The bad man in the tulips

Tulips are kind of a big deal around here. Every spring, we celebrate them with a tulip festival, so you can meander through fields of tulips, take pictures of your kids meandering through fields of tulips and get in the way while other people take pictures of tulips, all while munching on kettle corn. It’s pretty great.

But if you think this sounds silly, think about it for a minute longer: tulips are beautiful, no? In fact, they’re outrageously, vibrantly beautiful. And fields upon fields of them is such a stunning sight that a few neighboring companies offer “Tulip Tours” via helicopter or airplane. But in case you get the idea that you can just wander up and down the rows of flowers, let me warn you: it’s strictly verboten.

I always thought it was because, you know, flowers are fragile and kids playing hide-and-seek among those delicate stems would really bring down the “stunning” factor (and thus, the cost of admission), but, when my dad, step-mom, myself and the girls went to the fields, my dad overheard a mother telling her children an entirely different story:

“Don’t go in the fields, kids,” she said, “because there’s a bad man who lives in there, and he’ll jump out and grab you when you touch the tulips.”

And so those children embarked upon their struggle with a crippling phobia of tulips – beautiful, blood red tulips.

And yes, I realize that those are daffodils.

(On a side note, who gets to name the tulips? And can I please do it, please? My personal favorite was the “Kung Fu” tulip, though it was closely followed by “Ninja.” I didn’t come across a “Chuck Norris” tulip, though that doesn’t mean that it’s not out there. I haven’t given up hope.)

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