For like a year now, Tina has wanted a chili plant. Not just any chili plant, mind you (and believe you me, I’ve tried offering her a few), but a chili plant just like the one that she (and I, too, thank you very much) first got a few years ago. Somehow we both managed to kill our specimens and since then, Tina has been frantically searching for a replacement. I’m honestly not too sure why, but she loved the fruits it bore and I can’t argue against that.. And as such, of course I joined the search..
Which wasn’t that easy of a search, thank you very much, because we didn’t have anything remotely resembling a name of the species to go by and neither of us had seen a chili plant quite like the one in question. Not before she got them for us, or after for that matter.. So it really was all a bit of the same old story concerning needles and haystacks when it came to searching for a replacement.. Which is not to say that I wasn’t willing to give it a try and while I tried to stay positive and tell Tina that at least we’d try to get her something resembling it, I was really feeling quite pessimistic about the whole thing.
And then one day, I just happened to be walking down one of the streets of my dad’s new home town of Nyborg, minding my own business, listening to Stone Sour’s new album on my iPod, when something catches my eye as I walk by a florist. I immediately spin around, go “Oh.. Ooohh!” and point at a large zinc bucket containing an elaborate arrangement of various plants and flowers, at the center of which stands a very small, quite sickly looking yet very familiar looking plant.. “Well, I’ll be fucking damned,” I thought to myself, “if it isn’t the plant we’ve been looking for!”
So, I trot into the shop, turn on the charm on the female clerk behind the counter and basically take the worst possible first step in a negotiation situation: “That small chili plant in the zinc bucket outside, I need one of those more than I’ve ever needed anything in my life!” .. Or words to that extend .. “Do you have another one like it, pleeeeease?” – “Sadly no,” the lady behind the counter replies, setting my heart sinking fast back into my chest, “but if you really want it that badly, I’ll dig it out for you.” – “Really?,” I beam.. And that settled the deal, she went outside, grabbed the huge flower arrangement, carried it inside, grabbed a shovel, relieved the little plant from the middle and re-potted it for me, completely fucking up the arrangement in the process and sending dirt flying everywhere around the store.
While the carnage was going on, I remember having time to barely think that this little stunt was probably gonna cost me an arm and a leg but would totally be worth it. And then she slams a little pot with the ever so important capsicum in front of me and goes “there you go, that’ll be DKK 20 ($3.5), please” – “What? I mean, certainly!” I reply, flabbergasted and hand her a note all while singing her praise and telling her all about how she’d made my day and how I could just kiss her and all.. Before leaving her with a largely confused look on her face and running all the way home to my dad’s place to get the damn plant safely into a pot and out of harm’s way.
On the way, I ran into my half sister Mie who had but two things to ask me. Number one: what are you still doing here? and number two: what the hell are you so happy about? I told her that I was ecstatic because I just found the perfect gift for my friend Tina in the shape of a small little chili plant with a story behind it. Evidently Mie doesn’t know Tina in quite the way that I do because she just shoot me a really puzzled look and demanded to know what the hell my problem was. Evidently, she was of the opinion that you don’t buy pretty girls chili plants.. Rather, she was under the impression that I should have gotten her an orchid instead, or flowers, because that’s what girls want. “Orchids??,” I reply, “fucking hell, she has enough of those things and I’m NOT buying her flowers, that wouldn’t be right. I’m buying her a chili plant and she’s gonna be damn happy about it!” – “But Johan,” she tries.. – “No buts! That’s how it is and that’s what she’s gonna get and it’s just one of those things you and other people will never understand in much the same way as you’ll never understand the depths and lengths of our friendship..” – Which, for the umpteenth time, has Mie just staring perplexed at me while I walk away muttering “orchids? Fuck you.. Give me a break.. Women..” and other things to that extend.
Fast forward a few days, I’ve gotten home, I’ve gotten the chili plant into a more permanent home than the little plastic pot I received it in, I’ve spent a couple of days trying to nurse it back to life from the rather miserable state I received it in, and more importantly, I have Tina over and am ready to surprise her with it, hoping that I wasn’t wrong by calling Mie an idiot for suggesting I got her an orchid instead.. So I showed her the thing and immediately her face lit up in the biggest, brightest smile I’ve seen on it in years (which is saying a lot, really) and she started instinctually clapping her hands in excitement in much the same way as only babies (and Tina) do, while muttering words along the lines of “Oh my God” and “wow” and “chili!”
“Yeah,” I said, “I hope you’re not disappointed, Mie said I should get you an orchid instead.” – “Orchid??” she said, a look of confusion rolling over her face, “I’ve got enough of those fucking things!”