Jan 14 2006

I Been Memed

killer vine
A mere fragment of the killer vine (with pods) to which I allude in Item 7.

At the behest of the incomparable Dru Blood, the first and last one of these I’ll ever do.

Seven Things To Do Before I Die

1. Establish new world order by effecting abolishment of global paradigm of dominance and submission
2. Train my golden retriever Bert to bring me Dr. Peppers from the fridge
3. Find someone to deliver a fresh baguette to my door every morning
4. Get over that I lost the lens cap to my 20-dollar plastic camera
5. Work a third nap into the daily napping schedule
6. Grow some goddam hair on the Twisty melon
7. Identify, and put out a contract on, the fairy-tale-caliber psychotic vine that envelops half the Twisty bungalow

Seven Things That Attract Me To Blogging

1. The money
2. The glamor
3. The prestige
4. The fame
5. The girls, drugs, and bling
6. The private jet
7. The VIP treatment at restaurants, hotels, and clubs

Seven Things I Say Most Often

1. “What are ya, simple?” (to my infant niece)
2. “Who’s the fairest of them all?” (while gazing lovingly at own reflection)
3. “Bite my left one” (cause they ain’t no right one!)
4. “Oh, man” (while eating carne asada at El Chile)
5. “Oh, man” (while eating carne asada at La Duni)
6. “This is the worst song ever written” (while listening to any song)
7. “This is the best song ever written” (while listening to any song)

Seven Things I Can’t Do

1. Establish new world order by effecting abolishment of global paradigm of dominance and submission
2. Not correct incorrect grammar
3. Finish this meme asssignment
4. That’s it; I can pretty much do everything else


Skip to comment form

  1. Ron Sullivan

    Re: vine: Got pix?

  2. Dianne

    Could the vine be kudzu?

  3. Ann

    There’s a video/DVD that teaches people to train their dogs to retrieve a soda from the fridge–I think it’s the How of Bow Wow II (I know, horrible name), if you’re not already up on task training. Bert could be earning his keep verrrry shortly.

    Scary vine. It’s the pods that really up the creep factor. I don’t think we have anything remotely like that in the Pacific NW.

  4. Kristy

    If I lived in Austin, and still managed to work at the bakery here in Victoria, I would most certainly bring you a baguette every morning.

  5. drublood


    Best. meme. answers. Ever.

    (pardon my improper gratuitous period use.)

  6. Burrow

    Kudzu’s evil and wil destroy all of Austin.

    Don’t know if that’s it though, it’s been a long time since I lived in Austin.

  7. virgotex

    list and photos of native shrubs/vines but not sure that dude looks native


  8. GraceD

    Done with your first and last meme, O Fabu Twisty. Done, and done with the usual aplomb.

    Be gone, meme! Carry on, Twisty.

  9. Liz

    Well I couldn’t sleep a wink last night for all the vivid images of Twisty simultaneously fighting bulls, flying fighter jets, and performing brain surgery with one hand while she massacres kudzu and overthrows the patriarchy with the other. What can I say, except: Oh, man.

  10. curiousgyrl


    Off topic, except that it relates to one of your special skills and area of expertise–I am about 1/2 way through a two-week family-oriented visit to Twistyville, aka, Austin. Twisty has inspired me, while here, to sample every fish taco I can get my hands on.

    Some are better than others, and they all appear to be covered in chipotle sauce. I have one week left. I have perused the twisty archives for references, but its still unclear. Twisty, which is the fairest fish taco in austin? After visiting Houtson for the best vietnamese and bagels in my native state, i would hate to fail to round out the menu.

  11. Betsy

    That’s definitely not kudzu. It looks like might be in the fig family.

  12. Twisty


    El Chilito

  13. Kathleen

    I was thinking it looked figgy too. I can’t tell the scale of yours, but down here we have a ficus vine which people have planted with abandon; it is very common to see situations where the vine has run amok (especially high up, out of reach of un-assisted human pruning ability). If your vine has small leaves (no larger than an inch, say) it might be a ficus (or at least the one I’m familiar with). It’s got the woody-looking stem, and the leaves are glossy, with the right shape and edge–though I haven’t seen the fruit on a vine, many ficus bear fruit. The banyan tree is a ficus, and some ficus are known as “weeping fig”. The ficus vine is as aggressive as the tree, but with much smaller leaves. It is horrible.

  14. Twisty

    I don’t think it’s a fig. The pods have a fibrous, milkweedy interior entirely unlike any fig I have ever observed. The largest leaves are about 3″ long. I also don’t think it’s ficusy; no ficus I’ve ever seen would survive outside in the Austin climate. Sometimes it gets down into the 30’s here.

  15. Chris Clarke

    Ficus pumila. Unless I’m way off. Which happens.

    Here’s a photo by a similarly afflicted gardener.

  16. Twisty

    Like I said, it’s totally a fig. (Thanks, Chris. Now, how do I kill it?)

  17. Ron Sullivan

    Comment 13 has mysteriously disappeared (OK, reading on IE Antiquus it has) but one way to check on Chris’ ID would be to see if the leaves on the oldest part of the plant are very very small. I’ve never seen a Ficus pumila fruit, so I can’t tell you anything about that. I don;t think it’s particularly edible.

    I’m still researching (which means Joe has been paging through books, mostly) in between transporting live reptiles to Vacaville and eating jambalaya while seeing recent vacation pix of New Orleans, but it occurs to me that you have a university of sorts in Austin, and they probably have some frustrated aggie with a headful of odd plants at their disposal. People like that loooooove to answer questions like this. Don’t we, Chris?

  18. Twisty

    Holy crap, Ron, I can’t even find the oldest part of the plant. I think it may originate somewhere in the chimney, or possibly in Guam.

    After comparing the photos in Chris’s link to the live sample of the rampant vegetation in question, I have little doubt that he is correct. If this were “CSI:Austin” my computer would be flashing the word “MATCH!” in large red block letters. And I would be wearing a camisole that matches my safety glasses. And I would say to my hot young stud of an assistant, “Chad, we have a match. The city is doomed unless we shoot that fucker up with a 9 mil.”

  19. manxome

    re: killing it. Bleach? Surely Ma Nature would moan, but somehow I have the impression that it’s like kryptonite. At least, for tree stumps.

  20. Liz

    I hate to say it but your best bet might be 2,4-D.

  21. thebewilderness

    I’m not sure you have the juice to attack the monster yourself. I recommend inviting friends with loppers to a taco feast. A saw will also be needed. Once the monster has been taken down to the ground you must lop off every sprout that sprouts, not quite forever but it will feel like it. Good luck with it.

  22. Chris Clarke

    Not that I want to just arbitrarily disagree with Liz, but speaking in my role as former professional pesticide sales guy, don’t use 2,4-D. It doesn’t work any better than Roundup at this sort of thing, and is metabolized by soil microorganisms into a range of related substances including 2,4,5-T, which is Agent Orange. The only time you want to use 2,4-D is if you have to spray a whole lot of plants, and you want certain of them to live and others to die. Even then don’t do it.

    Step one in any spot weed control program is physical removal. For people off their usual healthy taco-filled feed, this is best accomplished by offering whatever the going hourly labor rate is to the muscular guys in straw hats loitering in the Home Despot parking lot. Or look in the Jaundice Pages under “hauling.” Removing invasive vines is not something that particularly requires the slightest gardening expertise unless the vines are smothering something invaluable, such as oh I dunno one of them madrone trees you Texans seem to worship so. Choppping, sawing, and hauling away is what you need. Think of it this way: if you sprayed the thing, you’d still have to have someone cut it down and haul it away. Why not just skip the poison part, if possible?

    Step two is keeping after the resprouts. Ficus pumila will be less of a hassle than ivy in this regard, I’m thinking. The idea is not to let the leaves on the resprouts grow long enough to feed the roots. Yanking the shoots out entirely is best, but even just stripping the leaves, if done religiously, will work eventually by starving the roots of suugars they need to send up new leaves.

    OR in this stage you could use a highly localized application of Roundup, if there’s a big leftover root sending up shoots. Pour Roundup full strength into a disposable plastic bucket. Strip a few shoots of leaves, cut them with sharp pruning shears, and stick the cut ends into the Roundup, affixing them in place with clothespins or something similar. The Roundup will enter the vascular system of the plant much more efficiently in this fashion than it would if you sprayed it on the leaves, which are rather waxy and impervious to chemicals if I remember right.

    If this were “CSI:Austin” my computer would be flashing the word “MATCH!” in large red block letters. And I would be wearing a camisole that matches my safety glasses.

    And then you’d undo the barrette from the back of your shaven scalp, and your previously invisible long hair would cascade down over your camisole-cum-lab coat causing the camera lens to secrete a thin layer of vaseline.

  23. SneakySnu

    I was just waiting for the Irascible Gardiner to get into it!

    This thread is as good as Michael Bérubé’s struggle last year with a large tree branch in his yard. Funny, funny stuff.

    And that is one funky lookin’ fig! It’s really too bad that the fruits are pods instead of figs.

  24. SneakySnu

    errrr….that’s the Irascible Gardener. If he was one of the Gardiners, he’d probably have a whole staff of people who do that kind of thing for him. Not to mention a very nice art collection.

  25. Chris Clarke

    Feh. Leave it to my arch enemy SnaekySnu to reveal my secret identity.

  26. Liz

    I’ve had better luck using 2,4-D on these voaracious woody southern cannibal vines than Roundup. But whichever you use, I agree with Chris on the don’t spray advice: dip cut stems, or paint the poison onto freshly cut trunk. And it would probably be more effective to wait until spring when the vascualr saps are flowing with manly vigor.

    The other solution that has worked well for me is to pack up and move five or six states away. It usually takes the vine at least 18 months to find you and catch up with you, which provides a nice respite.

  27. Chris Clarke

    Interesting datum about 2,4-D, Liz. I’ll file that away so as to modify my future recommendations.

    Well, actually I won’t modify them much: I don’t like either one.

    I did discover a cure for kudzu when I lived in Virginia 20 years ago: Plant hybrid tea roses within 20 feet of it. Roses attract Japanese beetles, which will then eat enough kudzu to keep it in check. And the roses. And your lawn. But no more kudzu!

  28. Lil

    “1. Establish new world order by effecting abolishment of global paradigm of dominance and submission

    2. Train my golden retriever Bert to bring me Dr. Peppers from the fridge ”

    One good step toward abolishing the global paradigm of d/s could be to only train dogs in ways that affect safety — and getting through the day, like “come *now*” when you have to get to work. I realize this sounds humorless, but please, one paradigm for all. I mean, it wouldn’t be funny if a man said #1 … and then added #2 about his wife or girlfriend. I know, humans matter so much more than animals. Humans have dignity and animals don’t. Animals don’t experience humiliation from having to be submissive.

    Except they do, and when I read the papers about how we’re not suppose to be as concerned about issues that affect animals as the ones that affect humans, I get more and more sick of human self-importance, and our species’ dominance of this planet. Just thought I’d go off on the topic, since I heartily agree with point #1, and don’t take it lightly. I do have a sense of humor, though, sometimes.

  29. JayZ

    Don’t touch the Ficus Pumila pod. The milky sticky substance it exudes on skin contact will transform you into a docile debutante with pink hair and a bad crotch itch. Stand back from that pod!!!

  30. Fran

    Foremost patriarchy blamer being overrun by a fig leaf? Rather witty. Kill it Twisty, kill it.

  31. kathy a

    chris pretty much said it all. if the vine refuses to die, smother it with pink teddy bears. that should do the trick.

  32. Twisty

    Hey Lil,

    The juxtaposition of the two points you quote was supposed to be funny. I have a sense of humor too sometimes!

    Although I disagree that training a dog is in any way demeaning to the dog. My young golden retriever Bert, now 7 months old, thoroughly enjoys our training sessions, and becomes markedly depressed when I’m too chemo-ed out to work with him. I doubt very much that he would enjoy life as a feral canine. Regular meals and his feather bed rank highly on his list of life’s little necessities, and we are two hearts that beat as one on that issue.

  33. Lil

    Twisty, I knoooow you meant it to be funny. I was saying I was the humorless sort on the issue, as I would be if the joke was re women’s subservience. If you, one of the country’s foremost experts on despising patriarchy, made the joke about women, which you wouldn’t have done, I wouldn’t have thought it was funny, even if you intended it to be.

    I agree that dogs can enjoy training. It can be a challenge and a game to them. It’s different from when a “master” trains them to obey in a way that breaks the spirit of the owned. I’ve also seen weirdos who aren’t “masters” but get off on commanding their mostly untrained pet, projecting mankinds’ alpha/dominance and submissive dynamics onto the innocent and confused animal. The pet ends up doing its best, but they do experience humilation in having to submit in order to make the all-powerful owner happy.

    So given the too common occurance of animal abuse and human domination/animal powerlessness … I reject any jokes about animal submissiveness as not funny.

    Though I find you most of the time refreshingly funny, which is why I keep coming back when I need to recharge the blaming-patriarchy batteries.

    Glad your pooch is happy.

    Here’s a suggestion: see if he chases the light of a flashlight. I saw a woman do this the other night — she gave her dog a 30 minute workout with only a movement of her wrist.

  34. Helen

    it looks like kudzu – check this site for more info:


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