I love fall. I’m a sucker for the changing leaves, the first chill in the air, hot apple cider, Halloween, corn mazes, college football, hay rides and pumpkins.
And then there are chrysanthemums…the official flowers of fall.
I must confess that chrysanthemums threaten me, assaulting my confidence as a gardener. Their voluptuous blooms of gold and purple and deep red flirt with me from the garden center aisles at Lowe’s, offering to bring stunning fall beauty to my front porch for just $3.97 a pot.
I take the bait, filling my cart with mums. And as soon as we get home, their colors already seem faded; their petals, slightly depressed. What happened in the backseat during our three minute car ride?
The next day, they’re starting to wither and turn brown. What did I do wrong?
By the weekend, all resuscitation efforts are in vain. My sad mums receive a pauper’s burial in the yard clippings bin.
Across the street, the Hennesseys’ chrysanthemums have been blooming like over-sized pots of sunshine for a month now. And across the globe, millions of average people without advanced college degrees or master gardener certifications drop a few mums into the ground, sprinkle them with water and the darn things come back bigger and more colorful every year. I start to doubt my competence as a human being.
All these happy fall flowers, brightening porches here and yonder cause me to feel a bitter contempt toward everyone who enjoys them. I wish I never had to look at another chrysanthemum!
It’s sort of ironic how legions of “free thinkers,” like the American Humanists and Freedom from Religion Foundation feel similarly threatened by God and those of us who worship Him as our creator. This insecurity is the reason they go to such extensive lengths to have any and all mentions of religion removed from everything they can. God gives the intellectual nonbeliever ulcers of frustration because He isn’t a concept that can be wrapped up neatly inside a scientific equation. The laws of matter and physics fall short. What a blow to one’s inflated ego to have to admit that there is something that cannot be mastered by genius.
So, rather than live and let live, punitive atheists want to push believers as far out of their sight as possible, essentially robbing us of our religious rights. Because they shouldn’t have to be exposed to anything that makes them uncomfortable.
Since hatred masked as denial seems to be working for the “free thinkers,” I’ve decided to stop believing in chrysanthemums. I can’t master them. Therefore they simply don’t exist. Tomorrow, I’ll be filing a lawsuit with the ACLU to have any evidence of chrysanthemums erased from all government buildings, classrooms, textbooks, parks, veterans’ cemeteries, highway medians and public broadcast stations. I’ll do interviews with liberal news outlets nationwide to explain how my right to healthy self-esteem is violated every time I lay eyes on the offending flowers.
I’ll meet others who feel equally violated and marginalized by mums. We’ll join together and make lots of noise, recruiting any easily led followers who will preach our cause. We’ll hire sleazy, media-hungry attorneys who make their livings by contorting the Constitution.
Eventually, the weak-spined U.S. government will cave in to our demands. Millions of law-abiding Americans will obediently dig up and toss out their mums because someone told them it was the sensitive, politically correct thing to do. Stores caught selling them will be put out of business by protesters spewing hate in the name of tolerance. When our mission is accomplished, the word chrysanthemum will exist only in history books.
Some people will say that my freedom-from-chrysanthemums cause is unfair. But they’re wrong. Because in a free country like America, it’s my right to never be exposed to anything that makes me the least bit uncomfortable…regardless of how everyone else feels.