The State of the Bonide

Last night was the state of the wha wha wha wha on the Tee Vee.  It was probably on the radio, too, on En Pee Are and on some static-filled right-leaning AM stations.  It was quiet here last night, by design.

Saturday nights are different.  I bum around the house, do unexpected things like iron cloth napkins, and listen to “Classic Jazz” on a local classical music station.  Arnold Olean has been producing this show on various local radio stations since I first moved to Portland in 1988.  Back then, the show was broadcast on Saturday mornings and after he finished packing up his vinyl records, he’d head over to The Bridgeway Restaurant in South Portland for a live jazz jam.  I used to go, too.

Talk about the state of the wha wha wha!  That was Don Doane swinging it on his slide trombone.

Don Doane was a big deal in the jazz world during the 60’s.  He played with Maynard Ferguson, Duke Ellington, and Woody Herman back in those days.  The audiences at The Bridgeway were smaller in the 80’s and 90’s, but the joint would be grooving and sometimes older jazz bigs might show up and join the jam.

Slide trombones, jazz jams, and wha wha wha.  Wha wha what does that have to do with gardening?  After all, it’s Wednesday.  Tiny Steps Gardening Day.

Arnold Olean’s “Classic Jazz” runs until 10:00 p.m. on Saturday nights and I sometimes leave the radio on when I go to bed.  The station plays pre-programmed classical music after Arnold’s show until 6:00 a.m. on Sunday morning.  Then it’s the ever-chipper wha wha wha of the Paul Parent Garden Club.  Like Arnold Olean, Paul Parent has been on the air for more than twenty years.

I’m sure Paul Parent is a perfectly lovely person; according to his website, he is gardening’s “Mr. Nice Guy.”

I’m half-asleep when I’m listening to his program and I’m probably still in a dream, sitting at the Bridgeway Restaurant on a snowy Saturday afternoon eating a Greek salad.  The dream always ends when I hear Paul Parent promoting one of his sponsors, Bonide Products, Inc.

Bonide this, Bonide that, sprinkle a little Bonide on it.

Wha wha wha.

Last week, Paul Parent talked about the winter blues and he suggested planting some lettuce in a pot.  He said it would grow right on the windowsill at this time of year, lettuce being a cool-season vegetable.  No Bonide was required.

I’ve never knowingly sprinkled any Bonide in my garden, but once upon a time I went to Oriskany, New York, where Bonide Products, Inc. is headquartered.  But that was a long time ago, another wha wha wha for another day.  Today, I’m going to take Paul Parent’s advice and plant some lettuce seeds.  In a few weeks, I just might have some swinging lettuce.

Wha wha wha.

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