Tuesday, June 28, 2005

When Lilacs Last In The Dooryard Bloom'd

Once this was the Flour City, a town of gristmills, where winter wheat was ground to meal. The milling industry died, as businesses do—and it died coincidentally with the rise of a new commercial nurseries and seed companies. The city nickname morphed into the homophonic Flower City.

If you wrote this in a work of fiction, nobody would buy it; it’s too tidy a coincidence, too implausible a transformation.


The anecdote smacks of the old Twilight Zone episode “To Serve Man,” or one of those unlikely theological thrillers where the foundations of Christendom are shaken when it’s discovered that a key passage of Scripture hinges on a misplaced comma. It sounds like utter bullshit, in other words. But the lilacs are undeniable notwithstanding the credibility of the story. Bullshit makes the flowers grow, I guess.

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