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The Villages
Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Vanishing vegetables

Barry Evans
Barry Evans

I don’t know about you, but the shortage of items that were always around can get to you. For example, The Blonde in the House sent me to get some romaine lettuce as we were having company.  She indicated that she just needed a bag of it.  Well, I went to the nearby grocery store, and sure enough after some search, I found a package that said “Romaine Lettuce” right on it in big letters.  I trudged home with it only to be told that it wasn’t a bag of romaine lettuce.  While it was true, that it was romaine, it was not the right kind as it was in stalks and not the loose leaf that she wanted.  Well, I went back and the store and they didn’t have any such lettuce.  So, I went to a specialty store and they said they hadn’t been able to get any either.

However, as I was leaving the store a guy came up to me wearing a big overcoat which I thought was odd as it was a pretty hot day. In any case, he sidled up and said quietly, “I understand that you are looking for romaine lettuce in a bag!” He opened his coat, and showed me several pristine bags of the appropriate lettuce.  His price was high, but we dickered, and I went home with a genuine bag of romaine. However, by the time I got home the Blonde had decided to make a gelatin salad as I had been taking too long.  This was not the first time that disappearing common vegetables caused me problems.  I had gone to the grocery store the previous week.  One of the items that I was charged with obtaining were three cucumbers.  I know what a cucumber looks like, but it did take me some time to find some.  However, what I brought home was not a cucumber.

It seems that there is another vegetable that masquerades as a cucumber, but is known as a zucchini.  Personally, I think the grocery store put the zucchinis in the same area as cucumbers on purpose.  I did some research and discovered that nobody actually eats a zucchini – if they can help it.  There are some rumors that there is a group of weirdos who have wild zucchini parties, and if someone wants to join the group, they have to eat a whole zucchini – raw! They then become addicted to zucchinis which is one of the worst addictions around. Those so afflicted spend all their time trying to get others to follow suit. They end up losing friends, family, money etc.  I know of one poor guy whose wife ran off with a cucumber farmer. True, she did say it was the only way she could be assured in today’s troubled times of having the cucumbers that she needed for her famous cucumber rutabaga dish which had been a family tradition for over a hundred years. She also pointed out that the fact that the farmer had 300 cucumber farms and a ten-bedroom mansion on a rocky coast in Rhode Island was just incidental.

The fact is that zucchini addiction is very serious, and more people are involved than you would believe.  This is compounded by the fact that there is very little, if any research on the problem.  Most of the blame for this, of course, can be contributed to the news media.  There hasn’t been one report on the matter in the media.  Even the TV doctors do not mention it.  When the media is questioned on this lack of information, they indicate that there are more important matters that take up their allotted time. I recognize that Johnny Depp’s marriage problems are very important, but still, you would think the media could sneak in a mention or two on the subject.

Hmm, I wonder what the Blonde did with the three zucchinis I bought?  She served a cake last night with lots of icing.  I didn’t tell her that it had a funny taste. Hmm . . .

Barry Evans is a columnist for Villages-News.com

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