Robert Kirby is still recovering from the aftereffects of inhaling cannonball fumes. This is a reprint of an earlier column.
I don’t like flowers. They’re OK in a field or in a planter around a building. I can ignore outside flowers unless there’s a bee in them. But I hate flowers on the kitchen table.
Flowers in my house mean that I did something wrong, and there’s a good chance I’m not even sure what it was. I’m just apologizing for whatever.
When my wife and I were first married, I came home from work, saw the look on her face and left immediately for a florist. Forty bucks and two days later, I found out that the flowers were for a 9mm bullet I left on the floor that went off in her vacuum cleaner.
That wasn’t too bad, actually. No roses were required. It takes roses to apologize for something major like going to Mexico with Larry and forgetting to tell her about it until we got to El Paso.
I was 10 when I first gave a woman flowers. I hadn’t done anything wrong. I just wanted my mom to know how much I loved her. It worked. She cried.
Then the doorbell rang and some woman we didn’t even know tried to beat me with a garden trowel. She called the cops. They made me give her the money I was saving to buy a tiger. The police should stay out of the floral business.
I swore off flowers until hormones transformed me from an inept criminal into simply an idiot. Her name was Jenny. She smiled at me in seventh grade. When I could see again, I blew my flamethrower savings on some carnations.
Those flowers won me my first serious lip action. Jenny only kissed me on the cheek, but her brothers caught me after school and sent me home with lips the size of a catcher’s mitt.
I’m slow, but I can learn. I was through with flowers. It was a vow I kept until a girl I met at a Black Sabbath concert the week before wanted to know why I “never” brought her flowers?
When I did, she said she couldn’t be in a relationship with a man who needed to be reminded about romance. And that’s another thing about flowers: Try getting your money back from the florist because they didn’t work.
Flowers worked on my wife, though. For years, a dozen roses got me forgiveness for anything short of going to court; two dozen for anything more serious than a hole in the roof.
My wife doesn’t want flowers anymore. I wish she did. It took a leather sofa and matching end tables to fix the last stupid thing I did.