Plants vs. Zombies

The best $2.99 I ever spent was on my iPhone version of Plants vs. Zombies.  This is a game which requires you (the suburban homeowner) to defend your back yard, pool, and eventually the roof from invading zombies of increasingly bizarre aspect and powers.  Your defense is garden plants: peashooters, sunflowers, cherry bombs, wall-nuts, potato mines, and other creative variations.

What does that have to do with San Jose?  At this time of year after the unusual amount of rain, it is easy to view my Willow Glen backyard as a battlefield with the plants (and me) vs. the snails and weeds.  My Matilija poppies, which are now extending their huge fried egg flowers enthusiastically into the branches of the almond tree, easily seem as odd as some of the plants in the game. The Nasturtiums are spreading as wide horizontally as the poppies are shooting upward. And my Aloe flowers look like orange explosions floating above the spiky plants below.

My daughter Jessica wrote a zombies blog a few months ago which referred to a 4/13/2009 New York Times editorial by Adam Cohen which says: “Monster stories are a projection of our collective anxieties — and that may explain why in the current economic downturn, zombies are starting to catch up with the long-fashionable vampire. … Zombie stories often end with a hearty band retreating to a small, secure space — a cabin or a shopping mall — and fighting for survival.”

When I clear my garden of weeds and snails, and when I clear my electronic roof of zombies, I feel like a heroic defender. Very satisfying.

Matilija poppies




Images Copyright 2010 by Katy Dickinson

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