Monday, December 24, 2007

No smooch for you!

One of our holiday traditions is facing serious problems.

English mistletoe is losing a battle against disappearing apple orchards and the loss of a 150 year old auction.
In the UK mistletoe grows as a parasite on the soft bark of certain trees, mainly apple. Most sold for the Christmas trade is harvested from low-growing orchard trees in the Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire area. The problem is not the plant itself, it is not threatened, but the disappearing apple orchards. Mistletoe can be propagated but the success rate is low, meaning the industry relies heavily on supplies from the wild.
Because the wild mistletoe is dwindling, so are our chances of getting kissed on Christmas by our drunken friends and relations.

Well, I get kissed by my cousin's same-sex significant other/husband. I must be using faulty mistletoe.

I digress. . .The mistletoe problem not only stems from how hard it is to grow, but also because of the extinction of a tradition:
Nearly all English mistletoe is sold wholesale in one place: Tenbury Wells in Worcestershire - the "mistletoe capital" of the UK.

It has run a unique mistletoe auction before Christmas for the last 150 years, based at the town's cattle market. It is steeped in tradition, with Druids attending to bless the plants.
Well, see. If you have an item sold in one place for a 150 years, you've scoffed at expansion. Just think of all the years you've lost to growth! Don't even get me started on the hippie Druids.

Maybe the English deserve to lose their mistletoe!

I propose that apple orchards in the U.S. work on propogating a new breed of mistletoe. It has to be greener, with more berries, and has to guarantee more kissing--of the kind you like.

(H/T: BBC)

4 comments:

@WR15 said...

Once again our cousins from across the sea are misinformed.

The Mistletoe around Tenbury Wells is thriving. There is plenty of supply, it's the demand that is lacking.

Suggest you read http://mistletoe.typepad.com/mistletoe_travels/ for a much more informed view.

RT said...

Ummm...if you clicked on the link I supplied at the beginning of my post, you would have noticed I linked to Briggs, whom you suggested I read.

Also, the article from which I took quotations was a BBC UK story--not from an American source (see the hat tip at the end).

I believe my quote said that the problem is not the mistletoe, but the disappearing orchards on which the parasite thrives.

I'd also suggest that you try to understand what sarcasm is. It was a post mocking people who go ape shit over reports of things dwindling and changing.

Don't think you got it, though.

You might also be careful of calling me your cousin, as I have cousins in Scotland. We're hard asses you know. We don't take shit, either.

In the future, I suggest you keep the following in mind if you choose to visit my blog again:

1. Humor post. (You will know when I am quite serious.)

2. Always click on the links.

3. Before you criticize, take a deep breath.


Don't forget to have a very Merry Christmas. :)

Skul said...

There's a wild mistletoe that grows on pine trees in Colorado. Not as pretty as the regular stuff. If you stand under it, the bears kiss you.

Merry Christmas RT.

RT said...

Thank you Skul! :) Merry Christmas to you, too.

In the article and information that I read before I wrote this post, I noticed that the English mistletoe is preferred because of the size of its leaves and the berries.

(I did kind of mock the American idea of taking what is fine and trying to make it bigger and better--in mass quantities, though. I don't think my pal from England got my humor, though. I guess to be that into mistletoe, you have to work really hard to be that much of a bore.)