Euripides, Athos and little Morton

I imagine my title says it all.

You read it and you know.  You just know. I have bought plants.

Euripides is my corn plant.  She is graceful, tall and confident.  More like a tree than a plant.  I confide in her my thoughts about my characters and plot.  She has yet to give her opinion.

Athos is my golden pothos.  He is a bit more flamboyant and raucous.  I have already snipped three of his leaves and added them into separate glass vases.

I am currently listening to Chopin, something I usually do not do.  As you know, Chopin is plant music.  I half-suspect Chopin was himself a plant.  I hope Euripides and Athos are enjoying it, because I only have the one song.  I’ll throw in some Boccherini in a bit to try acclimatize them to good classical, and then I’ll be off to sleep.

Taking care of plants is hard work indeed.

Furthermore, Athos added some drama to last night.  I was very gracefully watering them to some, well, um.  Okay, not to classical music–perhaps this is why Athos was acting out.  Anyway, and then the most HORRIFYING thing!  A creature appeared on Athos!

A creature, I say!  Needless to say, the entire glass of water got thrown across the room, and I myself exhibited sudden ballerina leaps hitherto unknown to my limbs.

What was I to do?  My immediate assumption was that Athos had brought a cockroach friend with him.  This was dreadful news.  On par with, like, other dreadful news.  And not to be borne!

I grabbed a sandle to thwack the interloper.  But the interloper was in Athos!  I can’t hit Athos! Athos is a plant, and somehow it is deeply objectionable to hit a plant. I mean, it’s not like they can move away.  It’s just very dastardly.  Don’t ask me why hitting a bug is less so.

I found myself foiled.

The next day at work, I am told that the bug I’m describing is not a cockroach but rather, quote, “a compliment to my plant.” Because it shows Athos is very healthy.

To which I have this to say:


“But what should I do?” I wail.

A smirk from the peanut gallery. “Name it.”

“Name a BUG?”

“Call it Morton.”


Thoughts? Advice?  (Euripides is mostly silent on this matter too. And Morton has disappeared.)


Athos...and Morton


About sputnitsa

Born in the US, I grew up in Africa and the West Indies, and returned stateside in my teens. After a decade in international development, democracy work, and inclusivity training for domestic NGOs, I joined Peace Corps, and after a year, experienced my first Russian invasion. I followed that up by volunteering with refugees and youth, and after some vacation time climbing minarets and mountains, I returned to New York City, where today I work on social justice with college students, produce short films, and write.
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14 Responses to Euripides, Athos and little Morton

  1. JBro says:

    Do you know how grossed out I am right now? Between cockroaches (sp?) and LIVING plants you have named???

  2. Beth says:

    That may explain why all of my plants haven’t done well…while they’ve been named (Francois the Aloe and Klaus the Christmas cactus) they haven’t been listening to the right music! The Who and The Kinks may be good for me, but they aren’t good for plants…

    Ugh, cockroaches or bugs-that-resemble-roaches…

    • sputnitsa says:

      I like your multicultural garden 🙂 Yes, plants are exacting house guests, I suspect. 🙂

      oh, btw, have you used eggshells with your plants? I hear it’s good for them, but I can’t remember if they’re also good for chasing off Mortons… Do you know?


      • Beth says:

        I haven’t! I’ll have to give that a try…
        My plants always have a problem with fruit flies (but only when I keep them with me. They’ve been relocated to a new home, and no problem!). No problems with Mortons, thankfully.

  3. Kasia says:

    I might visit you in New York, if I receive an invitation in the form of a postcard – goddammit woman! Where is that rectangular piece of card????!!!!

    Anyhoo, leave Morton well alone – don’t squish him, karma and all that. He was probably just staying in the B&B that is Athos. You know, like a break in a long journey.

    • sputnitsa says:

      Heh-heh! Actually, I have a card!! 🙂 *waves card in air in victory* *realizes, um, I should maybe post it as you can’t see it from here, leave alone read it*


      Listen, regarding Morton. Is that your advice even if Morton is a roach?

      I’m all for Athos helping out in the cycle of life and whatnots and getting lovely reviews on TripAdvisor, etc, but… I was not planning on becoming a one-stop-roach-fest. *shudder*

      Do you have plants? Can’t wait to see you here!!! Now I know what I must include in my postcard 🙂 Directions! 🙂

      • Kasia says:

        Yes. I am the same regarding all icky insects – the main reason is if one squishes said insect all their gooey insides come spewing out and that revolts me. My absolute horrors are spiders and slugs – I just run away screaming like a little girl, but I leave them well alone. However, that all said, if there is an infestation then I call the one man who can deal with it – the man with a plan – the Pest Control Officer and his wonderful fumigation device. ;p Nighty night buggie boos! ;p Muwahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

        I do have plants and they have managed to survive. I do not name my plants, but I have named my car… Shows my where my true affections lie… 😉 His name (and yes, my car is a ‘he’) is Malutkie meaning ‘small one’ in sort of pigeon Polish. 🙂 He’s my baby, and unfortunately some b*&%£*d kicked in his door and left a big dent yesterday… Sniff! I was sooooo upset this morning. 😥 I have been to the garage where I usually get him serviced and they were super nice to me and offered an ‘as-good-as’ job for £50. If I had him properly done with panel beating I would have to fork out £300 plus…

        Karma find that person and do your worst!!!!!

        With regards to visiting you in New York, well…it won’t be very soon – je suis un peu cassee! 😉 But! I shall save and save like a squirrel storing winter nuts and come to plague you. But, first! Le damn post card! 😉 x

        • sputnitsa says:

          Ew, yes. Gooey insides are disgusting. I’m with you all the way.

          Hey, Kasia, did you guys have shangalooloos, or is this just a South African thing? Shangalooloos and xoxos and nunus. (Not sure about the spelling of any of these things.)

          Someone at work asked me if I could kill a creature once I’d named it. I could name a cockroach Hercules and still kill it. Provided it wasn’t life size. I would never have the idiocy to name a cockroach that kind of name, though. 🙂 I think I must never name bugs again, though. Imagine I met a guy met Morton and all I could think about is “I once killed a Morton…” 🙂

          I love the name Malutkie! 🙂 Can’t wait to see a picture 🙂 🙂 And yes, let us plague one another in our respective homes 🙂 I’m so into a Welsh visit now! 🙂 🙂

          Le damn post card shall be flying from my city to yours on Thursday or Friday. I shall give her a name, so you can greet her appropriately from the mailbox. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  4. Morton – as in the Morton Arboretum in Chicago. Good name!

  5. My plants have a penchant for Tchaikovsky. In particular Swan Lake and The Nutcracker.

    I do have some Chopin. I’ll have to play some more of him to see how they respond. 🙂

    • sputnitsa says:

      🙂 Love it. Well, I hope my plants don’t expect me to put Chopin on but once a month or something. Really, Boccherini, Mozart, Beethoven and Strauss should do the trick. I mean, we all of us live here together, and we must make musical sacrifices from time to time. But Chopin is just…a lot to bear.


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