A Bit About Me

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Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".

06 March 2010

Kudzu: Nature's Little Murderer

(This blog will make a lot more sense if you read this blog of mine first: Monthly Blog Theme Proposal)

Also known as "The Vine that Ate the South"...this horrendous horrible life-sucking force of nature does not exist outside a particular area.

I was from that area.

I am originally from kudzu-free New Jersey and when we moved to Alabama twenty years ago, we came from Springfield, Virginia...a place which also doesn't have the viral vine.

On the trip down from DC, once we hit a certain zone, these strange miraculous shapes were growing up telephone poles...they looked like abstract elephants...with their long trunks dangling and swaying in the breeze. They looked...utterly awesome.

I had never seen these things and really didn't pay them any mind...and when we bought the house I live in, I didn't know what those things looked like up close. As such, I was also totally oblivious to their cannibalistic ways.

Had I known...well, I would have turned tail and ran.

You here in the South know all about kudzu...you can stand outside (if you are prone to doing that kind of thing) and watch that vine grow. And it pulls down everything in its path, chokes the ever-loving life out of every living thing it grows over; it's like a chlorophyll Superman...but has no known kryptonite. Once it takes root you can't kill it short of arming yourself with an arsenal of pesticide and a lifetime of devotion.

Word has it someone brought it over from Japan, where it is controllable, as the plant dies down in winter all the way to the root system. But here in the South...well, it's much warmer than Japan and altho it will die back...the root system is alive, taking hold and spreading like a cancerous lesion. Yes, it doesn't die all the way back - and the powers that be decided it would be great at erosion control. Not only does kudzu not control erosion, I'm sure the South is paying millions every single year unsuccessfully "eradicating" this menace from the sides of highways where it was originally planted.

Elephantine it is...and it has grown to mammoth proportions.

Unfortunately, you guessed it -- it is also in my yard and barring someone making a better mousetrap or a way to economically desalinize water -- like a cure for that cancer...nothing has really been invented to literally nip this thing in the bud.

While it has been grown to make a concoction to curtail alcoholism (it has properties which will make you extremely sick if you drink alcohol after ingesting it)...and you can use it for other things, I see no one beating down my door to pay me good money to grow it.

Consequently, I have to pay good money to try to get rid of it...and it's a bear of a problem and nothing seems to put it in permanent hibernation.

Yes, I'm afraid "Nature's Little Murderer" is here to stay in the South and everyone who has run across this killer...can't stop grizzling about it.


  1. You can't get a Weed Eater or something to put out a hit on the bastard?

  2. Hell no. Seriously, this stuff is wickedly awful. No amount of whacking it or mowing it over will kill it. It will pop up like 30 feet away - all the underground root system. The ways to kill it are impossible. It's like (and I'm serious, not making this up)...cut it down to the ground...put like a pile of newspaper over it to block the light...cut it down each time you see a new shoot - do the same thing each time - keep at it for 20 years and MAYBE you can clear an area of 20 square feet.

  3. That sounds awful. There is finally a reason for us up north to not complain about the winter.

  4. It really is awful, Christopher. I envy the people all around me who don't have it. Even with enormous yards to tend to - they have it so incredibly easy compared to mine.

    Had I only known...

  5. Kudzu is really strange. I'd read about it, but it wasn't until I first saw it that I understood how bad it is. It takes over everything -- smothers trees, plants, telephone poles, even houses if you let it. It's a frightening plant.

  6. I actually watched a whole show devoted to this plant. Hmm, the word plant just seems to innocuous to describe this, predator. It is a huge, costly job to manage it as it seems impervious to anything to kill it. Hmmm, I wonder if a refrigeration unit could be developed which could freeze the area of ground it is in. You know, they use steam to kill weeds, why not cold? Dry ice? Just thinking out loud here. Seems like cold is the only thing that would work.

    We are lucky because here the cold gets it but I feel so badly for you all. And I thought quack grass was bad.

  7. Oh Kudzu, oh my Kudzu
    Thou reputation fails you
    For all good uses you do show
    The bad is what avails you

    Oh Kudzu, my sweet Kudzu
    My morning after wine cure
    No pain killer compares to you
    We all know that for damn sure

    Oh Kudzu, blessed Kudzu
    You strangle other plant life
    I fail to see how this is bad
    Please crawl your way to MY wife

  8. Gwen - I would have loved to see that show. Did they say anything could kill it? Seems the only thing that puts a dent in it is only allowed by the highway sprayers and not to the public. But by the looks of the highways it doesn't work well anyway.

  9. No HMO updates, no blog updates. You're gettin' lazy, so forget the 'tato's and get to updatin'.

  10. You are a very funny person Marianne.

  11. Why, thank you, wine guy. Someone I didn't force to read my blog...read it. :)

    You got me out of my self-pity slump...I think I'll write another.