The Sheltered Islander: Bothersome Bamboo

Last week’s Shelter Island Reporter did an article on the invasive nature of bamboo and how we can control its spread since there is a considerable amount of it here on the Island.

I never thought of it as a problem, I think it’s rather pretty, but I certainly wouldn’t want it to choke out native flora. Apparently to stop its spread you have to push a thick metal plate at least three feet deep to stop it’s roots from spreading. It’s either that or a backhoe…yikes!

Thomas Edison said a problem is just an opportunity in work clothes. Maybe there’s a business here for the Island.

Bamboo fishing rods—one nice, long fishing rod instead of one that has two or three sections. You never have to worry about losing any pieces of your rod and your kids can’t play swords with it.

Spare the rod, spoil the child. That adage can still be applied if the rod is used right by parents. Use a bamboo rod to help get the kids up for school. You can poke them with the rod while they’re in bed until they wake up. You can tickle their faces. As a last resort, you can whip the quilt wherever there’s movement. It won’t hurt them, and will provide you with stress relief. Or you can stand at the bottom of the stairs and whip the bamboo through the air so they hear the whipping sound while you threaten them with beatings.

A bamboo rod in the car with kids would be really helpful. You can reach any seat with any kid and hit them in the legs while you scream, “That’s it! Nobody touch anybody!”

A short bamboo rod with a wad of tape, sticky side out, will retrieve old French fries and other dreck from under car seats. You could find that earring you lost…you never know.

Short bamboo rods could be given to people waiting on the ferry. Nerves are frayed, the wait is hot, tempers flare, just give those drivers a weapon and viola! A new reality series, “Escape From Bamboo Island” is born! Winners get to get on the ferry first.

Short bamboo rods could be issued to wait staff on the Island who put up with some horrible behaviors from tourists. This way, if they don’t behave, the waiter could give the patron a quick flick on the back of the neck as he or she went by and blame it on the aggressive African mosquitoes that got loose here. It might not change the customer’s behavior, but it should will be satisfying for the staff.

A bamboo rod would be a fantastic mother’s helper when Mom is exhausted. You can sit in your chair and pick and flick. Pick up socks on the rug, flick them towards the hallway where they can later be kicked to the washer. You can pick up garbage and flick it towards the kitchen. If your spouse is napping on the couch and children are jumping off furniture all around him and you want him to take them somewhere—anywhere—you can flick his head ever so gently until he wakes up and asks you what’s going on. And if one of your kids rats you out to Dad, you can whip their rump as they flee.

Yup, bamboo can be a friend.

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