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Monday, December 20, 2004

Where Do Beets Come From?

I try to be organized. Honest, I do. I invited lots of friends to opening night for the play I wrote. The problem is, I told everyone it opened on Christmas Eve. Turns out it opens Christmas Day. I can't remember who I invited for Christmas Eve. I just hope that whoever they are they read Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven so they know I made a mistake with the dates.

I can write a play, but I can't keep track of when it is being performed. I was on the Dean's List all four years of college. I graduated magna cum laude (which sounds dirty, but it isn't). I am a smart guy, for the most part. But certain simple concepts, such as figuring out which street Saks Fifth Avenue is on, escape me.

My dad had a favorite saying he used whenever I did foolish things: "I buy you books and buy you books. But all you do is eat the covers."

This weekend, THP was repairing the latch for our attic stairs. He asked me to hand him a caribiner. I stared at him blankly. Not wanting him to know I was so clueless, I began looking around the garage for anything that looked like it might be called a caribiner. I imagined that a caribiner must be similar in shape and size to a carburetor. So, I looked for things in the garage that might resemble a carburetor, but then I realized I don't know what a carburetor looks like. So I found a video of the movie Cabaret and handed it to THP telling him it was the closest thing I could find.

Last weekend we had a visit from THP's family. They are cattle ranchers and always fill our freezer with beef when they visit. My poor little veggie burgers can barely fit in the freezer because of all the frozen animal carcasses. I'm not a big fan of the free beef, but I like it when they bring us canned jams and fruits and vegetables. Recently, we got some beets from them. Beets are cool. A mason jar filled with beets looks a little bit like a lava lamp, doesn't it?

Anyway, I studied the can of beets, amazed that people have the ability to grow stuff and then can it. (Why don't they call it "jarring" instead of "canning". They use jars. Not cans.)

Anyway (again), the purple chunks of strangeness fascinated me. My childlike fascination, which is entirely inappropriate for a man of my age, took over.

"Hey, THP, what do beets come from?" I inquired.

"They grow in the ground," he replied.

"But do they start out as something else? Or are they always beets?" I asked.

"No. They are just beets."

I thought maybe beets started out as something else. You know what I mean. Like, the way pickles used to be cucumbers or the way grapes turn into raisins. I imagined beets might come from, I don't know - maybe radishes. You let the radishes grow really large and then pickle them and...Voila! Beets!!

You can buy me books and buy me books. But all I'll do is eat the covers.

1 comment:

ted said...

I have built houses and remodeled apartments, and I have no idea what caribiner is. But I did know about the beets.