Troubled bromeliad

“Have you figured out what’s wrong with my bromeliad?”

“You mean Fortuna?” asked Norbert.

“Norbert, what did I tell you about naming my plants?” asked Gill. He rubbed his eyebrows.

“Well, as a matter of fact I did get a chance to look at Fortuna,” said Norbert, “and she’s been a naughty girl, she has. Her soil is intoxicated almost to the highest degree of intoxicatedness.”

“What?” asked Gill.

“She’s drunk,” said Norbert.



“That’s bizarre,” said Gill.

“Fortuna can make a full recovery, but one more of your famous, fruity cocktails and she would’ve been in serious trouble, she would’ve,” said Norbert, looking solemn. He handed a yellowed advert clipped from the Rosy Herald to Gill. “Looks like her drinking is quite serious; I suggest you take her here. Their next meeting is on Tuesday.”

Gill looked at the paper.

“Norbert, I am not taking my bromeliad to an Alcohol Awareness meeting,” said Gill.

“Okay, suit yourself,” said Norbert, shrugging, “though denial’s never helped anyone. Best to nip it in the bud, I’d say, but she’s your bromeliad.”

“Anything else you suggest?” asked Gill.

“Do you have a pentail tree shrew?”

“No,” said Gill.

“Well, then the best I can suggest is several doses of my special get-over-hangover formula,” said Norbert, pulling a small, brown bottle from one of his cluttered shelves. “It’s packed with plenty of planty electrolytes for rehydration, plus extra alcohol dehydrogenase, to break down the ethyl.”

“That should be just fine,” said Gill. “Thank you.”

He took the bottle from Norbert and picked up the bromeliad with a flutter of his hand.

“Are you coming, David?” asked Gill, nodding toward the door. “Dominic’s back now. He can give you a lift.”

“Yep, he’s coming,” said Norbert. “He’s got a boat to catch!”

The Merman’s Mark, Chapter 30