I wish you could see our tomato plants. You would not believe your eyes. They are enormous. They are gigantic. They are Jack and the Beanstalk colossal!
Oh, all right. I exaggerate, but not much. I took a photo of them to back up my claim.
It could be my somewhat overactive imagination, brought on from overdosing on too many classic fantasy and science fiction flicks through the years, but those tomato plants of ours bear an uncanny resemblance to the evil man-eating flora from that science fiction B-movie The Day of the Triffids.
The tomato plants have grown so huge, Macho Guy actually had to build a double rail enclosure to keep them from toppling over. MG was exasperated by this and complained that the plants behind our garage were growing taller and taller, but there were no tomatoes in sight, not even a blossom on the vines.
MG: I never should have listened to that guy.
ME: What guy?
MG: There was this guy at the greenhouse who told me I should buy some newfangled tomato plant food. He even got it off the shelf for me. Said it was the last bag.
ME: Was he one of the workers?
MG: [shaking his head] I think he was a customer. Strange looking dude. Had a weird-looking head.
ME: [wide-eyed] Weird-looking? Um, like, did he have shiny white hair and a high forehead with a deep depression in the middle of it?
ME: Oh, never mind.
I thought it best to bite my tongue and refrain from telling him that my imagination had kicked into overdrive again. You see, in that old science fiction flick This Island Earth, aliens from the planet Metaluna came to Earth in the hope of getting human scientists to find some way to save their world from being destroyed by another and more powerful alien race. If that were the weird greenhouse guy’s plan, he may have wanted us to grow giant mutant tomatoes like the ones in that comical science fiction B-Movie satire Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! so he could use them as an army to defeat his planet’s enemies. The admitted flaw in that theory was that no tomatoes, killer or otherwise, were growing at all. I came to the earthbound conclusion that the weird greenhouse worker must be human after all. Bummer.
MG’s grumbling ceased when the tomato plants began to flower, and soon afterward we spotted green tomatoes appearing here and there. Suddenly, tomatoes were everywhere and ripening with all due speed—and not one of them showed any signs of violence. Now MG is proud of the massive plants and how they are able to kick out tomatoes the way Ford Motor Company cranks out cars on its assembly lines. What’s more, our tomato plants do it without the assistance of assembly line robots.
While we both salivate over BLTs made with our tomatoes, we keep trying to increase our repertoire. We surf the net almost daily searching for new tomato recipes. Those fresh tomatoes right out of the garden are so delicious that I dread the end of the home garden growing season when we’ll be stuck having to buy taste-challenged supermarket tomatoes again. If we only had food replicators like those on Star Trek’s starship Enterprise, we could replicate tomatoes with that garden-fresh taste all year long. That would be fascinating. ::sigh::
A few nights ago, MG was inspired to try a salsa recipe he found. Very tasty—and it had quite a kick. He used two quarts of the tomatoes we picked, and we still had dozens left. We can’t use them or give them away fast enough. They continue increasing in number, like the alien pod people from Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
After our sons sent photos of their healthy-looking tomato plants to us, MG had me pose for a photo right up against our plants as a way for Firstborn and his Little Brother to gauge the plants’ approximate size. This was so MG could prove to them that his tomato plants were bigger than their tomato plants. ::groan:: Grow up, Guys. Seriously.
While I was posing for that photo, one of the tomato vines grazed my left arm in what I perceived was a menacing fashion. I envisioned having an experience akin to Dorothy’s in The Wizard of Oz when the angry apple tree slaps Dorothy’s hand because she took one of its apples without permission.
Nah. I can’t let my imagination run away with me again. This is the real world, not the world of science fiction and fantasy. Gravity was the undoubted culprit that dragged the heavy vine down onto my arm. I’m sure of it.
On the other hand, if I were a character in a science fiction B-movie, the probability would definitely exist that the tomato plant was a sentient alien, part of a sinister extra-terrestrial invasion force, and that it would issue a chilling telepathic warning to me: Stop eating my young or die, puny Earthling.
Definitely food for thought.