Tomato: the Vegetable

I was thirteen when I realized girls develop breasts and boys don't. What's worse is that I was thirty-four when I came to an understanding a tomato was a fruit and not a vegetable. The breasts—I suppose it was logical to figure out: I wasn't growing them while the girls around me were. The tomato thing, though, this was a shocker. Fruits grow on trees, not on little ragged weeds that fall over when they reach the height of your knee. Fruits taste sweet and are fun to eat. They typically don't explode when you bite into them, and you don't ordinarily add a slice of one to a bun which houses meat or cheese. But enough debating, already. I'm consigned to face the facts, however strange they may seem.

Back to the breasts, then. So who can blame me? I was young, naïve, and into sports. I didn't care much about girls during my childhood and adolescence. I tracked the Mets and the Rangers, loved my sneakers and an old acoustic guitar inherited from my grandfather.

When I was seven years old, I'd play after school with my neighbor, Vinnie, usually at his home. This was in 1960s East New York, Brooklyn. He had a sister, years older, who would sometimes join us in random games. I remember, one day, running around in his basement and accidently knocking over a coffee can filled with nails. When Vinnie's sister saw this she said, "Move back. Don't touch them, you'll cut yourself. I'll do it." As I watched her kneel down on the cement floor and pick up the nails between her knees, I noted the contour of her sweater. I suspected she was hiding tennis balls under there, as part of one of our silly games.

I wonder how many times I've referred to a tomato as a vegetable in public. I don't recall anyone ever correcting me. I'd like to know who is responsible for this, and for the fact that "biweekly" means both once every two weeks and twice a week.

Some of our selections in this issue of Summerset breach into that realm of revelation and admission. Rather than cite a few specific examples, I'll leave it to you to explore and see for yourself the subtle connections. I'm sure you've had times in your life as well, when you realized certain circumstances and situations quite late, and this caused reflection. Hoping you enjoy this issue, and with best wishes for a happy summer—

                                                   J Levens


A few corrections...

We contacted Mercedes-Benz recently to inform them that the person describing the S-Class coupe mispronounced the word "integral" in their popular television commercial. They have responded to us, duly noting the observation. We no longer see the commercial running between innings of New York Mets baseball.

We contacted Newsday recently to inform them that their Tuesday, May 3rd Chess Challenge mistakenly claimed two moves of white's knight produced checkmate. The two moves would have actually resulted in the capturing of said knight by black's queen. The newspaper has not yet issued a response.


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