My friend, Joe Monsanto, reciprocated my hospitality and invited me over to check out his garden space. I was to arrive no later than 2:37 PM. On the dot. We do this swap every year, peek and see. But I still tell him that my bamboo is bigger than his. Even though I don’t grow it, I love the reaction. It’s a gardening thing.
Joe always makes a big deal about his prowess as a gardener. I remember one year going over and all I saw was corn and lots of it. Another time, he was going through a potato phase. So, this year, I have really no idea of what to expect. He tells me that he owns that seed and this seed, but I don’t really believe him. It’s always an interesting day out…
“Party Central”, I am asked to repeat into the voice scanner before I’m allowed to pass go. Every year, this happens to me. Twenty minutes later after the snafu with my pronounciation over the word “eleven”, the garden host welcomes me. “Put this on”, she says, referring to some protective clothing. There are some loose bees on the property. I’ve been advised to stay close to her.
Today, my garden host is Annine-Edith, from Finland, former Olympic water-polo gold medalist. Just as I was imagining doing a few Laps myself, I was brought back down to earth.
“This is tomato”. And there was lots of them. I always feel compelled to ask the stupid question, “And what sort of tomatoes do you like to grow?” Are they Brandywines or what?… No, this is tomato… Oh, but they look like Black Prince… No, this is tomato… Are you sure because when I look at them they could be Orange Valencia… *pressure rising*… No, we have tomato only… But I could have sworn I saw a San Marzano in there… No… I know… I got it.
There are rows upon rows of uniformity of tomato. All laid out in order. Discipline. Rule. Measurement. No room for a variety called Serendipity. Just tomato. “That’s a lot of fucking tomato”, I remarked casually to Annine-Edith. She smiled and said nothing.
On the way out, we bumped into my friend, Joe Monsanto. He was watering some new tomato seedlings. He was wearing the same bee protection gear as I had been given upon entry, except his had the lettering embroidered over his left breast “Asskicker1”.
“Joe, yaaAH BOLlox, how’s it going, long time, no see, that’s some fucking tomatoes you got, you crafty oul’ sod, ya”, I said to my friend, Joe Monsanto. “How’d you grow fucking tomatoes like that?”.
“Aye” said Joe and tossed the watering-can aside and walked over. We talked for a few moments, neighbors being neighbors and all that. As he was showing me out, I asked him again “How’d you grow fucking tomatoes like that?”. He laughed and replied “Aye, I’ll never fucking tell you”. We both laughed.
“Joe”, I went on, “Do you know something?”. “Aye, what’s that?”, he said.
My bamboo is bigger than your bamboo.
12″ extended version selection re-mix……….dubwise
Say that in Finnish. Minun Bambuni on suurempi kuin teidan.
I just love learning a new tongue, don’t you?