flickr image by Benimoto
By Timo Cerantola
There I was, just minding my own business when, from out of nowhere, this guy jumps me with a bag full of zucchini.
"If you know what's good for you," he says in a low gruff voice, "you'll take this zucchini and keep your mouth shut!"
Then, he stuffs a recipe for zucchini bread into my shirt pocket and like Zorro, mysteriously disappears into the night.
"Damn!" I muttered to myself, "This zucchini thing is getting out of hand. That's the fourth time this week."
Yes, once again it's that time of year when every gardeners thoughts turn to zucchini - and what to do with all their damned zucchini. If only the zucchini didn't all turn up at the same time (Tuesday, August 4th, 4:23 pm).
Within the last week, several friends and neighbours have tried to slip me the
zucchini. It's as if every gardener in town is searching to find a home for
their surplus vegetables.
I have often wondered why grocery stores would even bother to sell tomatoes or zucchini in the middle of the summer. Truth is, at this time of year, most people could merely yell out of their kitchen windows, "I need a zucchini!!!" (Note: this is not legal in some states) and be inundated with hordes of well-intentioned zucchini donors.
In the past, my wife and I were often victims of these insidious vegetable pushing people "" but this year, we actually joined their ranks. We too (like the Senate), have too many vegetables. We too, now abandon baskets of our garden produce on front porches, ring the doorbell and then run away.
Initially, we justified our peculiar behaviour with the belief that our zucchinis would protect them from the "tomato people" "" the only competition and sworn enemy of the zucchini people.
In our family, my wife Marie is the expert gardener and the one primarily responsible for our vegetable dilemma. It is a blessing that I am not as agriculturally gifted as she. True. Each year, I plant something only to watch it die a slow, miserable, shriveled up death. For reasons that defy logical explanation, and not counting the mold that grew in my refrigerator at university, I am totally inept when it comes to growing things.
Still, last summer, despite my ineptitude, Marie and I successfully grew too many tomatoes. We had far, far too many tomatoes. We had tomatoes for salads, tomatoes for sauces, tomatoes for paste, tomatoes for stuffing, tomatoes for door stops and yes, even tomatoes for throwing. It was endless.
Now this summer, with all the rain we've been experiencing, we have an even greater gardening achievement er" problem - only this time its zucchini.
In fact, we were having trouble keeping up with our bountiful zucchini until one night last week when something very weird happened. While lying in bed, staring at the ceiling and contemplating what to do with all of our zucchini (keep you minds out of the gutter), all of a sudden Marie turned to me with an eerie, black-hearted, almost villainous look in her eyes.
"I got it! If we can't eat them all or give them away, we'll just randomly abandon them on peoples front porches and run!"