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View Diary: Saturday Night Loser's Club, Vol. CCLXXI: Bicycle Commuting Edition (54 comments)

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  •  how is it that (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dumbo, chingchongchinaman, Youffraita, cfk

    audiences of old would always conveniently have properly overripe vegetables and perfectly blooming roses at hand, able to toss whichever was appropriate to the performance? were there vendors? did they bring lots of each? why tomatoes and not cabbages? why roses and not lilies? figured you'd know...

    Addington's perpwalk is the trailhead of accountability for this wound to our national psyche.

    by greenbird on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 10:20:06 PM PDT

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    •  Oh, there was always something ripe, (5+ / 0-)

      in the olden days.  Just not everything at the same time.

      It is kind of neat, though, being able to eat Chilean strawberries in January.

      Why tomatoes and roses?  That's a good one.  I guess they are home-gardening things.  Anybody could have grown tomatoes in a small 2x2 plot of land, but it takes space and time-dedication to grow a fruit tree.  So tomatoes and roses are more suburban.  Olden and suburban.

      Did you know tomatoes weren't a common or popular vegetable two hundred years ago?  They didn't catch on as a popular edible vegetable (really, fruit) until mid-nineteenth century.  And a lot of that had to do with cultural acquaintance with it.  People were afraid to eat tomatoes at first, because the young plants and their flowers look almost identical to nightshade.  I've had the thrill before of checking out what I thought was a lost tomato "volunteer" (i.e., a plant that grows on its own from a stray seed, in a sidewalk crack, for instance) only to find out it was nightshade.  

      •  Aren't they in the nightshade family, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chingchongchinaman, Dumbo, ladybug53

        though?  Every part of the plant is poisonous except the fruit, and we have the ancient Peruvians to thank for that -- they domesticated it, after all.  (Along with potatoes -- and there again, every part of the plant is poisonous except the tuber -- and it can be, if it turns green through exposure to light.)

        Over the past 30-odd years, the Democrats have moved to the right, and the Republicans have moved into a mental hospital. --Bill Maher

        by Youffraita on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 10:55:49 PM PDT

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        •  Same family, but it's a big family. (3+ / 0-)

          It's a very close resemblance though in appearance.  

          The fruit looks very different though.  The nightshade fruit looks like a blueberry.  And they are edible if you cook them -- there are recipes on the internet for them.  They have many small seeds, more like a tomatillo than a tomato.  Have you ever eaten or sliced a tomatillo?  You can see the difference in it.

          Tomatoes are interesting to me.  Some universities are working on a BLUE tomato by crossing the domestic tomato with one of the wild Peruvian tomato cousins.  They want to get the gene that produces that blue antioxidant that blueberries have.  I know some people growing them out in test batches, and they say right now they taste awful, but they hope in a couple of generations to have something tastier.  They look cool as all hell, though.

      •  yes, yes, but both? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chingchongchinaman, Dumbo

        taken to performances, not knowing in advance which one would be needed? or were there 'spoilers,' so folks stocked up on whichever the tip led them to?

        i do think we should be able to revive this tradition, especially as the campaigning begins...

        or even just at some local 'screamings.'

        (i knew a woman who persisted in referring to the items outside her windows as 'screams.' every winter she took down the 'screams,' every spring she put up the 'screams.' she had several terms like those.)

        anyhow, once my mother was trying to get us all to settle down and gather for dinner, and she exclaimed: "Now don't forget: we are all tomatoes!"

        no, she has no idea ...

        Addington's perpwalk is the trailhead of accountability for this wound to our national psyche.

        by greenbird on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 11:11:22 PM PDT

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        •  That's true. Why would you take tomatoes to a (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greenbird, chingchongchinaman

          a performance anyway?  If you really thought it might be that bad, wouldn't you stay home?  Or maybe people waited for tomatoes to come into season so they could go pelt somebody that they knew they already hated.  Maybe they stored up their gripes about past bad performances in waiting for tomato season to come so they could wreak vengeance?

          Of course, if that were true, and I were, say, an opera singer, I might want to skip my July performances as a preemptive measure.  The strategic implications of all this are enormous.

    •  probably kind of the same attitude towards.... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cfk, Youffraita, Dumbo

      .....vegetables that we have now generally towards the environment, namely that "we can always get more later" or "God will provide" (the latter is such a widespread delusion, with regard to natural resources).

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 10:54:51 PM PDT

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