Lila's Last Root Tingle

L. Van Warren

I wanted to get my story out before I read yours so I could appreciate it
fully and keep my thinking clean. As a curious aside in building Radio Free
Hollywood, I made 150 long distance phone calls in 2 hours on Friday. Did
you see Lawnmower Man?


My name is Lila, I'm a plant doctor, since this may get intercepted (AGAIN)
by one of them, I'd better be more specific. You see I'm part of the
interagency of associated ferns, the oldest and most enduring of the plant
root advisors. I'm always getting tingled by the fellow fields. Some of the
move-overs think that I am just one plant, which is SO funny. They think if
they eat one of us, or move one of us, or even grow one of us that it's some
big deal. They even tell us their problems, like we care. Well it probably
is a big deal for them, but not for us. It takes about an ork of us to make
a doctor, just for ourstalks, because we often get sick, but just as often we
make ourstalks better. After the dark time, when the thorns came, we had to
work together. Any of us, by ourstalks , we just don't matter that much. On
any given day the front layer of us may die or sprout but those that die emit
the last root screech and it just goes to somestalk else. The new
sproutlings can be tough, especially before their roots are deep, only about
a quarter of them end up spreading out and making a decent tingle.

Now the root tingle is a big deal, and it is fortunate that most of the time
our big deal is covered because if it weren't the move-overs might figure us
out, and that would be trouble for us. It almost happened a couple of times,
especially during the bean sprout revolution 3000 suns ago, but we always
managed to get it to look like something else. The move-overs are so stupid.
Sometimes they just sit there and flap the top of their pollen carriers.
Nothing comes out! They wiggle back and forth, they haven't figured out
that to grow you have to stay in one place and let your root system spread
for the tingle.

After watching the move-overs come and go, I don't think they're going to
make it. They have this funny idea that what one of them does matters, and
it keeps getting in the way. They have figured out a way to stand still in a
square of glass, but they keep changing their faces and don't seem to last
long. The move-overs WILL hold still for a while to watch the ones in the
plot of glass, so maybe there is hope, but just about the time they're about
to root, they move again, so I don't know.

One thing that they do like to do is move things around. We can always feel
them doing this, sometimes it even stops the tingle completely and we have to
take action. There is a sweeping that says that they are building a huge
root system above the ground that is very thick and expansive, but we can't
tell for sure about that. It's too far from the ground and the sweep came
from a tree fern so you can never tell. If it is true, it could be trouble
since it might mean that they are trying to become as advanced as we are. We
might have to eat them if they do that. Some of us from small down tingle
eat the zingie dirt clods, but that doesn't work well all the time and we'd
have to grow bigger. But we could get them to do that for us, just like we
get them to do everystalk else.