There are many flowers here at the Manor. Roses, jasmine, violets, camellias, lavender, iris, purple vetch (unfortunate name, that), scotch broom, calla lily, alyssum, verbena, and many more, that I cannot identify, because I am no expert in flowers. I do know that I like them, and that every couple days or so, I pick some, and place them here and there around the Manor, in the Shrine, and elsewhere.
Several days ago several strange and unusual flowers appeared on a tree. There are several such trees here, and they certainly do not look like the sort of tree that would produce a flower. Yet, there the flowers were. They appeared on the branch that is the very closest to the Manor front porch. How convenient. So I could just reach right out and pick them, if I wanted to. Then take them into the house.
But I am not going to pick these goddam things. And I’m certainly not going to bring them into the house. Because I think they’re pods.
We know from the 1978 documentary film Invasion of the Body Snatchers that a plant-like alien life form, drifting through space, made landfall in the San Francisco Bay Area sometime in the 1970s, and there rapidly replicated and replaced most of the humans.
It happened in this way.
The aliens, once on earth, arranged themselves into cunning little flowers, which the humans would pick and take home. Then, while the humans slept, the plants would transform themselves into large human-sized pods, and then into the humans themselves. They would then suck the life-force out of the humans, “becoming” the humans, and the original humans would crumble into dust, and be swept up and placed in the garbage.
That so many of the humans in that area of the planet became so selfish, self-absorbed, and narcissistic around that time, is explained by the fact that they had become pods. The term for that time was “The Me Generation.” But it really should have been “The Pod Generation.”
Whether, and/or how far, poddom spread from the Bay Area and into the rest of the world, this has never been definitively determined. I believe that these alleged “flowers,” here in the Manor trees, mark an eastward push for the pod people. And I want nothing to do with them.
I mean, why, out of all the many branches, on all the many trees, did the pod flowers just happen to appear first on the branch most accessible to me? Because they are pods. And they were hoping I was ignorant of the Invasion of the Body Snatchers revelation, and would therefore delightedly, dumbly, pick one, bring it into the house, and there unwittingly succumb to poddom.
That I saw through them, this has pissed them off. For there are now hundreds of these pod flowers in these trees.
And my neighbors, I think, are beginning to behave strangely.
Pods get you when you sleep. So, as U2 says in “Bad,” “I’m not sleeping.”
At the dawn of the Invasion of the Body Snatchers documentary, a pod teacher is leading a group of still-human children through a park, there encouraging them to pick pod flowers, to take home to their parents, so that children and parents both may join the ranks of the pods. Coldly observing this Outrage, from a swing, is Robert Duvall, a pod priest.
We know that Robert Duvall became a pod, because, although once Boo Radley and Augustus McRae, he now spends his days down in Argentina, there crudely bellowing about the benefits of “macho,” and grousing that Francis Ford Coppola cut from Apocalypse Now scenes that would have shown that his character in that film, the nutbomb Colonel Kilgore, was actually “good.”
There is a swing hanging from a tree at the front of the Manor. If I go out on the porch some morning, and see Robert Duvall sitting in that swing, I will know that all is over.