A couple years ago, Nate and I were on a road trip when I saw a sign advertising a hydroponic system. My brain was mushy from eight hours on the road and confused the word “hydroponics” for “hydrocolonics.” Easy mistake, right?

Hydroponics: noun– the cultivation of plants by placing the roots in liquid nutrient solutions rather than in soil; soilless growth of plants.

Hydrocolonics: noun – irrigation of the colon for cleansing purposes by injecting large amounts of fluid high into the colon.

Big difference. One involves clean, earth-friendly cultivation and the other involves sticking a tube where the sun don't shine.

home hydroponics

I turned to Nate. “Ew. I can't believe they're advertising hydroponics on a billboard!”

Nate: “What? What do you have against hydroponics?”

“Ummm, what DON'T I have against hydroponics? I mean, people are welcome to do whatever they want in the privacy of their own homes and all. But really, I don't need to be reminded of it while I'm driving down the freeway.”


“Huh? Hydroponics are actually supposed to be very healthy. I think it's something you could really get into.”

The disturbance on my face wasn't registering with him. “Okay, if it really came down to that and was necessary, I'd do whatever it takes to be healthy. But I certainly don't envision it being something I'd enjoy.”

Nate was acting far too casual about this. “My parents know a woman in Temecula who sells home hydroponics systems. They've been thinking about buying one.”

home hydroponics

“What?? And they TOLD you this?”

“Yeah,” he shrugged. “They think it would be nice to have at the house.”

“Oh my god. I cannot believe this is something you talked about with your parents. Please tell me this wasn't dinner conversation.”

He finally took note of my utter disgust on the subject, glancing curiously at me. “I don't see what you're so worked up about. It would be a nice family thing. Something we could all share and do together.”

There were a few beats of shocked, gaping silence while that registered in my brain.

“I'm pretty sure we're not talking about the same thing here.”