You Say Tomato…

…and I question whether it was a gift, or someone’s sneaky attempt to poison me with a beautiful fruit.

It all started on a very ordinary day last week. I woke up, rolled out of bed, and traveled out to the garden to do some watering with my camouflage-printed bucket. (it always takes so long to find that camo bucket)

I watered my plants, walked around the house to the front door, and saw this:

A perfect tomato! Sitting on my doorstep! Right in front of the door, in a location where it would certainly get smooshed if someone walked out the front door.

At first, I was filled with joy:  a perfect tomato was placed on my doorstep! What a great day! (my horoscope predicted great things; who was I to argue with the universe?)

I adopted the tomato and set it on the kitchen counter with other tomatoes. It felt right at home.

Then, I began over-analyzing the situation.

Why would someone set a tomato on my front step?

It wasn’t one of my tomatoes — I didn’t grow toms that looked like that.

The tom didn’t have any dents or bruises, so an animal didn’t put it on my doorstep…unless it was a helper monkey…a tomato helper monkey. (I realize the odds of a tomato helper monkey delivering a tomato to my house are relatively slim — but there is a zoo on the other end of town.)

OR the tomato could have been planted by some enemy I didn’t even realize I had. Perhaps this enemy has really studied my behavior and knows I love a good tomato. This enemy would predict I’d slice into any fruit or veggie that arrived at my door. After I took the first bite, the thin layer of poison coating the tomato would slowly seep into my insides and cause my demise.

I felt very conflicted over this front door tomato, so I did what any reasonable person would do — I asked John, my co-workers and my 93-year-old grandma what I should do.

One co-worker didn’t think I should eat the tomato. Another encouraged me to eat the tomato but then consume a variety of “detox” foods (i.e., spinach, berries, kale) to counteract any potential tomato poisoning.

My grandma encouraged me to eat the tomato and shamed me for possibly letting a beautiful, fresh tomato go to waste. When I expressed my fear of being poisoned by the tomato, she suggested giving John the first bite. (She did apologize after making that suggestion.)

John didn’t really like that option. He didn’t think sampling the mystery tomato was a wise idea.

After I continued to whine to co-workers about my tomato dilemma, the co-worker who initially told me to eat the tomato and then detox provided an even better suggestion:  he suggested I lovingly place the mystery tomato in my compost pile. This method allows me to give thanks for the gifted tomato and get a teeny bit more compost.

I think I’m going to opt for this method — it seems better than letting the tomato rot on my counter or eating the tomato while googling signs of possible tomato poisoning.

Moral of the story:  if you give fruits or veggies to a friend or neighbor, leave a note. Or leave a helper money on the step to inform the recipient of the non-poisoned nature of the gifted tomato.

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2 Responses to You Say Tomato…

  1. Angie says:

    When I was visiting the ‘rents in Iowa this summer some neighbor kid rang the bell and handed me a cucumber. They had grown a lot and were sharing the cuc-wealth. Maybe it was a neighbor sharing the tomato wealth. I’m sure they didn’t mean to cause the dilemma. I’m glad you came to a decision and that it will be put to good use.

  2. Meredith says:

    I feel a little hurt that I was excluded as a consultant. Although unlikely, someone could have been gifting ME with the tomato! Any good detective should consider all the possibilities.

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