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.
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!
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:
just what the hell is the Amazing Dinosaur Plant, you ask? Let's
take a look:
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:
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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!
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:
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.
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.
there was more for me to do while I waited for this thing to grow...
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
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.
on, Dinosaur Plant, you truly are amazing.
Questions or Comments about this piece?
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piece, be sure to check out:
Wacko-Saurs Trading Cards!
Dinosaurs Attack! Trading Cards!