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The Heather in the Glen
April 1, 2007 4:08 PM   Subscribe

Is winter flowering heather the next viagra? A British newspaper is reporting on April 1 that a 55-year-old man serendipitously discovered that a winter flowering heather infusion suddenly required him to wait a full hour before he "could decently walk down the street." Also known as Erica carnea rosantha, it isn't typically planted from seed, but may require cuttings.
posted by Brian B. (44 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Amazing! First dibs!
posted by Kattullus at 4:13 PM on April 1, 2007


Adieu, Floppy Dicks!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:21 PM on April 1, 2007


ah fuck dis
posted by grobstein at 4:21 PM on April 1, 2007


Okay, I guess the next question is how wooden it be true?
posted by Brian B. at 4:29 PM on April 1, 2007


Congratulations, you're only a day late.
posted by metaxa at 4:48 PM on April 1, 2007


Congratulations, you're only a day late.

Late for what?
posted by Brian B. at 4:50 PM on April 1, 2007


For March 31'st. the pre-spoof-or-gazma.
posted by Balisong at 4:54 PM on April 1, 2007


Oh.
posted by Brian B. at 4:56 PM on April 1, 2007


Although on first blush it smacks of a slimy anecdotal quality—a tattletale stroking his ego and a fondling reporter who's into dashing off entertaining trinkets as if they were journalistic pearl necklaces—if further examination demonstrates there's a lick of the truth to the matter, some enterprising upstart lab could jerk into readiness and stiff previously erected pharma empires, pricking their swollen egos.
posted by Firas at 4:56 PM on April 1, 2007 [2 favorites]


winter flowering heather

a very hardy plant.
posted by hal9k at 5:05 PM on April 1, 2007


I don't know if it's a spoof or not, but I can tell you it doesn't fit the pattern for a British newspaper spoof. The people and businesses referred to are real, and there's nothing specifically jokey about the story, no hidden give-away for the wary or alert. I was waiting for the plant's Latin name to be an anagram of April Fool, but no, Erica carnea is winter-flowering heather.
posted by Hogshead at 5:06 PM on April 1, 2007


Better stamena?
posted by hal9k at 5:09 PM on April 1, 2007


mmm... deflowering heather.
posted by strawberryviagra at 5:13 PM on April 1, 2007


I agree Hogshead. There's something risky about this story if not true, like the royal family's pharma stock going down on Monday morning, and we all know how serious the British are about bush and garden.
posted by Brian B. at 5:19 PM on April 1, 2007


But not everyone is happy about this new discovery. One woman shopping at a Wyvales in Dorking yesterday said: "It's amazing. My husband has never shown any interest in gardening before, but now he's out there night and day fussing over his heathers. Frankly, I preferred it when he left the garden to me and wasn't so frisky."

Heh.
posted by delmoi at 5:30 PM on April 1, 2007


The other risky thing is encouraging people to make alcohol infusions of random garden ornamentals, some of which are poisonous. If it's a joke I hope they did some research to make sure that an Erica carnea infusion is safer than a Rhododendron and Azalea infusion.
posted by well_balanced at 5:34 PM on April 1, 2007


Uhm vasodilatation, excess of. What could possibly go wrong ? I mean other then death of course....
posted by elpapacito at 5:42 PM on April 1, 2007


Hogshead (if that is your real name) said: "[T]here's nothing specifically jokey about the story, no hidden give-away for the wary or alert."

From the linked story: "The effect was almost immediate. I had to stay in my potting shed for an hour or so before I could decently walk down the street."

Do you need a certificate from the Ministry of Silly Walks, or what?
posted by vetiver at 5:42 PM on April 1, 2007


If the article was real, why wouldn't it be mentioned anywhere else? It's obviously false, as a natural analogue of Viagra would be huge news.
posted by delmoi at 5:44 PM on April 1, 2007


I think it only works on April 1st.

Kinda like the whistling carrot from a few years ago. (a british agriculture company developed a carrot that whistles when its finished cooking. Their sales shot up for the first week of April). Gotta hand it to the brits. They have a dandy sense of humor. Fucking Americans would have every rotten lawyer around phoned up and working a case to get their bloody money (+ pain and suffering, mental anguish, and punitive damages) back. We have a way of litigating every fucking thing to death. I don't see why we think they are so uptight on the other side of the big pond. Hope everyone was able to relax and laugh a bit on this April fools day.
posted by cdavidc at 5:48 PM on April 1, 2007


Regardless of an April Fool's joke it will be interesting to see if Pfizer stock takes an unexpected dip tomorrow. Who shorted Pfizer on Friday?
posted by well_balanced at 5:51 PM on April 1, 2007


I'm wearing fuzzy shorts as I type this!
Please advise!
posted by Dizzy at 6:00 PM on April 1, 2007


Proof positive that this is a hoax: If a natural aphrodisiac this powerful were ever discovered, Pfizer would make sure that it was illegalized within a week.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:15 PM on April 1, 2007


If the article was real, why wouldn't it be mentioned anywhere else? It's obviously false, as a natural analogue of Viagra would be huge news.

It looks like a local scoop, and it may take some time for AP and Reuters to clear their versions with Karl Rove. Regardless, I vote for it to be true, and I really hope there is a place called Dorking, although I now wonder why we don't have a place called New Dorking somewhere.
posted by Brian B. at 6:20 PM on April 1, 2007


illegalized?
posted by blue_beetle at 6:41 PM on April 1, 2007


I now wonder why we don't have a place called New Dorking somewhere.

We renamed it to Cleveland.
posted by eriko at 6:54 PM on April 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


Dorking on Google Maps.
posted by idb at 7:04 PM on April 1, 2007


Thats nothing new. Around here people dork on Google Maps all the time.
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:40 PM on April 1, 2007


Dorking on Google Maps.

Ah yes, near Leatherhead and Effingham, of course.
posted by Brian B. at 8:49 PM on April 1, 2007


Brian B. just reminded me....there's some commercial on TV that uses a slowed version of "Wouldn't it be nice" by the Beach Boys to sell something to old people (adult diapers? insurance? something else?).

I keep hearing it and thinking that it would be a better song for one of the erectile improvement ads: "Wooden, it be nice!".
posted by Kickstart70 at 9:29 PM on April 1, 2007


On a related note, often when taking the train from Gatwick to visit my pals in Reading, I passed through the Dorking (Deepdene) station.

I always thought those were fun names for towns.

Dorking. Deepdene.
posted by darkstar at 9:17 PM on April 1, 2007


Well, this madness would stop if one of you UK dwellers would call your local garden shop and inquire as to the demand of our sweet heather.

But, wait, can we trust YOU to correctly inform us?
posted by Brian B. at 9:41 PM on April 1, 2007


What a coincidence, just yesterday I asked the waitress "where's my effing ham?" Now I know.
posted by scalefree at 11:41 PM on April 1, 2007


I can't believe I fell for this...
Anyone want to sell me a bridge?
posted by moonbird at 12:21 AM on April 2, 2007


You mean there isn't a boner plant?
Oh well, back to weed.
posted by squidfartz at 12:43 AM on April 2, 2007


illegalized?

Illegalize. That's a word, isn't it?
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:07 AM on April 2, 2007


It is a word, but it's the kind of word that has only dictionary membership for validation of its existence and any attempt to use it in a sentence would easily counteract the positive effects your lotions and potions may have on one's generative member.
posted by vbfg at 3:39 AM on April 2, 2007


Howzabout "ban"?
posted by nebulawindphone at 5:36 AM on April 2, 2007


You mean there isn't a boner plant?

There was, but everyone was laid off.


bah-dump TAH!
posted by CynicalKnight at 7:32 AM on April 2, 2007


Well, the ladies could always keep 'em at bay with their Motorola TAZR.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:17 AM on April 2, 2007


I can't believe I fell for this...
Anyone want to sell me a bridge?


Actually, it isn't unbelievable at all, and that's what would make it a cheap hoax if so, because anyone can outright lie about something, but there's no glory in getting people to think that a common plant has aphrodisiac properties unless they really want to sell them, the joke would eventually end up to be on the paper itself. The people doubting it are doing so mainly because of the date and lack of corroboration elsewhere.
posted by Brian B. at 11:41 AM on April 2, 2007


Dorking on Google Maps.

Ah yes, near Leatherhead and Effingham, of course.


I used to live in Great Bookham, which is in the general vicinity of aforementioned towns. It was also near Fetcham, so on my drive home from work I used to pass a road sign that read "Fetcham and Bookham" to which my mind always added the word "Dano".
posted by kcds at 12:30 PM on April 2, 2007


I once passed by Tokers Green in Oxfordshire, which seemed a lovely place to retire. But, more on topic, how nifty that there's a variety of Erica Carnea called 'Springwood'
posted by Sparx at 5:38 PM on April 2, 2007


If it is a hoax, an awful lot of people seem to think it's true.
posted by MythMaker at 6:08 PM on April 2, 2007


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