18 Mar

If you ever take a drive along the southern back roads, then you will eventually see something strange – a vine that has covered the ground, trees, fences, power lines and buildings.

It may look lush and green from your point of view, but underneath it has taken over and sucked all of the nutrients out of the area it has covered. This plant is most commonly known as kudzu, but, as a child, I knew it as “mile-a-minute”. Other people call it “the plant that ate the south”.

Native to Japan, the plant was introduced to the United States at the Centennial Exposition, held in Philadelphia in 1876. According to The Amazing Story of Kudzu, gardeners first cultivated kudzu for ornamental reasons, but people began realized that animals would eat it. Southern farmers latched on to this idea and began to grow it for this purpose. However, the plant really took root in the 1930s when the Soil Conservation Service used it for erosion control.

Have you ever heard that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions? Well, in the South it is covered with kudzu. Good intentions led to the promotion of a plant that could not be controlled. It is estimated that this stuff can grow a foot per day and can take up to ten years to kill. Life After People, a show on the History Channel, estimated that it would take fifty years for kudzu to completely cover downtown Atlanta. My friends, that is a successful plant.

I described the effect of the plant on the South because the Surrounded by Imbeciles world has its own kind of kudzu. When this blog was birthed, I had grand plans to sarcastically discuss the “problems” in the world. I wrote about the issues of gas pumps; moved on to my pet peeve with Sonic Drive-In; and, continued with the uncomfortable aspects of day spas. Eventually, I altered my attitude and writing style, and these older posts were forgotten.

No one read any of these. And, I mean NO ONE. Then, in mid-January someone clicked on my gas pump rant. I was so stunned that I published a post about how we may forget about posts, but they are always out there. I went on my merry blogging way but realized that more and more people were checking out the gas pump post. As the numbers grew, I had no idea why this lost post suddenly became popular and wrote about it again.

And, that brings me to this post and the comparison to kudzu. “The Problem With Gas Pumps” has continued to grow in readership and popularity. Not only has it become the most popular post in the Surrounded by Imbeciles world, but it has also taken over the field. More people have read the post than the next eight posts combined. It is even sneaking up on “Homepage”.

Please understand that I am not complaining. Nothing makes us bloggers feel better than going to the Stats page and finding out how many people are interested in our written thoughts. That’s the ego in all of us. It just amazes me to watch an old and forgotten post continue its seemingly nonstop growth. Perhaps, kudzu is not the correct metaphor because “gas pumps” is not destroying anything. In fact, it is assisting my blog with its continued growth and improvement (along with all of the fellow bloggers and readers that I really appreciate). It’s just that every time I see the blog-o-meter crank up the numbers I envision that vine growing up the telephone poles.

6 Responses to “Kudzu”

  1. Siti Parliah Santosa March 18, 2012 at 05:11 #

    You are absolutely true, that we feel happy when found out that somebody out there reading our blog. I like reading your blog, I learn a lot from it. Remember when you write something about describing something in your table. Then I also trying to describe what I saw. But it is still long way to go , I still need to learn.
    Keep on blogging 🙂

    • surroundedbyimbeciles March 18, 2012 at 06:21 #

      Thank you for your comment. I have been reading your blog, and it is really good. I am glad that you find mine informative. Hopefully, we will not run out of things to write about.

      • Siti Parliah Santosa March 18, 2012 at 09:57 #

        Thank you for reading my blog. If I remember correctly you are historian, right? I got a question for you. Why most people not learned from the history?

  2. J. G. Burdette March 18, 2012 at 16:23 #

    That kudzu is awful stuff. I remember reading an interesting article about in the American History magazine. Nice post.

    • surroundedbyimbeciles March 19, 2012 at 02:08 #

      Thank you for looking in on my blog. I appreciate your kind words. I read your blog as well. As a historian of the American West, I especially enjoyed the post about Crazy Horse. I will be discussing Little Big Horn in class this week.


  1. Thank God for Gas Pumps « Surrounded By Imbeciles - September 24, 2012

    […] point of this post. The point of this post is to point out an anomalous point in the stats. I have pointed it out before but feel the need to point it out […]

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