I was driving home a few days ago when I saw it lying sad and alone by the side of the road, gazing up at passersby like an abandoned puppy begging for a home: a giant zucchini.
I didn’t stop.
One of the charming features of Vancouver Island is the honour-system market stands. Lots of little farms offer eggs or produce at the end of their lane; and you can pull over, pick up what you want, and leave money according to the prices on their sign. Free items are left out there with no payment requested or required.
So there was this giant zucchini beside the road. Colossal: A couple of feet long and about eight inches in diameter. I’m guessing its growers spotted it making a play for world domination, recoiled in horror, and extracted the threat from their garden to carry it as far away from their property as they could manage.
Or who knows? Maybe the zucchini didn’t even belong to that farm. Maybe it had been dumped there by someone eager to be rid of it; or maybe it was intentionally deposited there as a subtle threat from some enemy. Instead of a horse’s head in your bed, you get a mega-zucchini at the end of your lane.
Or maybe it got there under its own power. Judging by the activity in my garden, it’s entirely possible that one mutant monster became sentient and was searching for the ideal spot to disgorge its seeds and begin a zucchini-terrorist cell intent on taking over every square inch of arable land.
Yes, actually, I am hip-deep in zucchini right now; why do you ask?
But I don’t mind. I like fresh zucchini; and if I can’t eat it immediately I dehydrate it into chips that are compact and easy to store, and yummy all winter long in soups, stews, omelets, and even on homemade pizza.
As you read those words, I’m guessing that at least 50% of you are grimacing. After extensive research involving alcoholic beverages with several sets of my friends, I have determined that all men (and some women) hate zucchini.
My dad hated zucchini. My husband hates zucchini. All my male friends hate zucchini; although actually, ‘hate’ is probably too strong a word. “Meh” is more accurate. After all, there’s nothing much to hate about it – as the guys tell me, “It doesn’t taste like anything, so why would you eat it?”
Well, okay, guys: If you don’t want to eat it, how about racing it? One of the small towns near us held zucchini races last weekend (the zucchini footage begins at 0:46 in the video).
’Cause why NOT take a huge malevolent vegetable intent on world domination, and give it wheels? What could possibly go wrong?!?
Zucchini: Love it or hate it? Take my very scientific poll! (You can choose as many answers as you want.)
Book 14 update: Chapter 12 is well under way, and I’m chuckling while I write Daniel’s dialog – you can always depend on kids to say the things that adults won’t!
Zucchini Poll Update: New answers now coming in!
– Take it or leave it. Choco zuke cake! Yum.
– What will replace cryptocurrency in 2045
– Local produce
– Part of the deep state
– Great battered and fried crispy
– Makes the best chocolate cake!