Throw It Back Thursday: Art Vegan And The French Monks

Herb’s Blog, Herbdate 22300 – 1064


If you want more about our friend, Art Vegan, click here.


Here’s the haps:

Art Vegan was not doing very well in his quest to learn French. Part of the problem was that he lacked real motivation. He was doing it because he thought he was supposed to do something like it but was not doing it for any clear purpose. His interest had been temporarily piqued by a case he had helped solve. He had been invited to stay with the members of a very small French monastery. A man had come to the monastery with a problem that turned out to be a mental health issue. He would spontaneously start singing the children’s nursery rhyme song Frère Jacques; then he would start skipping and dancing around wildly. They finally figured out that he was suffering from compulsive gamboling.

They threw a feast in honor of solving the mystery. Art recalled the meal fondly. The potatoes were cooked to perfection as a French Friar, Brother Alvin, put them in the French Fryer. There had been some concern when a monk had been shouting for help, which was repeated over and over again by the rest of them until the problem was solved. This was setting off a friar alarm. (Should anyone be allowed to yell, “Friar!” in a crowded monastery?) According to some of his friends in the U.K., the fellow cooking the potatoes would be making “chips,” which would have made this guy Brother Alvin, the chip monk.

They had seemed like a nice enough bunch of guys and even ran a booming floral business at the edge of the woods. Villagers often frequented the shop but there was something going on that nobody knew about. In the very back part of the greenhouse was a strange plant that had been cultivated for centuries. These guys were uncannily disguised fakes.

Art enjoyed the greenhouse and walking among the daylilies, orchids, and other flowers but was puzzled by the way the building looked so much larger on the outside than on the inside. One day as he was watching the cat chase a mouse he saw it push through a hidden door that had been inadvertently left unlocked. There in the middle of the room stood a very tall, carnivorous-looking plant. It proved to be so as he watched with horror as it ate the cat. He had seen both movie versions of Little Shop of Horrors and had watched it performed on stage. He’d read Howard Ashman’s original script and knew the gruesome ending. These guys were going to take over the world!

The secret room had a back door and he ran out to the woodpile and grabbed an axe. He had been seen and was being chased back to the greenhouse. He made it and slammed and bolted the door. He knew they would go around so the situation required immediate action. He struck the base of the stem with the axe blade and the plant thing began to ooze a green slime-looking substance. The door broke down and he was rushed. It was his life or theirs and he swung the axe wildly. It struck one of them and instead of blood, there was the same green ooze! No longer feeling guilty, he waded into the floriculturists with gusto. As he tried to get a good swing at the plant with the axe the thing moved.

Finally, he was able to destroy the evil plant and burned the whole flower shop down completely, just in case. As he recalled the incident now, he knew that it was only his ability to effectively wield an axe that had saved the world. He guessed it must be true. Hew, and only hew, can prevent florist friars.


  1. I can imagine such a story happening in the historical town of Bethlehem in Pennsylvania, where I saw high walled monasteries and quiet stone paved street of 17th century.

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