Oh my gosh, December is BUSY! I had rehearsal last night for a Christmas play, hence no story writing because I pretty much just fell asleep when I got home. Sorry to my peoples. If it makes you feel any better, I am once again writing a story at work when I should be working. Just for you. That’s me; breaking all the rules. Just for you. Specifically you. Because I love you.
Well, enough touchy-feely crap for one week. Let’s get on with a story. A story that is guaranteed to contain no touchy-feely crap at all.
A TIME FOR PERSIMMONS
Once upon a time, there was a man named Rutabaga. Rutabaga Jones. He was an interior decorator who moonlighted as a superhero at night. Not your ordinary superhero, oh no! He was the vegetable superhero – Veggie Defender! – defending vegetables the world over, or at least in Cleveland, Ohio (his home town, which he had never left in his life). Perhaps this fixation had something to do with his name, I don’t know. Honestly, that seems a little overly convenient, so I’m just gonna assume it’s a coincidence.
So, one night, after decorating someone’s interior, Rutabaga was walking home (sure, Cleveland’s a big place, but he still walked everywhere, you know, to stay in shape for all the vegetable defending) when he spotted a man on a dark and deserted street walking along eating a carrot.
“Halt, violent stranger!” he called out.
“Who, me?” said the man, whose name was Pillbox McGillicuddy.
“Yes, you,” said Rutabaga. “Now, hold on a minute.” He was looking through his backpack for his superhero outfit. He hadn’t really grasped the whole “secret identity” concept very well. Fortunately for him, no one cared to take revenge on him or anything. I mean, he’d never actually stopped a crime or gotten anyone put in jail. Sure, there were some grocers around town who were pretty consistently pissed off at him for trying to “liberate” their vegetables, but it turns out that vegetables don’t move on their own no matter how much you urge them, even after you’ve thrown the doors of the supermarket open and called to them. So, you know, no harm done there.
Anyway, Rutabaga was rooting through his backpack when Pillbox said, “I’m not violent.”
“I beg to differ,” said Rutabaga, not looking up.
“What are you talking about?” Pillbox asked.
“I see you with that carrot,” Rutabaga replied.
“So?” said Pillbox.
“Violence!” Rutabaga shouted. “Mastication is violence to vegetables!”
Pillbox looked at the half eaten carrot in his hand. “It’s a carrot,” he said.
“I realize that,” Rutabaga said sharply. “That’s why I stopped you and– Ah! Here it is!” With that, he pulled a shoddily sewn spandex suit from his backpack. It was bright red and lime green, and appeared to have no real form to it. There was a really long purple cape, though.
“What the heck is that?” asked Pillbox.
“It’s my super-suit,” Rutabaga said.
“Your… What?” said Pillbox. And then he burst out laughing.
“You just listen, here, you nefarious eater of defenseless carrots,” Rutabaga said wagging his finger in Pillbox’s face, “you won’t be laughing once I get my clever and intimidating suit on!”
“I really, really doubt that’s true,” Pillbox replied.
So Rutabaga took off his jacket. Then he took off his shirt. Then he unzipped his trousers.
“Just what exactly do you think you’re doing?” Pillbox asked.
“I’m putting on my super-suit,” Rutabaga replied. “What does it look like?”
“Well,” said Pillbox, “since you ask, it looks like you’re just taking off your clothes. In public.”
Rutabaga looked at Pillbox for a moment and then said, “well, it’s spandex! I can’t exactly put it on over my business clothes! It would be all lumpy and uncomfortable. That would just look stupid!”
“Obviously,” said Pillbox. “So, just out of curiosity, what do plan on doing once you’ve taken off all your clothes and put on your non-stupid-looking spandex?”
“Why, I’ll defend that carrot,” Rutabaga replied. “I am the Veggie Defender, after all.”
“Uh-huh,” said Pillbox. “Well, I think I’ve had enough crazy for one night, so I’m just gonna go ahead and go. Later, Veggie Freak.”
“That’s Veggie Defender,” Rutabaga said.
“Whatever,” Pillbox replied and stepped past the super hero, who was still clutching the zipper on his trousers.
“But, I haven’t even gotten my super-suit on yet,” Rutabaga said sadly.
“Thank God,” said Pillbox, never breaking stride.
Without warning, Rutabaga leaped through the air and tackled Pillbox. “Taste my wrath, fiend!” he screamed as the carrot bounced out of Pillbox’s hand and into the gutter. At the same instant, something else fell out of Pillbox’s jacket pocket to join the carrot. Rutabaga stopped wrestling with Pillbox to stare at the new item. “What is that?” he asked finally.
“It’s a persimmon,” Pillbox replied. “You wanna defend it, too?”
“No,” said Rutabaga, ” I don’t do fruits.”
Suddenly, the carrot turned around in the gutter and said, “Oh, please, mighty Veggie Defender! It is too late for me! I am half-eaten and covered with gutter-goo. but my friend the persimmon, here, is worthy of saving! He may be a fruit, but he has been a good pocket friend this afternoon, and I know if he could have saved me from being eaten, he would have done so. Please, Veggie Defender! Please save my friend! Even among vegetables, there may be a time for fruits. A time to be blind to the walls that separate us all. A time to defend any who deserve liberty. A time to recognize equality for all! Perhaps tonight could be… A time for persimmons?”
Both Rutabaga and Pillbox looked at the carrot for a moment. Then they both ran away screaming because carrots aren’t supposed to talk.
After several protracted moments of silence, the persimmon said, “way to go, dipwad. I told you they wouldn’t go for that touchy-feely crap. Now we’ll sit in this gutter and rot. If we’re not eaten by birds. It was warm in that pocket.”
“Bite me,” said the carrot.
Art by Holly Knevelbaard
Isn’t it fun when I lie in the introduction? Well, anyway, the persimmon made fun of the touchy-feely crap, so I still think it counts. Now, I should probably get back to work. And so should you.
See you next week,