Vanilla

I’m vanilla. The real thing, not the artificial flavoring. I find it amusing that ordinary heterosexual monogamous relationships should be described thus. Hell’s teeth, I couldn’t care less what your personal private life is like, as long as you don’t frighten the horses… or the salmon… or the children. But I have to be amused at the choice of descriptive term. I mean, like, at least 90% or more of the human race… and the word chosen is the name of the second most expensive spice in the world, an orchid whose flowering (i.e. sexual maturity) lasts one day or less, and where almost all the pollination is done artificially, by humans with a little sliver of bamboo. The seeds too just don’t grow new baby plants without the presence of symbiotic micorrhizal fungi, meaning most plants are grown from cuttings. The whole process of producing vanilla is ridiculously labor intensive and complicated. Left to itself, and merely harvested from nature, it would be the rarest and most unheard-of spice. Yeah. Vanilla.

Anyway, I have no problem with the term being applied to me, in any sense. Shrug. The fake stuff may be relatively cheap and make up most of it – but it is still one the most popular flavors out there. And the real thing… well, that’s flattery. The amount of money and effort that goes into producing it shows that it must be very valued.

Barbs and I fell into bed, Frankencar being a going concern again, and me planning on doing something weird today: writing. I made some tired comment about my life being mostly uphill, sometimes to get to the same bloody place I was in before I did the last stupid thing. She said ‘Yes, but we’ve climbed hills not many other people even get to see.”

“Mountains too. And cliffs,” feeling being this vanilla bloke was pretty good really, if just to hear that. We haven’t lived the most adventurous, hardest life ever… but we’re up there with the most bizarre anyway. It is true enough to say that it has colored my writing. Maybe not quite vanilla enough for the widest possible market? Whatever. I started into this battle with a naive belief that good enough quality would win through, and that advances were irrelevant – all a book needed was a fair go. Well, I know now that’s not true, but I guess it is my hill that I want to die on: I still keep hoping that I’m producing quality stories people want to read, and will tell their friends about. And that they’re stories that reflect my values and world-view.

Onwards. a thousand two hundred words today. Not a great day, but a lot better than none. Keep at it and slowly the books build up, there is more work out there. Speaking of which: ‘BOYS SURFACE’ (A SHORT STORY) should be available on the 15th. I’m going to be bringing out at least one a month for the next while. This one is a world I really, really hope we never get to. It’s tongue in cheek – but the scary concept is the happiness of the prisoner within her prison, her world, because that is what she knows and accepts. If I have one life moral and lesson to impart: we do not have to ‘accept’. We’re humans. We change things. Even the production of Vanilla.

17 comments

  1. Oh, so that is why they knew how to look for the fungus!

    K, excuse for pretty picture!

    This is a whorled pogonia orchid, recently found in Vermont, previously only known to be in the state because there’s a photograph of a potted plant from 1901.

    It’s rather rare.

    In 2017, they figured out the specific fungus that lets its seeds grow.

    This year, they found a relatively big patch of the stuff.

      1. I can’t find any statement of evidence they were in Vermont *other than* the one that was in a pot.
        (Sorry for delay, good-emergency trip.)

    1. An amazing amount of biology is dependent on symbiotic relationships. Unfortunately, that fact isn’t known by most politicians writing and voting on ecological bills.

  2. The term merely reflects a lack of imagination. From “I would find your life dull and boring,” they conclude. “Your life is dull and boring,” not “I am an clod insensitive to stimulus and needing it in abnormal doses to feel what others feel normally. “

    1. I had a similar experience when reading a book featuring a pagan main character extremely dismissive of the possibility that anyone could have a spiritual experience “at the local Methodist Bar and Grill” rather than something “real” like the drug-fueled ceremonies she attended. I was really wishing that I could go into the book and tell her what I thought about the sort of people who needed hallucinogens to experience the same thing I felt merely by allowing a Sunday sermon to move through my heart, mind, and soul, but it’s probably better that I couldn’t. They Holy Spirit keeps telling me I need to work on that sort of thing.

  3. I rather like your writing, Dave. And a fair adventure story involves lots of stuff you’ve lived through, giving you a leg up on what would be realistic to portray.

    And the idea that someone thinks sex of any type is vanilla (AKA: boring) obviously isn’t doing it right. Put no faith in their opinions.

  4. “They” want to be “Special People” not “Normal People”.

    Of course, “Special” may not mean what they “think” it does. 😈

  5. From your posts it’s easy to see that you don’t lead a one-note life. Have you written a memoir, or considered writing one? I bet it would be edge-of-seat reading.

  6. I learned from my husband (in the newspaper business for decades and happily out of it) that normal doesn’t sell.
    “If it bleeds, it leads” is absolutely true.

    Happy people don’t write memoirs. They don’t need to.

    We’re happily vanilla. Vanilla is the most popular flavoring in the world for a reason.

  7. You and your writing are OK by me. Which is why I buy and read your books. Not to mention being boggled by your real life adventures. Nothing wrong with Vanilla. Very pleasant flavor. However, both the books and the life seems to hold quite a bit of spice.

    Bleep the nay sayers. They’re just jealous that they are so boring that they have to go to great lengths to make themselves appear interesting. They generally fail, so there is that.

  8. You know, I don’t have much time for those who say things like “those plain vanilla people.” As if their weird/creepy kink, whatever it may be, is the spice of life. That brown ‘sauce’ they like? That ain’t chocolate, know what I’m saying?

    Glad to hear that the FrankenMobile worked out. My lawnmower project is slowly coming along, I got the frame out and the broken plate welded up. I had to grind out and re-weld many cracks in the plate emanating from poorly placed holes with too much stress on them, as well as the place where the plate was broken in half.

    Next comes the trimming/fitting part where I swear my way to victory in a cloud of grinding dust and welding fumes. I decided to dry-fit the plate and slide the frame up for tack welding to it, rather than completing the frame welding and then finding out nothing fits. Fingers crossed.

    [On that note, an important tip for those who like to bust their own knuckles fixing stuff at home. Those hydraulic bottle jacks and rams you get for cheap at Princess Auto/Harbor Freight/Oz equivalent… they don’t work lying on their sides. Only vertical. Your plan for taking the ram off the engine hoist and using it sideways to bend that thing under the machine? Nuh uh, not going to work. You need a proper ram with a hand pump. As I found out yesterday. 😡 Now Princess Auto is a little richer, I am a little poorer, and I have the right tool for the right job. Still SO much cheaper than taking it to the shop, not even close.]

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