Saturday, April 17, 2010

Thankless Jobs: Phoenix Palm maintenance

Every day, through the scorching summers and the blizzards of winter, the Melbourne maintenance crews are out there on the South Bank of the Yarra, renewing the insulation on each palm and checking it for any accumulation of foliage.

Tourists expect the trees to burst into flames on a predictable schedule but few of them appreciate the behind-the-scenes work that goes into preventing premature ignition.

Those workers really should be wearing better protective gear since the trunks are full of a natural explosive (which evolved to propel the seeds to new locations). Apparently they prefer it that way.

9 comments:

Another Kiwi said...

Ah sweet Melbourne summers redolent with the tang of burning tourists and echoing to the crack and whoosh of exploding palm trees! Whilst the energetic locals replenished the evaporating body fluids by mainlining tinnies of Fosters. Why ever did we leave?

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Why ever did we leave?

It must have been the wetas.
~

mikey said...

Ahh, Explosive dehiscence indeed.

Natures little grenades, risking passerby life and limb in the gratuitous pursuit of reproduction.

Interesting, really, when I consider how many times I've risked the life and limb of innocent bystanders in order to procreate, or at least attempt to, and how many times explosives played at least a passing role in that process.

No, no. Please carry on...

Smut Clyde said...

Teh Gazoogle informs me that even as the Spanish Civil War was raging, a certain Professor Galán of Salamanca was researching the explosive cucumber Ecballium elaterium. There is no indication whether he hoped to weaponise it so we'll just have to MAKE SOMETHING UP.

Nor is there any indication whether anyone has successfully hijacked or destroyed a plane using an explosive cucumber. Clearly it is time for the VEGE BOMBER.

Substance McGravitas said...

I once convinced someone that grapefruits were explosive if left on the tree too long and that's why all these American growers hired illegal aliens.

She then murdered an entire family of grapefruit farmers and I felt bad.

merc said...

I still have a piece pf palm shrapnel in me thigh from '96.

Smut Clyde said...

There's a reason why grenades were named after pomegranates.

merc said...

/nods sagely/...and feijoas.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Those workers really should be wearing better protective gear since the trunks are full of a natural explosive (which evolved to propel the seeds to new locations). Apparently they prefer it that way.

Better to be blown to pieces by an explosive tree, than to be gelded by improperly worn protective gear.