I’ll Stick to Compost, Thanks

I had just finished planting a couple of tomatoes in the front yard when a woman parked in front of my house. She got out of her car, and we chatted a bit; she was probably right that I should’ve planted on the other side of the walk, where they’d get a little more sun, but there were aesthetic and practical considerations viz. the location of bushes and the likelihood of the landlady’s gardener mowing the wrong spot.

So she started praying over the tomatoes. She invoked the sun, and the earth, and the spirit of the tree that blocks their light, and told the little tomato spirits that I would take care of them and therefore they should grow. “Everything has a soul, you know”, she said.

Great. My tomatoes have souls. Now if I don’t make the right propitiating maneuvers before eating them, I’ll be hit with a tomato curse – spaghetti sauce will permanently spatter my oven! I’ll be forced to eat store-bought forever! Or my brain will be swapped with the soul of an evil tomato, nearly wrecking my life while I engage in comic salad hijinks trying to get my body back! Argh! I guess that’s what I get for buying plants at Whole Foods; they don’t sell the soulless hybrids.

Attention Bay Area neopagans, animists and generic mystic crystal flakes: I’m glad your various religious beliefs don’t require you to spew bigotry, make it difficult for me to receive standard medical care, or even disapprove of my personal life. Seriously, I’d much rather live in a society of Fundamentalist New Age Poofiness than a society of Southern Baptists. But no matter how nice your religion might be, it’s poor form to assume that I share it, and proselytizing is always annoying so stop praying over my damn vegetables.


  1. Rew wrote:

    Oh, but the tomato curse is worse than that. Oh so much worse. It begins with dreams of running around the inside of a tomato and being attacked by the seeds. Then you dream of being washed down a huge throat on a river of tomato sauce. You start avoiding tomatoes at all costs…then yous tart rescuing them from suprised patrons of local cafes. About a week later you’ll be found in the dumpster of an upscale Italian bistro, covered in bruschetta, faintly singing a tomato-laced version of “Margaritaville”.

    Not that I have firsthand experience or anything.

  2. des von bladet wrote:

    “We have some mould on the bathroom walls, too, if you can spare a minute.”

  3. Lab Lemming wrote:

    “Everything has a soul, you know”, she said.

    I would have just tightened my grip on my pitchfork (or pickaxe, or other tomato-planting tool), looked her dead in the eye, and said, in a cold, emotionless voice, “I don’t.”

  4. kerrick wrote:

    If you want, I can come exorcize them *grin* Of course, removing the soul may require that I remove some likely-looking tomatoes, but at least it will protect you from FLYING SPAGHETTISAUCE DEATH CURSE OF DOOM…

    Also, if you want to know what fundamentalist paganism is really like, check out http://www.cauldronfarm.com. (Just don’t talk to me about it afterwards; I have a little bit of hero-worship for Raven.)

  5. yami wrote:

    In the event that I actually get any tomatoes, you’ll be welcome to eat exorcize them.

  6. Alice from Dubai wrote:

    O! I think it’s really difficult to eat somthing that has a soul!

  7. delagar wrote:

    No, no, it’s *good* to eat things with souls. B/c then you’re freeing them up to pursue their karmic cycle to different forms! To be reborn as, well, I don’t know…mushrooms! Mice! Libertarians! Wherever their path takes them!

  8. delagar wrote:

    It is so not 12:01 p.m. here. Your clock is fucked.

  9. Yanes wrote:

    Hm. D’you think we can borrow that girl to pray over our tasty salmon before we brain them? I lived on a farm and slaughtering lambs and all, but my first king salmon (awwww) and even I was a wee disturbed by the necessary act of smacking it with a stick until it’s docile enough to throw in the ferns. A 13-yr old girl showed me the optimcal braining technique. If necessary, I can describe it in time for your tomatos’ harvest. Guarentee their souls will travel to a tastier place. No aphids.

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