I am afraid to say that I’m enjoying the chia head immensely. I actually remember to water this guy every morning and evening. Sadly, I can’t say the same about my “real” garden. But Mr. Simmons, as I have named him, greets me every time I walk into the kitchen. How can I ignore this face????
Actually, Mr. Simmons looks more like a sweaty, red-faced drunk than Richard Simmons. But I digress…
Jay and I spent several days pondering who was responsible for this gift. My first guess was my practical joker friend, Natalie. Natalie is WELL known for her jokes and April Fool’s Day gags. She even went so far as to get ENGAGED on April Fool’s Day this year. In addition, Natalie is privy to my black thumb and aware of my previous garden failures. When asked if she was responsible for the Chia Head she said, “No! But I WISH I had thought of that!”
Also aware of my poor gardening record is my dear friend David and his daughter. When I asked if he was responsible for this gift I received much the same answer, “I wish I could claim it!”
Jay’s friends from Arizona would have no way of knowing our gardening history, nor would my friends from Huntsville but there IS a long running joke between several of my coworkers and I about chia seeds. Was it possible that they had snuck into the wedding to deposit this gift? When asked, they exploded in laughter saying, “Oh my gosh I so wish we had crashed your wedding with a Chia Head!”
This left only one other possibility – The Cooks. These are our terribly sweet friends who also garden, and love cats AND have a dairy intolerance. These kind, earth-loving people surely could not be responsible for such ridiculousness. Jay pointed out that Mr. Cook used to live in southern Mississippi and has a tendency to collect unusual things. “I would not put it past Mr. Cook to collect things like the funny paper from 1995.”
So we lured Mr. and Mrs. Cook over for dinner last weekend. I prepared a delicious meal of seitan stir fry with onions, peppers and a cabbage salad. We set the table with our china and our new silver and opened a bottle of wine. Halfway through the wine I popped the question, “So Mr. and Mrs. Cook… I have a question for you.”
“Yes,” said a very serious Mrs. Cook.
“Might you guys be responsible for the Chia Head gift?”
Mr. and Mrs. Cook passed a sideways glance and attempted to stifle a smile. They failed, miserably, and were soon giggling, “We had hoped you would not figure it out!”
Making the entire gag even funnier, they said, is that it was actually a REGIFT. Mrs. Cook explained that they had received this Chia Head as a gift some time before. Mrs. Cook thought it was ridiculous and immediately wanted to pass it off to Goodwill. Mr. Cook, however, found it charming and insisted they keep it. One day it might be used, right?
Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months and the Chia Head sat unloved in a closet. Then Jay and I announced our wedding and the Chia Head’s purpose in life became clear – to bring the new couple joy during their first few weeks of marriage.
And it has done just that. Jay and I have watched eagerly as the seeds sprouted and grew. We noted when Mr. Simmons developed a sort of receding hairline. Jay is taken by the way some sprouts are coming out of Mr. Simmons ears. I, personally, am smitten with his seedy sideburns.
The only thing missing on Mr. Simmons is a mustache. I think I’ll smear some seeds here next time…