A pioneering study in 1954 found that rodents with electrodes implanted in the pleasure centers of their brains will repeatedly push a button to provide electrical stimulation to that area, neglecting adjoining buttons that dispense food and water until the poor creatures die of exhaustion.
This hard-wired, evolutionary push towards reproduction extends to even the lower kingdoms, for which “pleasure” cannot be experienced. I have long known that when trying to grow herbs, you have to pinch off the buds that grow at the tops of the stalks. Because plants, like rats (and humans), preferentially spend their energy trying to spread their seed, as opposed to growing the leaves that would permit photosynthesis, both essential to life and the tasty portion I’d like to snip and use in my cooking. But despite our habitual herbal castrations, I still end up with these wiry, unflaggingly flowering plants…and flavorless food. So, my question is this: besides daily de-blossoming, what else can I do to discourage my herbs from chasing tail? Bonus points for clever wordplay or hilarious analogies involving horny teenagers or misbehaving pooches.