“Ashes to ashes, funk to funky, we know Paul Riddell’s a junkie.”

Until today, I thought I was going to be the happiest boy in the world this weekend. This is the weekend where the Czarina pulls out her brand new spot Fresnel lens and we conduct serious scientific experiments involving melting glasses and metals with solar power. You’ll probably be able to hear the whooping and hollering and the cries of “Hold my beer and watch this” from McMurdo Station. Using solar death rays with your true love to turn rock, glass, and metal into vapor: my life is one giant trophy full of ready-to-hatch dinosaur eggs with the word “WIN” spelled across the front in twenty-carat rubies.

Even with this, I know other people are going to have even more fun. I know this because Black Jungle Terrarium Supply in Turner Falls, Massachusetts is having a two-day End of Summer Sale, with all of its live plants marked down an additional 25 to 50 percent off. If you’ve ever seen Black Jungle’s gigantic solarium, you can understand why this is such a big deal. If you haven’t, let’s just say that it’s just a little smaller and a little less exciting than The Eden Project, but not by much. Nobody’s going to write an episode of Doctor Who around it, but an enterprising screenplay writer could use it as the home base for a Nero Wolfe who dabbled in carnivores and ant ferns when the orchids became too cloying.

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