Freudian Slips: Enemy Vine

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

July 24, 2008

Enemy Vine

My friend Rich is a professional gardener whose love of the land is as rich as the soil. For my vegetable garden this year, he recommended that I plant a new breed of tomato plant all the rave called a Rutgers. Named after the school that developed and patented her, this breed of tomato is known for its heartiness and robust taste.

So after searching what seemed like the world for a select tomato plant invented not too far from the neighborhood, I found four plants at a shore point Home Depot after coming up empty-handed everywhere else.

The plants were not even into the ground and I could not wait to bite into my first ‘mater. Low and behold, between the four plants planted and spaced evenly apart, yellow jackets decided to nest underground. In the spring, my stepson sprayed a can of Raid around the opening but it not only did not touch the cave dwellers it voided the plant's chemical free advertisement.
Soon it looked like an insect airport with the yellow jackets coming in for a landing at the base camp one by one. They had scouts, spies, worker bees, and a couple of hit men perched on the side of the house wary of intruders. The success of the underground hive made a mockery out of my garden’s tilled ground, new mulch, and hankering for fresco tomato gravy.
When my bumper crop of green tomatoes started to disappear, I started to scratch my head. Even my safety dance in between the insect flights to water me ‘maters must have looked silly to the animal watching me.

Not too long into my sleuth invegitative reporting regarding the missing tomatoes, I spotted the thief, a burly groundhog wandering up the hill from the woods. He walked over to my garden as if he had been there before. Hanging upside down on my metal cages, he wrestled green tomatoes from the stalks and ate me ‘maters on my wood deck as I cursed him from behind the patio glass.
When the groundhog decided to burrow right in between plant 2 and plant 3 on a later forage, he discovered what I had worried about all season. The groundhog dug right into the yellow jacket nest and imploded it. I have not seen the groundhog in awhile for reasons I can only nightmarishly imagine but his hole, the bees, and my suddenly growing green tomatoes remain.
I doubt they had this much trouble in the Rutgers laboratory but it is a jungle out there. Now it is back to me verses the yellow jackets in the race for a later taste of this frigging mater.

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Blogger honkeie2 said...

My advise, by a high powered pellet gun and shot the vermin! BB guns make little noise and I wont tell a soul!

12:01 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

I'm just afraid he might own a gun too. lol

8:26 AM  
Blogger Merci said...

It's that time of year when the whole world seems to be festering and seething with creatures named and unnamed.
My backyard at night sounds like the deepest bayou. The grass is alive with baby toads and giant beetles and all manner of creepy crawlies.

10:58 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

i tasted my first tomato and it was worth the fight.

12:29 AM  

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