Saturday, August 20, 2005

Ornamental trees

I sometimes think that my mind goes on some fantastic stream-of-consciousness voyages, and I'm just along for the ride. I've been so introspective for so long that I am probably overly aware of the distinctions between my self, my mind, and my body. My brain goes places and says/does things that I (my soul) have no control over and disagree with. My body does things that hurt me, and I do things that hurt it. I'm not trying to be melodramatic or overly serious (that's for another post), but I'm trying to explain how I can be so external to my thought processes, and amused by their paths at times.

I was thinking, as I frequently do, about perfumes. Chris expressed a CLEAR dislike of something I liked (but didn't love) earlier tonight - Yosh's Ginger Ciao. So I was thinking about other fragrances I'm enamored of that people have strong negative reactions to. One such fragrance is Alexander McQueen's Kingdom. I love cumin - I love the flavor and the smell, the fact that it's spicy without hurting my mouth... Many people smell B.O. when they smell cumin, which I kinda understand; but they hate it, whereas I love it.

That set me to thinking of other "dreaded" notes - some people dread the B.O. note, others dread patchouli, and there has been discussion on the frag board of the "dreaded Cootchie note". I've never smelled anything that evoked that connotation to me, but I'm sure something out there would/will. And since I was in that frame of mind... *other*... body smells popped into my head, which immediately sent me back to college.

Along the pathway between my college dorm and the dining hall (I went to a small school - only 2 dorms) there were ornamental trees. More specifically, ornamental pear trees. We all called them "Jizz Trees" because when they bloom in the spring, they are highly fragrant with what can only be described as a semen-scent. An overwhelming semen-scent. To the point where (maybe because of how many trees there were) it was gagging. I looked them up online, and found that they are Callery Pear trees, and they're notorious for this smell!

I can understand the layperson not knowing things, and accidentally buying an "ornamental pear tree" (the trees themselves are lovely - very gracefully shaped) at the local home improvement store and being unpleasantly surprised come springtime. But this is a science-based university, and small enough that someone outside the grounds staff would have had to okay these trees at the time of planting.

This agricultural faux pas is/was compounded by the fact that in a small courtyard that overlooks an integral staircase and pathway into several of the main lecture halls, someone had the brilliant idea to plant a female ginkgo tree! For those unfamiliar with the sexual dichotomy of this species, both genders grow tall and slender and lovely, with the uniquely shaped leaves they're known for. But the female tree produces fruit/nuts, which fall to the ground and leave a horrifically-scented, slimy mess. The fruit are not only intrinsically odiferous, but on the ground they also rot quickly and produce a dangerously slippery mess. NOT a good combination with slate stairs and sidewalks! Anyone interested in these trees really should research them - they haven't changed in something like 200 million years, there are lots of fossils of them, and they really are beautiful trees. But one really shouldn't plant a female tree, especially in a small but very public and well-traversed area! And as tall as the tree is, and knowing its location, I know it was planted back when there was even more administrative control over the grounds.

Again, I wouldn't have been so irritated by all this, except that this is a science-focused university! When I started there, the school was named Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science (PCPS). A couple years into my schooling, they wanted to broadcast the fact they actually had university status, and changed the name to USP - the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. Since pharmacy is largely plant-based, and since the school was originally only a school of pharmacy (the first established in this country, might I add *cough cough*) there's just NO excuse in my eyes for such stupid landscaping decisions.

All right - my stream-of-consciousness rant is over. I've needed/wanted to vent on this for a while, and since it popped into my head just now, I figured I'd deal with it and be done :~D

If you hear from me again, then I guess I'm not dead yet.


clearing said...

I loved this post! Thank you for staying up until the wee hours to get it done so well!! (Trina)

(I hope you are wearing the appropriate garment on your ears)

Write to me T. I left you mua mail.

Sending love, and hoping you do remain among the living dear Trina.

Trina said...

Thanks, C! My ears appreciate your concern :~D

I have no intentions of shuffling off this mortal coil anytime soon - I just needed a tag line to use so I can stop the blabbing when I can't think of a conclusion (which is more often than not).

Atreau said...

I've heard of those trees but haven't seen/smelled them. Not that I want to!