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Beware the Tomato Plot

Letter by Randy Russell

Growth – February 1999 – Colorado Central Magazine

Beware the Tomato Plot

With tomatoes at $2.99 a pound at Safeway this morning (and not that good looking at that) I have two possible solutions, and some observations:

1) We might as well all cultivate a liking for steak as part of our regular salad diet. Organic Coleman Beef wouldn’t cost that much more…

2) Let’s all just select some small California town — preferably in a relatively non-populated county where we can grow tomatoes year round — and all move there. We’ll be sure to bring our values and biases with us, along with our junk cars and ugly fences.

Once there, we can transform the community, topple the power structure, lower their property values, and have seminars in “assimilation.” Then again, we could just move there part time, since none of us want to put up with thick air any longer than we have to… nor do we really want to assimilate. We can vote, grab our tomatoes, and run.

I understand that there is some long-standing tradition in the Upper Arkansas Valley of having Tomato Wars between ourselves and Texans. I fear that the price curve on weaponry will place us at a serious disadvantage if current trends continue (especially given the price of “smart, hybrid, hothouse” tomatoes that are targeted for very specific market niches and launched into the market at only the most opportune moments). Anyway, someone may have to send a letter to Austin conceding the battle unless we can somehow qualify for foreign aid. Hey, did we whip them at Glorietta Pass for nothing?

Obviously, this Sunbelt, Nafta, Hothouse right wing conspiracy has been planned and timed by the multinational forces of evil to coincide with the Clinton Impeachment trial in a calculated way to take our attention away from this insidious Tomato Plot.

So I, for one, plan to make a statement about it by not having my Tomato either in the oval office or on my salad.

I’ll simply wait until tomatoes are cheap again, food for the common man, and an affordable indulgence. But, if anyone else sneaks in a tomato in the interim, I figure that’s between him and his own conscience (as long as it doesn’t interfere with my own convoluted left-wing conspiracy theory development).

Randy Russell, Denver