Thursday, February 23, 2012

Arizona = Cactus Country

Last week, after our vacation in Las Vegas, Nathan and I drove to Arizona to visit his grandparents.  His paternal grandparents live in Nebraska but are wintering in Fountain Hills, a community close to Phoenix that is geared towards the retired set.

Before I go further, I should mention my first blog.  Before I started this blog, I had a blog called Wendy the Cactus, which chronicled the adventures of the world's most self-absorbed and delusional cactus.  I had a small cactus that I carried around everywhere in a ziploc bag.  I even took Wendy to Disneyland once!  But after awhile, I retired Wendy.  I was sick of toting around a small cactus in my purse and getting stabbed when I reached inside for my keys or wallet.  Also, Wendy is a bitch and channeling her negative thoughts was a bit of a downer.  But, when we were in Arizona, I thought fondly about Wendy.  She would have enjoyed Maricopa County and had a crush on half the cacti population.  Maybe one day I'll resurrect Wendy and she can write some guest posts for The Cranky Pumpkin.

Anyway, back to our trip to Fountain Hills, Arizona.  Can you guess what the town of Fountain Hills features?  If you guessed "an enormous fountain," give yourself a gold star!  The town has a lovely park and a fountain that shoots about 500 feet into the air. You can see the fountain from miles away.  I'm sorry, but I did not get any good photos of the fountain. 

Instead, I took about a hundred photos of cacti.  This was easy to do, because the Maricopa County landscape is dominated by the saguaro cactus.  

I noticed that some of the cacti had metal supports:

WTF?  I'm pretty certain the saguaro cactus evolved before cities and retirement communities were built in Arizona.  I'm also pretty certain that the saguaro cactus population was doing just fine before man learned how to work with metal.  Are these metal cactus supports part of the fossil record?  Do you expect me to believe that an elite cactus species with metal support systems recently evolved?

Okay, so these cacti are growing alongside a busy road.  Maybe it would cause a problem if one of the cacti toppled into the road during rush hour.  But how often does that happen?  During our two days in Arizona, I saw some dead cacti but I did not see a single fallen cactus.  No, the dead cacti were still standing up and just looked brown and rotten.  

And what makes the saguaro cacti so special that it needs metal supports?  If the saguaro cacti needs metal supports, what about all the beautiful trees in Pasadena?  Do the trees in front of my house need metal supports?  Maybe I should start collecting signatures for a Tree Support Referendum for the next election...

And why do only some of the saguaro cacti qualify for metal supports?  Is there a government employee driving around Maricopa County and deciding what cacti need the supports?  That sounds like an excellent use of the tax payers' money.

Is there a government department devoted to preserving the saguaro cacti?  Maybe I'm just uninformed, but it looks like the saguaro cacti is doing just fine on its own.  I saw thousands of them.  If Arizona doesn't watch out, the saguaro cacti will revolt and reclaim the desert.  In fact, I think I'm going to go write a screenplay now called Rise of the Saguaro.  It will be like Hitchcock's The Birds meets Planet of the Apes, except so much better. 

I do not know who is responsible for building and installing the metal supports for the Maricopa County saguaro cacti population.  But instead of building supports, I think the authorities should start building cages for these cacti.  They look treacherous.