So I was recently thinking about this short story I read a long time ago as kid. At the time I just thought it was a funny if weird little story, but upon thinking about it now, it’s sort of dark.
Not dark in the grim doomy dooms type of way, since it’s mainly played for laughs, but it’s still dark when one really thinks about how fucking crazy the protagonist is and how it starts lowering the humorous tone as it gets closer to the end.
Since nobody here is probably going to ever read this tale, here’s what its about. Think of it as a late Valentine’s Day story.
So there’s this guy Hubert and he’s this big loser that can’t get a girl. At one point there’s a panel that shows a little girl sticking her tongue out at him and this old lady hitting him with her purse calling him a child molester. Not exactly sure what the connotations there were, whether Hubert being so lonely that he actually hit on a little girl or him being so awkward that his desperate attempts for female connection of ANY kind caused him to act inappropriately. (You’re just seeing the after effects, so you get no real elaboration on that point) About the only connection he has with anything are his plants at home.
In any case, one day Hubert sees a dandelion growing in the cracks in the sidewalk. He’s instantly smitten. So much so he walks through a pane of glass to go scoop her up and get her as I remember.
Anyway, with “Dandy” now in a flower pot he takes her home and gushes about their new life together.
Now the funny thing is Hubert has this pretty next door neighbor, Melody that just seems to come into his home anytime she wants and Hubert is relatively dismissive of her. She’s a chatty health food nut that doesn’t really seem to pay much attention to anything other than her topic of conversation at the time.
During her rambling, Hubert starts whispering to Dandy about how Melody is health nut and how he once asked her out one time, but before he can continue his sentence, Dandy suddenly wraps around his finger.
Naturally Hubert is overcome with even more joy because this is proof that it’s true love! While you could take this as a sign that this actually happened and Dandy is actually understanding him, he also could just be imagining it all.
So at this point it show Hubert giving her special plant food, taking her to the movies, etc. You know all the stuff other couples do.
He also takes her to meet his parents. At first they’re wondering where the girl that he was talking about is, when they find out it’s the dandelion he brought with him, they both start accusing each other having insanity running through their side of the family.
Undeterred, Hubert then goes to meet Dandy’s parents. Now this is the reason why I think this is all in his demented head rather than it being a quirky guy who suddenly developed the mental ability to communicate with plants. He just goes to some field/junkyard area where two dandelions happen to be and starts talking to them, but again there really isn’t any indication that they’re talking back.
In any case, he starts to get upset because apparently Dandy’s “parents” are telling him that they’re living in sin and Dandy needs to move back in with them (She wasn’t “living” with them before, he found her some place completely different, which again, is proof that he’s just made up this scenario in his own head). He loses it and says that she’d waste away into a puffball if she remained outside and he runs off with Dandy crying saying they won’t take away the only affection he’s ever had.
So he gets back home and finds Melody’s trespassing ass there. He asks her why, and she says he forgot that she was making him a healthy vegetarian dinner which she’s currently getting started on.
Hubert doesn’t pay much more attention to Melody and is more concerned with Dandy who is now looking a bit droopy. He figures she’s upset about her parents and he’s trying to get them off his mind too, so in order to cheer them both up he runs out to the gardening store to go buy her a new flower pot.
He comes home feeling a little better and starts looking for Dandy, but Melody is telling him her dinner is ready and he needs to sit down and eat it. She practically shoves him in a chair and presents him with her meal. Hubert is horrified.
Melody used Hubert’s plants as part of her vegetarian recipe and part of the main course was Dandy’s chopped up stems and leaves.
As you might expect Hubert goes REALLY off the deep end and calls her a stupid heartless vegetarian and says she just killed his one true love. So in return he kills Melody.
Last panel is two guys in white coats dragging Hubert away into a crazy wagon as he rants about how Melody was a sicko who was going to feast on Dandy’s little green body and how Melody deserved to die.
Yeah, like I said, gets a bit grim towards the end, what with a complete descent from harmless madness to murder madness. (Yes I laughed anyway)
I tried looking for it online, but I didn't find much. Just a page.
It was in an old short lived comic book called "Plop!" that came out in the 70s which mostly consisted of horror based stories drawn by various artists. It was actually defunct even before I was born (Yes, that old) but thankfully my grandmother was always picking up toys and comics for me from various second hand stores so that's how I got a hold of it.
I know I still have those comics stored in a plastic container in my grandmother's house. I'll probably pick them up the next time I go see her.
EDIT: Linked to the whole story in another post below.
Just found the whole story.
Towards the bottom. Enjoy.
Yeah I agree that the illustrations do make it feel more lighthearted and it comes off a little sillier especially thanks to how goofy Hubert looks.
I like your retelling of the story more. It could have been made into a movie, and I totally would have watched it.