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What The Hell Is The Amazing Dinosaur Plant!?
by: -RoG-

Have you ever heard the phrase "that's about as fun as watching the grass grow" before? Sure you have. You've probably used it many-a-time yourself when describing the experience of watching American Idol, playing Yahtzee or discussing the benefits of a healthy diet with a sumo wrestler. Actually, that last one does sound kind of entertaining, but I digress.

So how would you feel about reading an article about watching the grass grow? Doesn't that sound like the biggest ball of fun and glee you could ever have in this life? Well guess what my friend, you're about to get exactly that - an article about watching a plant grow. Buckle your seatbelts, it's gonna be a wild ride! ACTION-PACKED!

A while ago I was checking out a KB Toys outlet store and noticed they had a ton of these Amazing Dinosaur Plants for just a buck. Being a fan of both dinosaurs and "amazing" things, I decided to check it out. Sure, most guys couldn't care less about plants and gardening.... after all, what chance does a plant have at keeping your attention when it has to compete with an XBox or a Nintendo Wii? Yes indeed, shrubbery must fight an uphill battle for our interest these days. Even so, who could pass up something called a Dinosaur Plant, let alone an AMAZING Dinosaur Plant? Not only that, but we're talking about a plant with this on the side of the box:

ROAR indeed.

So just what the hell is the Amazing Dinosaur Plant, you ask? Let's take a look:

Well, from what I can tell, it's a plant with a conscious. I mean, how else could it possibly write such a peppy biography about itself on the back of the box? Just look at this:

"Hello, I am the wild and crazy dinosaur plant. I am one of the longest-living plants in the world! My ancestors looked down to see the first dinosaurs emerge. At that time, we grew to over 120 feet, much taller than even the Tyrannosaurus Rex!

The dinosaurs and my relatives were great friends, although they did eat us occasionally.

When the ice age came, we had to mutate and get really small. We learned how to blow onto dry land and sleep, waiting for water. Usually we drifted around until we stumbled upon a puddle. Then we drank greedily, and went back to sleep until we found our next "fountain!"

My secret is that I am very easy to care for. I donít even need to bury my roots! All I need is a little water and some occasional sleep. With the Brachiosaurus gone, Iíll be perfectly safe in your home!

Place me in my bowl with my New Mexico lava rock. Pour some water on me and I will spring to life within one day! Let me dry out and I will shrink back to my sleeping state. I can sleep for up to fifty years and will still rise when you place me in water!

When you bring me back to life, change my water every day and rinse me for the first few weeks. I will grow in my bowl of water indefinitely, although I do prefer a few naps each year. To put me to bed, just let the water evaporate and donít refill my bowl. Iíll fall asleep in one week and you can wake me in two more!

Sure is an excited lil' fella, eh? I guess I would be too if I had been dried out for years and somebody was finally gonna give me a drink of cool water. Gotta love how it refers to itself as "wild and crazy"; I had no idea the dinosaur plant was ever a part of those old SNL skits. As you can see from the pics on the box, it supposedly only takes 3 hours to turn it from a dried up lump into a thriving evergreen plant. That's a lot faster than it takes to grow most plants, so I think I can stave off my usual impatience with anything gardening-related for that long.

By the way, the Amazing Dinosaur Plant comes from DuneCraft... the same company that sells a lot of those other cool kits like the meat-eating plants, cactus gardens and even that Super Snow stuff I tried out last winter.

First thing's first, you need to take out your New Mexico lava rocks and form a circle with them in the bottom of the bowl. Why this is, I can't say for sure... maybe it's to prevent the plant from growing beyond your control and trying to eat you like Audrey II. Say, maybe that's all Stonehenge really was - a way for the Druids to grow some amazing dinosaur plants and contain them! Somebody should check the grounds around there to see if there are any dried up dinosaur plant remnants. Gotta love those wacky Druids...

Anyway, once you're done with the lava rock formation, you simply place your dried up dinosaur plant in the center of the bowl. And man, this thing really is dried up. I guess what's "amazing" is that something like this can come back to life so easily after such a long time. According to the info sheet, the plant learned to curl up into a tight little ball so that the wind could easily blow it around during dry seasons until it eventually landed in some water. Quite the impressive hygroscopic life form, isn't it? You betcha.

So, as the instructions stated, I dipped the plant in some water and then poured some more into the bowl. It started making a few crackling sounds right off the bat, but it was still hard to imagine this thing turning green anytime soon.

I don't know about you, but at this point, it looked more like some kind of nasty organic meal that a vegan would try to convince you to eat instead of a big, juicy hamburger. "You'll get plenty of fiber from that lava rock, Roger, and the Dinosaur Plant is absolutely scrumptious! And the best part is no animals will be harmed as a result!" Yeah, no animals except ME as I spend the next 2 days puking my guts out because I ate some prehistoric plankton lava soup.

No thanks.

Actually, the truth about the dinosaur plant these days is that it's sold in Mexican markets as a diuretic - a drug used to help increase the flow of urine. That's right the AMAZING Dinosaur Plant can help you come up with an AMAZING golden discharge! You may not be able to eat like tyrannosaurus, but you sure as hell can piss like one!

Now that my work for bringing the plant back to life was done, I started thinking that I should do my best to make it feel right at home. I had always heard about gardeners talking to their plants to keep them healthy, but I wasn't about to have a conversation with this thing. Yes, I'll wear a pickle hat on my head with pride, but I draw the line at talking to plants. Still, I wanted to do everything I could to encourage the dinosaur plant to grow, so I picked up a lil' something special for it:

That's right, I got him some company... a Parasaurolophus to be exact. I picked that dinosaur because, well, I just like saying the word "Parasaurolophus" over and over again. It's the closest thing to "Snuffleupagus" that the dinosaurs had.

There we go, now I bet this amazing lil' plant is starting to feel like it's right back where it belongs in prehistoric times. It's already starting to spread out a bit... probably because it wants to pet that baby Parasaurolophus hatchling as much as I do. I don't if it's not real, you cannot resist the urge to pet that thing. And who knows, maybe that tree in the background reminds the dinosaur plant of its ancestors too.

Still, there was more for me to do while I waited for this thing to grow...

Now we're talkin! A copy of the one and only "Dinosaurs Attack!" comic book and some "Wacko-Saurs" trading cards. Admittedly, our lil' dinosaur plant pal probably never saw this kind of dino-action back in the day, but I wanted him to know that Dinosaurs have really come a long way since prehistoric times. Naturally I didn't bring up the whole deal about them being wiped off the face of the earth 'n all... depressing extinction news like that might our plant want to shrivel up and die.

Alright! Now he's really starting to feel comfortable... or should I say amazingly comfortable! See what being raised in a positive environment with good friends around can do for you? You can be a dried up ol' plant from yesteryear, but if you get put near a Parasaurolophus and pals, well then look out world... cuz here you come!

Ok, so it wasn't really three hours, it was more like eight before it was all finished turning nice 'n green like this... but hey, let's see what happens when you've been dried out for 40-50 years and then somebody chucks you into a bowl with lava rocks and water. I challenge you to perform any better.

Rock on, Dinosaur Plant, you truly are amazing.

Questions or Comments about this piece?
email -RoG-

If you enjoyed this piece, be sure to check out:

Wacko-Saurs Trading Cards!


Dinosaurs Attack!
Dinosaurs Attack! Trading Cards!

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