APRIL FOOL’S Dying bamboo sparks Congressional action | VailDaily.com

APRIL FOOL’S Dying bamboo sparks Congressional action

Baldrick Dogsbody

EAGLE-VAIL – A local man’s decision to stop watering an ailing bamboo plant has attracted the attention of right wing congressmen who attempted to enact emergency legislation Thursday night to save the decorative shrub. Skunk McFazio, assistant manager of an Eagle-Vail bike shop, said he decided to quit feeding the plant – given to him by his sister-in-law to commemorate his promotion from ‘gear monkey’ – when “it just didn’t want to grow anymore.” “I don’t think the plant would want to go on like this – a puny, stumpy, leafless stalk,” McFazio said. “Bamboos are supposed to be, like, tall and graceful, not all wilted and gray and smelly.” But U.S. Rep. Tom Delay, the aggressive Texas Republican, introduced a bill in the House of Representatives late Thursday that would allow a federal Freedom for Workplace Flora Commission to review McFazio’s decision to essentially starve his plant to death. Delay’s bill urged the yet-to-be formed commission to order McFazio to begin watering the plant while it finishes a review. “We’re not intruding on a person’s personal relationship with his or her desk ornament, which is a sacred trust, but this is about freedom and someone has to speak for this bamboo plant because it can’t tell us what it wants,” Delay said in a speech.Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said he was planning to introduce similar legislation. “I’m not a horticulturist, but I am a doctor, which is pretty similar, and from the pictures and video I’ve seen, this bamboo’s practically as healthy as an oak tree – I mean it sill seems to lean slightly toward sunlight,” Frist said. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it that an ounce of two of Miracle Gro can’t fix.”It will probably start to blossom any day now,” he added. But McFazio said he tried Miracle Gro, among other things, in several unsuccessful attempts to revive the moribund stalk. “I played classical music at night when the shop was closed. I also bought a small cactus with a gecko in it to keep the bamboo company, but nothing worked,” he said. “At this point, I think it’s just kind of inhumane to force things.” Doris Q. Stegosaurus president of the Family Bamboo and Bonzai Tree Council, a conservative organization based in Colorado Springs, called the congressmen’s actions “heroic.””We see ourselves as the drip dish under the proverbial flower pot that catches the excess water and uses that water to replenish, rather than destroy,” said Stegosaurus, who insisted on speaking through a bullhorn during the interview. But Howe Labrador, a Boulder-based right-to-die activist, noted a state judge had already ruled in McFazio’s favor in a lawsuit filed against him by a world-renowned Vail botanical garden. Labrador said he was astonished Congress had become involved. “What happened to the separation of powers? What about the Constitution?” Labrador said. “This is just another example of right-wing fanatics pandering to the powerful Asian ornamental plant lobby.” Vail, Colorado

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