Desert Boom 1

In the barren wasteland of March in Cache Valley, this neon cactus replica popped out at me and made me smile because it reminded me of a true story I heard once.

My friend’s older sister was driving us to a movie when we were in high school and she was all excited to tell us this gory cactus tale because it had just happened to a lady she worked with.

Now, it might sound far-fetched, but it is true because I heard it from the horse’s mouth. Well, from the horse’s coworker’s mouth anyway. Even if it isn’t true, it is creepy and funny and is a real crowd pleaser at parties.

This lady had just remodeled her house in a southwestern style and she wanted a real life-size Saguaro cactus to accent the decor. She finally found one in a nursery, but it cost $500. She tried bartering with the owner, but he wouldn’t budge on the price. He said Saguaros had to be grown from the seed and carefully cared for and it took many years for them to grow, so he was not going to undersell it.

She left without a cactus in a huff, formulating her own plan to get one.

While on vacation in Arizona she made her husband go out in the desert and dig up a Saguaro with the roots intact to take home and re-plant in a pot for her house.

(She didn’t bother to find out if this was legal, which it is not, and she would soon find out why!)

She loved her new cactus and doted over it smugly as she reveled in the fact that she had gotten it for free.

A few months later the cactus started shaking violently in its pot. The lady didn’t know what to do, so she called the nursery where she had tried to buy one and confessed to the owner what she had done. The owner told her to get out of the house immediately. She did.

A couple of minutes later the cactus exploded with thousands of baby tarantulas bursting out of it!

The nursery owner told the lady that tarantulas nest inside Saguaros which is why they have to be grown from a seed for domestic use and why it is illegal to take them from the desert.

An exterminator had to come and fumigate her house for a cost of $300. (Wouldn’t you always be worried there was one more spider somewhere?)

She was also fined $2500 for stealing a cactus from the Arizona desert.

So much for her “free” cactus.

Apparently this Cache Valley resident wanted to bring the feel of the southwest to their home without the spiders so they went with the stucco motif. If I were the mailman I would be leery about sticking my hand in that mailbox though!

One comment on “Desert Boom

  1. Reply Nikki Mar 25,2011 12:07 pm

    What a surprise to pull up your blog and see my father in laws cactus! I still remember when he built it. Love your story! Glad he didn’t have trantulas in the house!

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