Wednesday, March 25, 2009

You say tomato, I say, um, that's not a vegetable

In which I make fun of vegetables, New Jersey, students, and possibly some other things that don't deserve it.

I am posting this early, because I am going to spend Thursday writing writing writing (and waiting for animal control).

Welcome to this week's Thursday News of the Absurd Will Someone Please Write This Book Inspirational Moment (TNoftheAWSPWTBIM). No, it is not this, though dearie me, Lord knows I was tempted. Instead...

From UPI:

Students say tomato should be N.J. veggie

Apparently, a group of eager yet ultimately misguided New Jersey students have started a campaign to make the tomato the state vegetable of New Jersey. They are even planning a trip to the state capital to push their case on April 6, which is "National Tomato Day."

All very fine and good, except that, um, a tomato is not a vegetable.

So the question is: did they know? Because if they didn't, it's a kind of sweet story about a group of kids finding their voice in all the wrong ways. But if they knew, and built the campaign anyway, it's an AWESOME story about a group of kids trying to make a laughingstock of New Jersey, its government, tomatoes, and the whole food pyramid.

I think there was a contest, between warring groups in the school. Each group had to pull a prank. One group filled the teacher's lounge with styrofoam peanuts. One group had the local high school mascot, the Ugly Ox, voted homecoming queen.

And one group was led by Finn, the otherwise quiet, always so well-behaved, never would have expected this from him Finn. Slightly overweight Finn who got tired of lectures about the food pyramid and tired of his older sister getting all the attention. Finn who had the fabulous idea to get a new law made, the most ridiculous law they could invent and get passed. Finn never thought it would go this far, but it has, and now he wants to (or has to) see it straight through to the National Tomato Day climax.

Who will write me this book?


Amber Lough said...

Did you know that the supreme court decided the tomato was a vegetable in 1893? Silly judges.

Debbie Diesen said...

It could be the kids lawyered up before they began their campaign; because while botanically a fruit, for purposes of tariff law the U.S. Supreme Court declared the tomato a vegetable in 1893.

(I wouldn't know this bit of trivia but for a wonderful book I have called Whole Foods Companion by Dianne Onstad. Each food entry includes history and lore about the food. Fascinating stuff.)

Jacqui said...

Amber and Debbie, for real? I remember the ketchup as veggie fiasco under Reagan, but didn't know that.

That's even better, then, if they knew all that because you gotta love when the law itself contradicts logic.

Diane T said...

You must add the character of the smarty-pants kid who insists the whole time that tomatoes are not a vegetable, no matter what the government and all her, um, or his, classmates think.

And no, I wasn't that kid when I was little. Much.

Candace Ryan said...

Phooey to it all! I think the tomato is really a small planet, and Pluto is a large fruit. Or large vegetable? Let the courts decide.

J. Thorp said...

Finn. Nice.

Tabitha said...

Now that would be a hilarious book, Jacqui. Too bad I'm not funny. :)

Amber, seriously? What the heck is the Supreme Court doing judging fruits and vegetables? The edible kind, I mean... :)

Jacqui said...

Diane, neither was Thor. Much.

Candace, maybe tomatoes are dwarf vegetables?

Thorp, stolen from a friend's kid.

Tabitha, no -- write it for me! :)

J. Thorp said...

you get his lunch money, too, ya big meanie? :P