We Got Cactus

Posted: November 20, 2014 in Humor, Music
Tags: , , , , ,

711I don’t know if Tucson

Is the gateway to heaven

But you’re never more than ten feet

From a Seven Eleven

Hawaii’s got surfin’

We got cactus

New York’s got nightlife

We got cactus . . .

–“We Got Cactus,” written by Bob McKinley, performed by Al Perry on the CD “Always a Pleasure”


And yes, there is a reason I’m quoting these lyrics. They, and the following e-mail I just received from our bass player, Michael Z.,  will tell you everything you need to know about life in Tucson.

Hi Chaz,

I know what you mean about having time on your hands and not using it to drink. I did my lots a drinking on Saturday night. And the explanation starts with…. we have this cactus….

We have this cactus that needed to be moved. My thoughts were of death to the cactus but my lovely esposa had a different agenda. So, I had to dig it up, carefully so as not to get cactus hate all over me and also so as not to hurt the little cactus as well. Clearly, the concern about me hurting the cactus was outweighed by the ability of the cactus to deliver pain to me.

So I managed to dig it up with relative success. I did notice a large collection of the hair-like units of death sported by this cactus, on my $50 leather working gloves that were designed to resist this kind of attack. But, there they were regardless, so I made a note to self… “Those tiny hair-like missiles will definitely leave a mark, so self….. let’s avoid any contact with those haters.” And I did avoid then, or so I thought.

The planting of this cactus was where things began to unravel. The plastic garbage bags that I used to wrap this darling cactus wore through releasing the hate all over me. Additionally, the little spikes of hate began to be airborne, so any attempts of saving myself from the missiles were futile. I have become intimately attached to my bottles of Elmer’s white glue due to this. But there was no relief for my arms because of the hair that belongs there. Removing the hairs to attempt to extract the missiles is not a good tradeoff.

So both arms, my forehead (a rather large target all by itself), my armpits, my ribs, ankles, legs, and other areas of interest all received  multiple missiles fired by the cactus. It is not pleasant. The short term fix of the scotch-induced mini-coma worked to the point of my being able to sleep some in the short run. But now there  is a different kind of agony that simply has to be endured, at least until I grow enough skin to jerk those missiles out of me!

(The rest of the lyrics on “We Got Cactus” will tell you more than you ever wanted to know about the joys of life here in “The Old Pueblo,” The rest of the lyrics are as funny as the lines quoted above. To hear them, find a copy of Al Perry’s “Always a Pleasure” CD.)

  1. sjhigbee says:

    Oh my goodness! I recall the ones my Gran used to grow that used to leave irritating hairs in the skin that would turn blotchy and itchy… I HATED it when she decided they needed replanting, because wherever I was in the kitchen, at some stage I’d end up encountering the wretched things! So you have my FERVENT sympathy!


    • One of my more painful and humiliating childhood memories involves backing into a Teddy Bear Cholla (the so-called “jumping cactus”), suddenly finding dozens of tiny fish hooks of death embedded in my back side, screaming, and ultimately having my dad come to my rescue by extracting the torture devices one by one with a pair of needle nose pliers. Decades later, I still shudder just thinking about it.

      Liked by 1 person

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