Blackberry Hell

Spring has imposed itself upon me and I find my time more consumed now with clearing brush off of my adjacent lot, trimming trees and working on my vegetable garden.  Thus I have less time to spend on my blog.  But fortunately I have my good friend Donna Cavanagh to fill in for me at such times as she has so often done before.  Here’s one of her  recent stories that we can all identify with regarding redundant TV ads and their get rich quick (often silly) schemes



I watched a series of shows on the History Channel or the Planet Green channel or whatever channel–to be honest I don’t remember. The first show discussed whether Jesus existed; the second show told the tale of a very young, impish Jesus who threw a playmate off the roof of his house only to raise that playmate from the dead so that the kid could tell Jesus’ parents and his own parents, who were a tad miffed at the Messiah, that it was an accident; and the third  discussed who was responsible for framing Jesus. My first guess was the resurrected kid who got tossed from the roof, but believe it or not, he wasn’t even a suspect.

Anyway, none of these shows caught my interest quite like the commercial that kept airing in between the shows’ segments: The Sweet Dreams Blackberry Plant that you can grow at home. I know you are thinking that the sociopath Jesus would be more captivating than blackberries but sorry to say, He wasn’t.  I have heard the Jesus stories before (although my 16 years of catholic school left out the one about the homicidal Jesus), but nowhere before had I seen blackberries like the ones that graced my TV screen.

According to the commercial, if I bought one of these plants, I could have a lifetime supply of blackberries. Yes, one miracle plant would yield four pints of blackberries a day and 20 bowls a week.  And these were not just regular blackberries. No, they were giant blackberries.My husband, who was watching the Jesus shows with me, saw the commercial and said,

“You love blackberries. Maybe this would be good for you.”

As I watched the commercial, I became a bit frightened. This was a lot of fruit from one plant. I know that blackberries are high in antioxidants, but how many of these fine berries can one eat? In the commercial, they show a family of four sitting around the table eating blackberry jam, blackberry pie, and cereal garnished with blackberries plus there is some type of blackberry syrup sitting atop the table and about 5 full bowls of the fruit just for snacking.  This family of four was going to eat all these blackberries and then tomorrow they would have to begin again. Their teeth and tongues must permanently exhibit a purplish hue and that is the least of their problems. There doesn’t seem to be a way to turn off the miracle plant’s harvesting spigot. These people are trapped in blackberry hell.

Hey, I like blackberries, but at present, we are a family of two since my daughter moved out. I would go crazy with this plant. What if I forgot to harvest one day? Would I have to eat eight pints of blackberries the next day?  Where would I store all this fruit?  I guess this plant would work if I baked pies or made jam but I do neither, and the only syrup I get is made by Mrs. Butterworth.

I said to my husband, “Can you imagine if I bought this plant? Even if I discovered a talent for baking pies or making my own preserves, we would have millions of berries left over. They would take over the house until one day we would drown in them.  Rescuers would have to force open the doors because blackberries would be jammed up against them. They would have to dig beneath the purple goo to find us.  We would be blackberry hoarders.”

Just then I heard the TV announcer say that if I ordered one blackberry plant, he would send me a second one free.  He would double my order so I can get twice as many blackberries to enjoy! And if I ordered within the next seven minutes, a third one would be sent as well! This was all for $10. This was the perfect ad for the Jesus shows; this miracle plant just kept multiplying.

“What? Three times as many blackberries? We would have to eat 60 bowls of blackberries a week? Who can eat that many? The Duggar family with their 21 kids couldn’t scarf down this many berries.  This would be so scary!”

At this time, I noticed my husband had a worried look on his face. “You know, you don’t have to order the plant. It was just a thought because you like fresh berries, but if it’s going to be this big a trauma for you, just don’t order it.”

Hm. And just like that the panic passed. I didn’t have to order this plant.  I could still buy blackberries at the market. Sure, I might pay double the price but that extra money would be well worth my peace of mind knowing I don’t have to face the task of learning to make blackberry preserves or blackberry pie. That commercial came on five more times during the Jesus shows.  I guess if they are paying for that much TV advertising, the miracle plants must sell or maybe they just sell during Jesus shows because they are miracle plants. Either way, that plant is not going to be in my house.  I can’t take the pressure.


Donna Cavanagh, the Founder of, is a veteran journalist whose detour into humor writing has landed her on the pages and blogs of MORE Magazine,, and FIRST Magazine. A former humor columnist for Journal Register Papers, she was a USA Books Contest finalist for her first book “Life On The Off Ramp.” Host of BlogTalk Radio’s Wicked Wednesdays, Donna is also co-host of the Humor Outcasts’ Podcast “You’re Joking, Right?”


8 responses to “Blackberry Hell

    • Thanks so much Donna. Your material is such a treat and its juts a no-brainer for me to share it with others when I’m caught between posting and life’s other requirements.

  1. Good post1 I have wild plums growing on 2 trees and during the season I get about a 1000 plums per tree….I like plums and love what they can do for my disgestive tract…..but please when is enuff, enuff?

  2. Good post. Gardening always takes precident over blogging. Can’t eat a blog post no matter how wonderfully written. There are however, a multitude of uses for the goodies one can grow in their gardens.

  3. I’ve very suspicious of plant that grow upside down, or produce six different kinds of fruit on one plant. I think it is probably a communist plot.

  4. I know this is an old post but I wanted to say I enjoyed your humor. On the other hand, just because the plant produces the fruit it doesn’t mean you must eat it. Unharvested fruit will feed birds and the fallen fruit gives nutrients back to the soil. Then again, the part they don’t mention is it takes up to three years for the blackberry plant to be mature enough to produce the advertised quantities. Still, it’s a great product but you can probably get comparable bushes in a local nursery for less money.

    • Antonio,

      sorry for taking so long to approve your post. It actually got past me on my e-mail list and I just now found it as I was purging all of the old stuff.

      Thanks for your comments on this post that was originally written by Donna Cavanagh.

  5. Of course, I would question the mind workings of anyone who would watch a commercial TV show about the late JC. I suppose it’s not surprising that their daughter moved out.

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