Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Attack of the Infertile Tomatoes

My mother and I had a long telephone call on Monday night. Despite the distance, we do manage to speak at least once every couple weeks, thanks to my discovery of an insanely cheap international telephone provider.

Do you know, it costs less for me to phone my parents all the way across the Atlantic Ocean than it does to phone across town via my normal telephone line. That's typical of Rip-Off Britain. Every time E. and I see those wanky ads about how many people are "returning" as customers to Bastard Telecom, we roll our eyes. I mean, strictly speaking, we did return to BT when we moved house last year- but it's not like we had a CHOICE in that, did we? No, we did not.

But I digress, and I've not even begun.

My mother and I talked of many things, of boats, kitchen renovations and of my tomato plants. She wanted to know how the tomatoes were doing.

You see, this is the first year I have had a garden. When my parents were here a few months ago, there was a plant sale for charity at work. Actually, it was more like a plant bun-fight, as we say here, with people grabbing whole boxes of sweet peas and geraniums, trampling colleagues in the rush. Two women nearly came to blows over some unspecified herb. And I came home from work with some nice little tomato plant cuttings.

My mother took one look at the little container I had picked out, and shook her head. "We're going to need something.. a bit bigger."

She was right. I now have many-vined tomato plant monsters, sprouting ample green arms up the wall, spilling over the large pot, and threatening to take over the entire patio. It's like Garden of Regime Change. Pretty soon the neighbouring poppies will start marching and waving signs saying "No Blood for Soil".

Anyway, I remarked on how the plants had yellow flowers, but no actual tomatoes.

"Hmm," said my mother, the much more experienced gardener. "Sounds like you need to do a little pollination assistance."

She went on to explain that although tomato flowers should be self-fertilizing, this may not be happening. No pollination, no tomatoes.

"Yeah, I know how that is." I said, a touch bitterly.

The solution, she said, was to try a little manual pollination with a Q-tip.

I traipsed out the following day, and gamely probed at the little buds. Further Googlage suggests I should just try shaking them to loosen things up. But I don't think that's going to help-it's mighty windy at times here, and surely there has already been enough shaking to pollinate this small army of tomato plants. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Infertile tomatoes. Figures.

At least my research confirmed my suspicions that those plants are up to no good. To see what I mean, check out this.


At 9:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That site is a riot! Too funny. Now I want a t-shirt that says "Tomatoes are Evil".


At 1:41 AM, Blogger TK said...

funny how something as innocuous and easy as growing tomatoes can bring up the whole Infertile thing.
Tomatoes are evil, except when on pizzas. and made into ketchup.

At 1:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too funny. We have tomato plants and they do grow very well, as do my peas, and I do get fruit off them, but what usually happens is that they go great guns and then peeter out and the yield isn't anything to brag about. All my neighbors get bushels of crop and I get enough for a dinner. Sort of sounds like my last stim cycle. They say that people's pets start to act like their owners...are plants tuned in to our fertility? I sure as hell hope not because we're completely screwed if that's the case -- just wasting the soil.


At 1:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where do you find this stuff?
Suprised they didn't list the devastating effects tomatoes blood (just to keep with the theme of the website) can have on clothes...
There is so much more evil latent in tomatoes...

Thanks for the laugh


At 10:08 PM, Blogger Jen said...

What a great link! I think it says something we sort of knew deep down all along.

Maybe your tomatoes are on a fertility strike in solidarity?

At 8:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh my goodness, i about fell on the floor laughing at that. struck me as insanely funny. infertile tomatoes.



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