Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: Viva Chia

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Viva Chia

I remember when I lost my mind
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.

Labels: , ,


Blogger Kim, Grandma to Ava,ws said...

There's my girl! Now stop that giggling and get to the Chia store. Last December, one of our follicularly (is that a word?) challenged coworkers had a Chia on his desk that looked just like him. Very bizarre.

I bought Harold some catnip last week. I know exactly what you mean about Reefer Madness. If I thought it would work, I would sprinkle a little nip in my yogurt.

Congrats on your giggles. Laughter is so healing. I grew up in an unhealthy environment, and a sense of humor often was my only salvation. So find the fun, Nancy girl. You won't be disappointed.

Love, Kim

6:08 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

Laughter is the best medicine! I hate when you start laughing in the car whilst alone and people in other cars sitting at the traffic lights give you strange looks, which, of course, makes the giggling worse!

ahhh cat-nip...
My neighbour gave her cat some recently and the poor thing sat in the corner of the room twitching and making bizarre Meow noises for hours...

8:30 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

That must have been quite a moment!
You just gotta laugh like a crazy lady once and awhile. I think it balances us out pretty good.
Must have been some good wine ;)

4:43 AM  
Anonymous Gua said...

There hasn't been a Christmas season in years that your father and I haven't turned to each other while watching TV and said that we should get a Chia pet for you for Christmas. (already did that this year) Can you imagine that this year EVERYONE will control that urge? Of course we will, won't we?

Love, Mom

Ch- ch- ch- Chia- ha ha ha ha

5:59 AM  
Blogger Rosemarie said...

Often we need the ridiculous to lift our spirits from our troubled state. I hope these unplanned bouts of belly laughter erupt more frequently throughout your day. Bring it on!

8:00 AM  
Blogger Ava Jewel Leilana said...

I need to get some of that wine! Laughter is the one thing that keeps me going sometimes, in fact I think I need a couple of bottles of that wine! ;) So glad you had a good laugh Nancy!

8:48 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

I think this year is going to be the year I actually purchase a Chia. But which one, so many choices! The new Garfield, or Shrek, or a classic hippo, cat, or puppy? And now you get a free bonus gift with it?! Zowee, a cuddley Chia plush doll or a Chia clock.

9:40 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

Nothing like a good laugh to make you feel better. That is the thing I miss most about working. Those girls and I would crack each other up daily. We even had dept. heads come to our door and tell us to quiet down, that we weren't being professional. Nothing makes me laugh more than someone falling though. I know it is evil of me but I just can't stop myself.

10:58 AM  
Blogger ~Deb said...


Nothing is worse than that clapper!

CLAP ON! * * CLAP OFF * * ..... I got my mother one for a joke and she got totally insulted...she didn't laugh. Wish she did. It was hard to stifle my own giggle though!

She didn't talk to me for weeks!

11:16 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home