Sunday, August 17, 2008


I met a farmer at the grocery store. He told me he was on the verge of a scientific breakthrough whereby plants would stay up all night so the rest of us wouldn't have to. I said that was fine with me, as long as the vegetables didn't suffer. He assured me that they couldn't feel a thing, that "lettuce isn't sentient."

"No," I said. "What I meant was, vegetables can stay up as late as they want as long as they won't wilt or rot." He replied that wilting and rotting is not in his lettuce's genetic agenda, and mentioned something about "the biological will to crispness."

"Like survival of the crispest?" I asked.

"Yes," he said. We agreed that a "sad vegetable" is a wilted one, not a dejected or depressed one.

I was glad to have cleared that up. Vegetables, for most of my life, have been mysteries, but I felt better knowing they were happy. By "happy," I mean "healthy" and "hearty." Relieved of the burden of being alert, I spent the rest of the summer in a permanent vegetative state.

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