. And thank goodness for the Chia Pet.