Saturday, July 24, 2010
Last week I posted a piece about Lois, the famous corpse flower at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. The city (in fact, the whole country) waited for Lois to bloom. Some began calling her Slowis; others predicted she'd never bloom, she was just a tease. Meanwhile, Zac, the hunky horticulturist who is in charge of her, has achieved rock star status in Houston.
Lois's counterpart (perhaps cousin) Perry is blooming in Minneapolis. He's been faster to spread his petals, but he hasn't gotten the publicity Lois has. Her website receives hundreds of tweets daily from Lois aficianodos.
Finally, on Thursday her purple petals began to open. My friend and I and her daughter decided we had to visit and thought going after 10 p.m. would be a good choice. We got there at 11:00, and the museum was so crowded, our tickets were for a 1:30 a.m. entrance. We went home, got snacks and books and returned to wait in line. While we were waiting, the guy in the picture above arrived in a homemade Lois costume.
The museum had placed a Stinkometer in Lois's vicinity. I don't know if you can see in the picture that when we arrived, it had a reading of 5 out of a possible 10. Yes, Lois emits an odor but half way up the chart it was tolerable. As we walked out at 2:00 a.m., we asked each other if we were crazy. Nah, it was an adventure, a once-in-a-lifetime chance to smell a flower with the odor of rotting meat.
The Chronicle, our daily paper, ran a story Friday about a couple who months ago reserved the Butterfly Center at the Museum for their wedding Saturday night. Little did they know they'd be sharing center stage with Lois, who stands at the entrance to the Butterfly Center. Since it was too late to change their plans, they decided to give all the guests clothespins to put over their noses.