At the INETA party during TechEd 09, I told my “Uncle Jimmy Stories” for nearly 4 hours. Since I’ve had quite a few people ask me to blog these stories (and even more ask me to share photos), I’d thought I’d share my “kick-off” story of my childhood – why I (seriously) have a phobia of plants. Yes, ordinary household plants cause my blood pressure to skyrocket, and even the thought of just watering a plant makes me want to have a root canal instead. Here’s why…

Uncle Jimmy had a garden when I was little.

Now I need to pause for a moment to explain Uncle Jimmy. When I was 7, he moved into the shed behind the house, where he slept on a waterbed that would freeze in the winter. We had to run an extension cord from the house to the shed, so he could sleep on top of an electric blanket.

As I said, Uncle Jimmy had a garden when I was little.

He decided to experiment with a new way to grow the plants and vegetables. Now, my guess as an adult would be he tried to use oil. But oh no, that would be way too easy and simple.

Electricity. He tried to shock! the plants and vegetables into growth. He ran electric wires criss-cross throughout the garden. I was told as a little child (4 or 5 years old) to never, ever go near the garden or much less let the plants touch me, or I could get electrocuted. I must have seen him water the plants without turning off the electricity as a small child. Why else would I rather a root canal than to pour water into a little plant pot.

And to this day, plants stress me out.