Wednesday, 14 October 2015

A walk in the park

A few days ago we visited a park in a town we happened to be staying at for a few days. It was one of those beautiful well-maintained parks with a variety of plants and flowers and trees which you could admire and enjoy, if you are that way inclined. Which I am not. As far as I am concerned, if it is not edible it is not worth bothering about. When will someone grow a pizza tree, or a doughnuts tree; now that would be worth visiting and sampling its produce.

Anyway, that park had a very interesting feature, even for me. Every so often along the path there was a bench for you to sit on and admire a special plant positioned right opposite. Nothing unusual about that, you may say. But wait. As you sit on the bench a voice emanates from your trousers ant it tells you all about the plant or bush you are sitting in front. It tells you what the plant is called in English and Latin, (just in case you want to say "Hello" to it in Latin), where it originates from, and various other facts you probably did not care to know about anyway. It was uncanny, every time you sat on a bench this voice told you all about the plant or bush opposite you.

Hitherto, the only sound that came out of people's trousers, or dresses for that matter, bore no resemblence whatsoever to a human voice. But all this changed with these new style benches.

Whose idea, I thought, was it to hide little speakers on these seats which are somehow triggered into speech as you sit on them. And what happens when it rains, for instance? Do they gargle their message or just shout "I'm drowning here!"

I sat on one of these benches opposite a red leaved bush and the voice kept on repeating ad nausea: "Hello. You are looking at the photinia red robin bush ...." and on and on it went  about this plant I'd never heard of before nor wished to hear of again. But no such luck. As soon as the voice stopped talking it repeated again "You are looking at the photinia red robin bush ...." which was not strictly true because at one point, whilst enjoying a strawberry jelly doughnut, a bit of jelly fell down on my lap. I looked down whilst the voice was telling me I was looking somewhere else. I must say I never heard it called a photinia red robin before! 
   
But believe it or not, these benches were very popular. People kept rushing from one bench to another and plonking their backsides hurriedly to hear the voice speak to them.

I'll admit that, in order to participate in the fun, and to prove that I too can be light-hearted at times, I did try a few benches; although I did not care to know about nasturtiums or azealeas, whatever they are. I just moved nonchalantly along the path looking left and right as if I were a plant expert and then, as soon as I reached the next bench, I sat hurriedly to hear what it had to say to me.

All went well until at one bench I sat down quickly without looking and instead of the familiar dulcet tones through my trousers I heard a female voice shout at me: "You idiot. You sat on my prize cactus!"

I'll admit that I got up faster than the sound of her voice could travel. The stupid woman had placed on the bench a cactus plant that she'd just bought from the souvenir shop, whilst standing there taking a photograph of some flower or other. The plant had come out of its plastic pot and was totally entrenched in my trousers. The pain was out of this world!

Have you ever had a cactus in your backside?

I suggested we retrieve the plant and put it back in the pot; but the woman walked away saying some unrepeatable things which I will not repeat here. Why did she have to be so rude about my ample figure?


Painful as that experience was, it was not as embarrasing as I lay on the bed in hospital whilst two nurses helped remove from my bottom what was left of that prize cactus.

15 comments:

  1. Your mind is a wonder, Victor! Truly a wonder!
    Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Benches that talk actually exist, Lulu.

      See: http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2011/may/31/national-trust-talking-benches

      Cactuses that hurt one's bottom exist too, you know!

      God bless.

      Delete
  2. A cactus in the bottom is a prickly problem. Hope you where able to leave all the nurses in stitches. ~:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sparky,

      It's good to laugh.

      God bless you always.

      Delete
  3. I do love a quiet walk, a solitary experience, with a bench or 2 thrown in for good measure.

    A donut isn't a bad idea, is it!

    But I don't need a talking bench. It's the solitude, not the information, that I crave.

    Thanks for these words today, Victor!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice to see you visiting here Linda. Thank you.

      Talking benches have been introduced in stately home gardens and parks in the UK.

      God bless.

      Delete
  4. Such an adventure in the park, not without its surprises. I must say that the speaking bench is one way of keeping a vagrant from sleeping in the park. Hoping you are recovering from your cactus meeting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Cathy,

      I agree. These benches must be a nightmare for vagrants looking for somewhere to sleep. With or without a cactus.

      God bless you.

      Delete
  5. Hi Victor! Oh my gosh, you have the craziest experiences! I would be very annoyed at the benches, especially if I just wanted to relax. Once is fine, but the endless loop thing would drive me nuts.

    Your poor bottom! I imaging that made you jump HIGH! Hope you are all recovered now. I bet you'll look before you leap next time :)
    Blessings,
    Ceil

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ceil,

      In some parks and stately homes over here they are using celebrities' voices to record for these benches. The benches tell you about your surroundings where you are sitting. The historical importance of the sight. Any interesting features to look out for whilst visiting; like a cactus for instance. As you say, the continuous loop would be annoying after a while.

      (Thinks) Perhaps I should record a message on our sofa for when the mother-in-law visits !!! Now that's an idea that would sell well. Don't you think, Ceil?

      God bless.

      Delete
  6. This is soooo funny, Victor!! And you know I clicked on the link you left in your first comment - I couldn't believe these taking seats actually existed! What next I wonder?

    I'm very sorry your (ahem) behind took such a beating from the cactus plant. That must have been so emBARRASSing...

    ReplyDelete
  7. "Hitherto, the only sound that came out of people's trousers, or dresses for that matter, bore no resemblence whatsoever to a human voice."

    I bet :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mary,

      A number of readers believe that I make all these stories up; without a shred of truth. But in reality, some of my stories are based on truth. The trick is to find which and what parts are true. Yes, these benches do exist.

      The main aim of my stories is to make people smile. I'm glad you and others did.

      God bless.

      Delete
    2. Yes, I have googled things you've written a number of times and much to my consternation have found that a number of things that I thought were surely exaggerations were based on truth!! That makes them even funnier :)

      Delete
    3. Yes Mary. You'll recall my series on History and the Arts last year were both based on truth ... mainly on truth !!! Even though some stories were a little unbelievable.

      They can be re-read by clicking the Giggles and Fun tab above.

      God bless.

      Delete

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God bless you.

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