Bloom and blame

I am fully aware of the fact that I’ve blathered on about the flower displays of the desert Southwest this spring, and I’m having no trouble sticking to my vow to pipe down on the topic. Fortunately, that vow doesn’t have anything to do with the wildflower show that is gathering serious steam here in Northern Nevada. That Antarctic snow pack of January and the cool, moist weather have set the stage for a crackin’ good display. As the southern deserts begin to crispify, the northern deserts stand ready to pick up the slack. Last week, for example, I chanced upon a hillside along normally barren Alternate Highway 95 between Fernley and Silver Springs that was positively pounded with native flora. If it’s been too long since you literally stopped and smelled the flowers, make sure you stick your beak into one of the foot-tall daisies called Hooker’s Balsamroot, nicknamed the “chocolate daisy” because it packs the faint but unmistakable aroma of Nestle’s Quik.

In the “Better Late Than Never” Department, the recent quotes from Rep. Jim Gibbons are simply too juicy to let pass without comment.

First—I was disappointed to read that Jim’s bile-blast wasn’t his own, but that of a dangerous sea hag from Alabama. If you can’t muster up three paragraphs of your own personal heartfelt venom as you roll into Elko, what kind of rattler are you?

Second—I’m assuming that Jim used that rant as a means of pandering in some way to the assembled yahoos in Elko County. That’s all fine and good to do if you’re never running for another office as long as you live. But pandering to those Sagebrush Rebellionists of Elko County is sorta like pandering to the genteel gents who shot Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper in Easy Rider, or, if you prefer, the dentally challenged sophisticates who romanced Ned Beatty in Deliverance. You might want to check with your consultants and focus groups before doing much more pandering to this particular segment of the voting populace. Sure, there’s a certain lure to courting that old-school Nevada demographic of Forest Service-hatin’ moonshiners, but something tells me that’s not a real big slice of the 85,000 new Nevadans who moved here from the Bay Area last week.

Third—Enough with using the “L” word as some kind of modern expletive. You know what? If the major mouthpieces of your political movement are shrieking mega-putzes like Michael Savage and Ann Coulter, there’s no freaking way you can make me feel the tiniest iota of shame over being a dad-blamed liberal, thank you very much.

Fourth—Speaking of thank you very much, something tells me that was precisely what Lorraine Hunt said to herself when she first heard of Gibbon’s gaffe.

Fifth—What does the guy have against spinally-correct, ultra-comfortable footwear?