Why I seriously have a phobia of plants

At the INETA party during TechEd 09, I told my “Uncle Jimmy Stories” for nearly 4 hours. Since I’ve had quite a few people ask me to blog these stories (and even more ask me to share photos), I’d thought I’d share my “kick-off” story of my childhood – why I (seriously) have a phobia of plants. Yes, ordinary household plants cause my blood pressure to skyrocket, and even the thought of just watering a plant makes me want to have a root canal instead. Here’s why…

Uncle Jimmy had a garden when I was little.

Now I need to pause for a moment to explain Uncle Jimmy. When I was 7, he moved into the shed behind the house, where he slept on a waterbed that would freeze in the winter. We had to run an extension cord from the house to the shed, so he could sleep on top of an electric blanket.

As I said, Uncle Jimmy had a garden when I was little.

He decided to experiment with a new way to grow the plants and vegetables. Now, my guess as an adult would be he tried to use oil. But oh no, that would be way too easy and simple.

Electricity. He tried to shock! the plants and vegetables into growth. He ran electric wires criss-cross throughout the garden. I was told as a little child (4 or 5 years old) to never, ever go near the garden or much less let the plants touch me, or I could get electrocuted. I must have seen him water the plants without turning off the electricity as a small child. Why else would I rather a root canal than to pour water into a little plant pot.

And to this day, plants stress me out.

Comments (16)

  1. Stroa Mank says:

    Have you read Huxleys "Brave New World"?

    I can’t stop thinking about the "conditioning part" reading this article….

  2. saraford says:

    no, i haven’t. Should i be afraid? =D

  3. Ruby says:

    I guess that test swag they sent us, the potted weeds that I planted in the team room, must have been upsetting. Belated apologies. 🙂 Luckily, it died nearly as quickly as it grew.

  4. saraford says:

    lol. As long as I don’t have to water the thing (or have it on my desk), I’m okay =D That was a very, very cool weed though, how much it grew overnight.

  5. cenvey says:

    I am wondering what the hell the author want to give us.just wanna ease our busy life?

  6. Antonio says:

    Good story! wish I met Uncle Jimmy, he looks like an interesting man.

    (I would like to read more stories like this one)

  7. Eric says:

    Unless the plant is from the "Little Shop of Horrors" there should be no need to be afraid, well or some kind of poisonous fruit, but thats usually in the Jungle. Best way to look at it is if the plants weren’t here, we wouldn’t be here.  Plants are sacred, embrace them!

  8. Michael G says:

    Regarding your Botanophobia: Have you read Amy Stewart’s "Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln’s Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities"?

  9. Nils Nagele says:

    couple of days ago was sitting on leather couch of my analysts office & remarked green plant for first time, why?

  10. Malcolm says:

    You just haven’t found your inner plant. 🙂

  11. Taoffi says:

    Like Antonio: I would love to know more stories about Uncle Jimmy !…

  12. Clint says:

    He does seem interesting, but I misread the story the first time through and thought it said something about watering the plants without turning off the electricity and without using a water hose….

  13. noneck says:

    Im sorry, this is totally sad, plants are awesome, and help ground us folk who are near electronics all the time.  You probably stress the plants out with your fear, which is then returned back to you.

  14. Tim says:

    Odd I thought I’d gone to a technical site! Why is a link to this center stage when I go to msdn.microsoft.com?

  15. James Curran says:

    Hmmm… Are you sure electricity was involved?

    Sounds like Uncle Jimmy was just growing pot, and your folks wanted to make sure you stayed away from it…

  16. saraford says:

    now that would make sense, but sadly (sadly for me that is), that’s wasn’t the case.