A Tomato With a Tentacle

I was fixing some lunch today and picked up a ripe home-grown tomato, intending to slice it. Then I noticed a strange tentacle-like growth drooping along one side of the succulent fruit.
I was also reminded of an elephant’s trunk.

So strange — what could have caused this anomaly? Perhaps my garden was visited by a cephalopod while the tomato plant was flowering. I deferred lunch and took the tomato, a tripod, and my camera out onto my back porch and perched the tomato on the railing. After my photo shoot the briefly reprieved tomato succumbed to the knife. While I ate the tomato I kept thinking I detected a hint of calamari in its taste …

Photos of such vegetable deformities are a summer-time staple of rural and small-town newspapers.

An imagined scene:

Joe, a farmer who lives a few miles from the village, pulls up to the local weekly newspaper’s office.

He hops out of the battered “work truck” cradling a lumpy yellowish object in his arms.

Joe walks into the building. Antiquated Linotypes and printing presses are visible through an open doorway at the end of the hall. He knocked on the door of the editor/publisher’s office.

“Come on in!”

As Joe proudly displays his object, which turns out to be an oddly shaped banana squash, the editor (imagine him wearing a green eye-shade) leans back in his swivel chair and says, with a smile:

“What the hell ya got there, Joe?”

“This mornin’ I was out in the garden and found this here bananer squash. Don’t it look like Elmer Fudd? See, here’s the nose, and here’s where the chin should be. The eyes ain’t quite right, but still! And it even has a hat, see?”

The editor chuckled and pulled his old Speed Graphic camera from a desk drawer.

“Here, Joe, set ol’ Elmer up on this table and I’ll take some pitchers. Here, you stand behind the table and hold it up, and I’ll get you in the shot, too.”

After the impromptu photo shoot was over the editor said, “Well, Joe, you’ll see your Elmer in the paper this Saturday. Thanks for bringin’ him in — been a mite short on news this week!”




Filed under Food, Plants

8 responses to “A Tomato With a Tentacle

  1. Joan

    Could you be setting me up, Larry? I, the person who advocated Viagra for a limp plant leaf? Or have you, the guy who at one time posted an essay about the joys of excreting, clear down to a minute description of the perfect specimen, suddenly gone all PG 13 on us? And no, the tomato is not doing that.

    An elephant trunk? Maybe if you drew eyes on each side .. but probably not. A tentacle? I should insert my Anthony Weiner poem, song, here, but why should the poor guy get any more ribbing because of a porno tomato.

    Nevertheless I now have a great picture which might inspire a poem. Or maybe not. That tomato pretty much says it all.

  2. You may be surprised to read this, but the resemblance to a flaccid penis never once occurred to me. Now that’s all I can see in the photo. Thanks, Joan!

    Oh, I really messed up now. I took a look at the tomato on the window-sill which the penile-tomato had been sitting next to. It looks like I spoiled a budding romance! Take a look at this rear-view of the surviving tomato, which is doubtless in mourning now:

    Out of a sense of mercy I’ll have to eat the “female” tomato tonight. Sometimes my relationship with food can get complicated!

    I wonder what the progeny would have been like…

  3. Joan

    Always glad to be of help, Larry. (grin) Of course this stuff always reminds me of the guy who was shown a series of ink blot pictures by his shrink. Each one made him think of sex. Finally the shrink asked him why every picture made him think of sex. He said, “Well, don’t ask ME doc. You’re the one showing me the dirty pictures.”

  4. I would love to live in a place that short on news 🙂

  5. Joan

    The woes of the spell checker, or maybe Larry trying to make sense of my sentences,. I just looked back at that original sentence which should read ‘Could you be setting me up, Larry?’.. Which meant ‘could you be putting me on…because you know I’m going to comment on the obvious.’ It now reads ‘could you set me up Larry’ which looks like I want a date with a porno tomato. Please!! Help!.

    This spell checker stuff, however is no joke. You must check your spell checked stuff or this may happen to you. In writing an address on Lockwood, St., here in St. Louis, the computer immediately corrected it to “Locoweed.”

  6. I must admit I was a tad surprised at that first sentence; I didn’t know if I should FedEx the tomato to you or what!

    I’ll change it to your intended meaning if if you like, but really, by now it’s too late.

  7. Joan

    Well, just in case someone doesn’t read past the first post. I’d really really appreciate if you change it. It’s bad enough what I said about the tomato but I surely don’t want to be known as a tomato perv.

  8. bev

    Somewhere in my old photos (prints) I have a photo of a tomato that looks like it has a pointed nose and the peak of a hat. There were a couple of ther odd ones that formed on the same plants – can’t remember the variety of tomatoes that year. I took a photo of the three of them lined up on the porch railing. Sunday, I found a really weird carrot in my garden. It had a humanoid shape like a ginseng root – long legs and arms coming from a single stalk. It was kind of cool as it was the pale colour grown from a packet of “Rainbow carrots” – so was almost white shading up to green where the foliage emerges. Guess I should have photographed it, but I was in a hurry so it ended up in a beet and chickpea salad. (-:

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