Planting Cotton in the Yard, Part 3

So I started this cotton patch four months ago, and the plants are only about 8-9 inches tall at the most, and I see only one possible boll– its pink flower bloomed a few weeks ago, and that’s the most exciting activity I can report after all this time. The entire patch seems to have gone dormant, though most of the plants look healthy, and I can see tiny buds if I crouch down in the dirt with my close up glasses and peer intently into the deepest recesses of the plants. (This probably embarrasses them. How would you like it if somebody put on close up glasses and stared at your private parts? Maybe you would like that.)  So it doesn’t look like I’ll be pulling in a crop this year as I’d hoped, which makes me eligible to apply for government subsidies. It’s very easy, I hear. This is the entire application:

Name: Jim

Failed Crop: Cotton

And then they ask you where they can send the check. Pretty neat, right? With my money, I will buy cotton clothes already made, and not have to worry about weaving my own cloth– that was going to be my Winter Project, so now I’ll have to think of another Winter Project. Maybe I’ll learn Romanian. Speaking of cotton, in 1984 my sister and I traveled to Europe, where we spent a lot of time in France, Norway, and Italy. After drinking a lot of tall pilsners at lunch, we found a shop in Oslo called Poco Loco which featured beautiful, all-cotton clothes. I bought a bright orange shirt which I wore disco dancing with our cousins in Italy– it showed the sweat REALLY well– and also a pink jumpsuit plastered all over with the Poco Loco insignia. The pants were too tight– I looked like Charo when I put them on– but the top was voluminous and excited a lot of comments wherever we traveled, and a lot of tsk-tsking and head shaking. (I was 28 years old and still at that point where I didn’t care what anyone thought, especially after a day of drinking pilsners.)

Actually, after revisiting the photograph above, taken in 1984 in Oslo, I’ve decided that my Winter Project may yet involve weaving a pair of matching pants that actually fit. And try as I might, I can’t recall what I did with the original pair– for all I know, they may still be in a drawer at the Forbundshotell in downtown Oslo.


7 responses

  1. Damn! I’m so dissapointed about your cotton crop. Maybe you can be McCain’s next talking point. Jim, the failed farmer.

    And I remember when you went to Europe in ’84. But I don’t remember seeing that Poco Loco outfit. I’m probably glad about that.

    Everytime you talk about cotton this song comes to mind:

    When I was a little bitty baby
    My mama would rock me in my cradle
    In them old cotton fields back home
    When I was a little bitty baby
    My mama would rock me in my cradle
    In those old cotton fields back home

    Oh, when those cotton ball get rotten
    You can’t pick very much cotton
    In them old cotton fields back home
    It was back in Louisiana
    Just about a mile from Texarkana
    In those old cotton fields back home
    In those old cotton fields back home…

  2. I also remember the great trip you had, Jimmy. Poco Loco! I didn’t know you were into labels. Going back to the cotton, though, I’m sure you remember that party you had at your house, based on “Gone with the Wind.” Remember? Recall the cotton that you attached to the strictly Italian plants in your parents’ backyard in Bay Ridge? And do you also recall poor Gina, and how you turned her into a domestic for the evening? Neila still remembers how proud she was to be crowned that night. You also blasted Annette records (“Tall Paul”) so that all the neighbors could hear. A good time was had by all.

  3. It’s just as well… you didn’t want calloused hands from all that picking…. it would have put a damper on all of your holiday hand-shaking.

    I think your replacement project for winter should be mulling the perfect cider with just the right alcohol content.

  4. I’ll be sending this one to my Norwegian dtr-in-law you met last year. She has not introduced me to the Poco Loco brand, now we know why.
    As for peering at your “crop” with your up-close glasses I can’t imagine seeing anything any other way.

  5. I would blame global warming! I was so hopeful for your cotton crop….I appreciate your diligence in the photo essay cultivation, however.

    Another musical cotton segue….”Where did you come from? Where did you go? Where did you come from Cotton Eyed Joe (Jim)?” 😉

    And LOVING the outfit, by the way!!

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