I did warn you.
I have a black thumb. Dr. Stevens, however, is a masterful gardener (hold on a second…I think I’m seeing a new hero’s career in my imagination…) His tomato patch this year has been unusually fertile. UNUSUALLY fertile.
This is not the first tomato-with-a-penis I’ve harvested this summer. Oh, no! See?
Lest you think we’ve found some mutant breed breeding in our garden–this little fellow was on a totally different plant!
Not only are we growing phallic fruits, but we are overrun with the regular kind. I pick three or four huge bowls full of tomatoes each day. I’ve been blending them up in my super-duper-take-your-arm-off-if-you’re-not-paying-attention blender and freezing the puree in zip-lock baggies. I’ve been serving my family spaghetti (with homemade tomato sauce) chili (full of tomatoes), and BLTs every meal for weeks. And we haven’t even reached peak harvest yet.
I’ve taken to hauling bags of tomatoes with me wherever I go. I’ve become That Woman–the one who shoves her bag of excess produce at you with a manic smile, so that you’re afraid to tell her you’ve got a garden of your own. I take extra trips to the library, the bank and the post office just to hand my favorite tellers tomatoes. Every teacher at my sons’ school has gotten their fair share.
And still the suckers keep growing.
Frankly, the teenie-weenies worry me. I’ve seen LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS. I peer through my bedroom window in the middle of the night, staring down at that tomato patch. Did that vine twitch, or was it just a trick of the moonlight?
Maybe I should stop eating them, after all.
By Laura Drake
If you’ve followed our blogs here at ENALR very long, you’ve seen that there’s a lot more to us than the stories we write. We all have other interests; Shawna is a new Mom, Cyndi’s decorating, a bunch of us have been traveling this summer. Well, not me, but I’m not bitter.
I’ve got other interests as well. The past months, I’ve written about bicycling (you can read it here,) motorcycling (here,) and fly fishing (here.) I realized I haven’t shared my biggest obsession. No, not food.
Pro Bull Riding!
Why? I’m not a country girl; I grew up in Detroit. I don’t much like country music — to me, a steel guitar sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard. So how could I have gotten so wrapped up in a sport that I wrote a three book series set in that world?
- I’m fascinated by young men who, through courage, craziness, or under the influence of large quantities of testosterone, get on the back of two thousand pounds of attitude that wants to throw them in the dirt and dance on their dangly parts.
- The athleticism. Bull riders have more in common with gymnasts than wrestlers. The mechanics require more balance than brute strength.
- These aren’t media savvy, spoiled athletes. They’re mostly kids off farms, and ranches. Watching their wide-eyed interviews on camera, and talking to them in person, gives me hope for the future of America. They remind me with their gentlemanly “Ma’am’s” and “Sir’s” that mothers somewhere are still raising kids right.
- I’ve watched this sport grow over the past ten years, and have enjoyed watching events that are real — not slickly orchestrated and Hollywood perfect.
These men represent the American Cowboy; a rare breed in today’s society of political correctness and metrosexuals. They still live by the belief that their handshake is a scared promise, and integrity isn’t what you talk about, it’s what you live. They live a code that they’re willing to die by. How many people do you know like that?
Do yourself a favor. Check out their website. Tune in to a PBR event some weekend (TV schedule is here.) I dare you not to get sucked into the drama. Maybe I’ll see you at the finals in Las Vegas some November!
Let ‘er buck!
Laura has written three books set in the world of Pro Bull Riding. The first, The Sweet Spot, is due out next May, from Grand Central.