Burt (also known as Adam Thirteen and "The Knob") is a character in Margaret Atwood's "Year of the Flood."
Burt's role in the Gardeners is to tend to the garden vegetables; he discourages Toby from handling weeding duties as she accidently uproots artichokes instead of any harmful weeds. Burt's often teaches the younger Gardeners about the relocation of slugs and snails to find new homes. He is known to Amanda, Ren, and the other children as an armpit groper.
Physically, he is described by Ren as bald and sweaty. His wife Veena is said to be in a "Fallow" state for approximately two years (Ten through Twelve) and he has a daughter, Bernice.
Controversy arises when Amanda believes that Burt and Nuala were going to the Vinegar Room twice a week to have sex. His daughter Bernice is told by Amanda and Ren. It begins a chain-reaction in which Veena "awakens" from her "Fallow" state and reports him to the CorpSeCorp for the growth of skunkweed in the Buenavista Condos. Due to Burt's arrest by the CorpSeCorp, the Gardeners lose the Buenavista territory.
Burt is found in a lot behind Scales and Tails. He appears to have freezer burns and missing several vital organs. The Adams and Eve planned on doing something with his body, however, the next day his body was gone to become garboil.
- (Amanda about Burt): "We just suspect that your father is humping the Wet Witch. Maybe he isn't. But you could understand him doing it, with your mother in a Fallow state so much. He must get very horny - that's why he's always groping little girls' armpits." (143)
- "This [Purslane] could save your lives! We're talking sustenance here." (149)
- ↑ Atwood, Maragret. "Year of the Flood." Anchor Books: New York.