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National Editorials & Columns

In defense of killing the clematis

Ladies and gentleman of the jury, you have heard a lot of evidence throughout the course of this trial that my client allegedly killed his wife’s clematis plant.

You have heard testimony that he, and he alone, was placed solely with the responsibility of watching over and watering that now befallen clematis plant. A clematis plant that each and every expert my client’s wife could parade up on the witness stand testified died from water intoxication.

Water intoxication? That’s an awfully fancy pants word, if you ask me.

It means “overwatered” for those laypeople in the room.

In a little bit, you’re going to go back into that jury room and you’re going to make a decision that you will have to live with for the rest of your life.

One of those long, hard questions y’all need to decide is the meaning of the word “overwatered.”

What is overwatered? We know my client’s wife contends it is the malicious killing of a clematis plant, a climbing vine that blooms in a flower with a purplish hue.

Now I may be a fancy, high-priced defense attorney, but at heart I am an old-fashioned Southern boy. When I hear someone say “overwatered” all I hear is “overcared.”

My client is responsible for nothing except overcaring for that poor, pitiful plant.

Let’s look at the facts here, shall we?

To his horror my client discovered last Tuesday his wife’s clematis plant was dying. He knew he was placed with the responsibility of watering said plant. In hoping to remedy the situation, my client did the only thing he knew to do to help a dying plant.

He watered it. Plants need watered, and water for a plant is a good thing, my client reasoned. He had no idea a plant could die from being overwatered.

What I would like you to do now is to look at my client.

See him over there, with that huge forehead, beady eyes and rat-like appearance?

Does that look like the face of a smart man? Does he look like a grown male of the human species who is capable of comprehending the delicate intricacies of how to sustain life, any kind of life?

Of course he doesn’t.

My client doesn’t have the sense and sensibility to take sole care of a child. He barely remembers to feed his own cats. He has never had Sea Monkeys, ant farms or Chia Pets last longer than two weeks.

With all due respect, my client shouldn’t be responsible for anything whatsoever!

Don’t believe me? Last night I caught him trying to make toast in the microwave oven, and he placed the bread on aluminum foil.

Now then, during this witch-hunt we heard testimony that my client’s wife purchased a clematis plant last month and kindly asked him to water it each day after work. We know that’s exactly what he did. We know he followed those instructions to the letter.

But what else do we know?

We know his wife planted the clematis plant on the shady southwest side the house where a plant, like a clematis plant, would not get much light. A lack of sunlight can kill any plant, we all know that.

We know his wife situated the aforementioned clematis plant less than two feet away from a downspout and had ample supply to an overabundance of water.

We do not contend the plant died from being overwatered, but my client did not act alone, nor was he solely complicit in the accidental crime of herbicide.

Furthermore, who is to say it wasn’t the result of Mother Nature or a simple act of God.

And if you are still convinced my client was culpable in this most heinous crime, then I plead with you to find my client not guilty by reason of idiocy.

To contact Will E. Sanders email him at His e-book “Exceptionally Curious Tales of a Particularly Eccentric Individual” is available on Barnes and Noble, Amazon and iTunes. To learn more about Will E. Sanders, to read past columns or to read features by other Creators Syndicate writers, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

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