firepower

When I was but a lad, one of my favorite toys was G.I. Joe. My friends and I would spend hours with the figures (the older 12" versions, not the newer, smaller toys),  living Bondesque adventures for hours and hours. One thing was apparent to us (and to Hasbro) was that Joe needed "stuff". Gear of all sorts, from exotic vehicles like jetpacks to the mundane like mess kits. Then of course, weapons.


All of that equipment cost money though, and since I had little of it at that age I turned found items into adventure accessories whenever I could. I remember the day at my grandparents' house when I discovered that the flowers she called "four o'clocks" provided me with something that Joe could really make use of.


***


This year I grew Mirabilis for the first time, probably for nostalgic value only -- I wanted to grow the flowers that my grandmother did. There were some differences between the plants I had in my garden and what  I remember from that Chicago garden of decades ago, enough so that I doubted that my "four o'clocks" were the same "four o'clocks" that she grew.


But then the seeds formed.


I remember my amazement when as a toy soldier-loving boy I discovered that there was a plant that grew hand grenades!


The seeds turn over when they're ripe, ready for easy harvest.


A little small for Joe's hands (even with the kung fu grip), but easily explained: these were ultra-grenades. Smaller than regular hand grenades but twice as powerful.


And I had dozens of them!


As you can tell by the look on his face, Joe was pleased with my discovery, as it meant almost unlimited ammo, and lots of firepower!

I know now that the cultivar of Mirabilis I grew this year was not the same one that my grandmother had -- mine was much too small, I didn't really like the colors, and it didn't really impress -- but this is definitely the plant that helped equip the imagination of my youth.

And that makes it worth having in the garden next year.

I just have to find the right variety.

.

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Maywyn  – (October 18, 2012 at 10:11 AM)  

Hilarious! Great post

As kids we use to throw dogberries at each other. lol

danger garden  – (October 18, 2012 at 10:30 AM)  

The really do look like little grenades, fabulous, and I love that you still have your GI Joe!

Wolf  – (October 18, 2012 at 1:11 PM)  

My dad always grew Four O'clocks in the garden when I was a kid. I grew some once, but like you, found they simply weren't the same as the ones I knew when I was a kid.

Still, they do make a nice memory from childhood.

Alan @ It's not work, It's gardening!  – (October 18, 2012 at 2:27 PM)  

Loree: This one was actually my brother's. I'd never let my G.I. Joe get that dirty! :-)

Barbie  – (October 19, 2012 at 3:43 AM)  

That was so cool to read. We (my 3 sisters and me) had to invite boys over to play with us because we had Barbie Dolls and we needed GI Joes for boyfriends - Ken was not cool enough. I remember making hats from flowers. Those days we created our own fantasy. Thanks for the memories.

allison  – (October 21, 2012 at 9:21 AM)  

My grandmother's boxwood shrub leaves made fine cups for my Barbies :)
I have four o'clocks that bloom magenta and yellow....on the same flower. They come up everywhere, but are so gorgeous I hate to pull them up.

allison  – (October 21, 2012 at 9:21 AM)  

My grandmother's boxwood shrub leaves made fine cups for my Barbies :)
I have four o'clocks that bloom magenta and yellow....on the same flower. They come up everywhere, but are so gorgeous I hate to pull them up.

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