Strange occurrences and contentious conspiracies pop up regularly, and we often need to take a step back and separate the wheat from the goats. Some questionable events may appear truly strange, and some, without question are strangely true.

Executive Decision

It all depends on you. The contents of the ballot boxes have been counted, double-checked and verified, but the unbelievable has happened – a dead tie between the three presidential candidates. Your vote is the last one to be counted, and will decide the next free-world leader (The Angry Orange in the White House excluded).

Candidate 1: He associates with crooked politicians and consults with astrologists, mediums and fortune tellers. He’s had two mistresses and is an enthusiastic smoker. He also drinks between 8 and 10 martinis every day.

Candidate 2: He has been kicked out of office twice, and never rises before noon. He smokes constantly, used opium during college and drinks half a bottle of whisky every evening. Single malt, no doubt. He’s also fat.

Candidate 3: This bloke is a decorated war hero. He is lean, a vegetarian, and he doesn’t smoke. He drinks the occasional beer or glass of wine at social gatherings, and has never committed adultery.

I wonder who you chose. Their identities are hidden further in the column, but no peeking…

Vegetation Agitation

Back in the seventies a couple of scientists – Tompkins and Bird – wrote a book called The Secret Life of Plants. It documents their many experiments which claim to reveal unusual phenomena in plants regarding their perceptions and reactions to various stimuli. They delved into theories about “foliaceous philosophies, organic emotions and progressive farming methods for optimum output”. Weird nè?

But check out these reviews: 

Once in a while you find a book that stuns you. Its scope leaves you breathless. – San Francisco Chronicle

Incredible! Bristles with plenty of hard facts and astounding scientific and practical lore. –  Newsweek

A fascinating book with mystical glimmerings into the nature of science and life itself. –  Washington Post

Vegetarians nobly promoting a cruelty-free diet (which means not slaughtering animals), were stunned to discover that plants too, are emotional. They have feelings and their reactions were visibly noticeable.

Experiments with different sounds and conditions resulted in a pattern of constant responses from certain plants, and every plant they experimented with reacted to a flame or blade by microscopically shrinking away. They appeared to be aware of the danger.

Apart from the influence of different styles of music, the book includes experiments with plant stimuli using a type of ‘polygraph’ to prove that plants have reactions and emotions. It has changed the way many people treat their trees, flowers and vegetables, creating a cult following of millions worldwide.

Stevie Wonder – prodigious composer that he is – was so moved by the ground-breaking concept that he wrote the music score for the documentary film The Secret life of Plants, based on the findings in the book, and released it as a double album. Whether you’re a vegetarian or not, this is a beautifully orchestrated collection of works which garnered accolades worldwide. Well worth a listen.

Anyway, four decades later, another bunch of esteemed scientists performed similar experiments with newer, high-tech equipment. Perhaps these boffins didn’t sing to, or smoke their specimens enough while conducting their research, but one way or another their results proved the earlier findings to be largely codswallop. However, repeated experiments concluded that tomatoes do scream when sliced. 

By the way the three candidates earlier were Roosevelt, Churchill and Hitler, and I wonder who took your fancy.

Ultimate Insults

When you feel the urge to insult someone’s intelligence, here are a few to keep up your sleeve.

Got into the gene pool while the lifeguard wasn’t watching.

Some drink from the fountain of knowledge – he just gargled.  

He’s so dense, light bends round him.

She would be out of her depth in a car-park puddle.

He’s got a photographic memory but the lens cap’s glued on.

Let’s hope they don’t say the same about you, though.

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