Zucchini Apocalypse

I was reading Laurie’s nice post about the fair, and lazy writer that I am, I thought I’d re-post this old piece. But let it be known that I actually did sit here for a long time, writing something new, but it was a bit tedious, and then this weird thing happened, which is that I noticed that I was bleeding from the leg – there was a dime-sized bit of blood on my mid-quadricep that was growing, and, strangely enough, shaped like a fish. It caused me to wonder if I’d been shot or just what the deal was. At any rate, the bleeding seems to have slowed down, but sadly, so has the writing.


I love the fair because of the produce. I like the displays that the granges put together, using vegetables to form a collage. And the giant zucchini, that remind me of one of my most embarrassing moments of the last century, that maybe, if I don't get too distracted in the next few minutes, I'll write about shortly.

But back to the topic at hand: most of all, I love the jars of string beans. There are only a few to a jar, maybe four, or even three; some have blue ribbons, and some have a tag that says honorable mention. I get choked up every single time I see the beans, because it just seems so unbelievably quaint and sweet that someone bothered to actually bring those particular beans to the fair. Someone grew that bean, picked it, canned it, and brought it to the fair for all the world to see because they were proud of it, and because they knew that there was time and room in the world for everyone to stop and marvel at that particular bean. "The world is that great, the pace is that slow, the appreciation of beauty, and especially beans, is so well-developed on the planet that everyone will absolutely love my bean, so I'm bringing it to the fair. Could someone else milk the cows for a day, please? I've got to share this bean." That's the thought process that I imagine happening. It kills me.

But about the zucchini. When my kids were very young, like one and four, I grew some enormous zucchini, the way you do when your kids are really little and your attention span is about 4 seconds long. Not unlike that time when C. kept seeing her own dead cat out the window each time she brushed her teeth, but, out of sight, out of mind, it took several days to remember about the possibly dead cat when she wasn't brushing her teeth, and go outside to check on it. Turns out it wasn't the cat after all. But it's that sort of distracted gardening that leads to gigantic Matanuska-ish zucchini. Nothing to be proud of.

But I read something in the little free paper, no I misread something in the free paper about a zucchini contest. It was a show-off-your-zucchini event at a local garden store, the giant yuppy one that begins with M. But I thought, (I know, this is where the story goes always goes bad, that sentence that begins with "I thought..."), anyway I thought we were supposed to make outfits for the zucchini. So M. and I used scissors and glue stick, and made these very, very hokey little twin zucchini costumes, and dressed these enormous, ridiculous, zucchinis as children.

These were not professional costumes. The clothes were mixed media (paper, fabric, found items from around the house) creations created with blunt scissors, fastened together with scotch tape and glue stick. The kind of thing a 4-year old would do, with a tiny bit of half-assed assistance. So we drove these twin zucchini children to this upscale store, me with my raggedy children, and got assembled (R in backpack, carrying snacks and diapers, the way you do when your kids can barely make it across the parking lot without needing to nurse or go to the bathroom.) AND, carrying these two huge, 15 pound, zucchinis, dressed as disadvantaged children.  It was rather a struggle, to carry everything, but we eventually made it in to the store, and some well-put together employee accosted me, asking if she could help.

"Where╒s the zucchini contest?"



"Oh, the produce display! In there."  She waves in a general direction, and we make our way to the table, only to find that all of the zucchinis are petite, well-formed specimens.  And none of them are wearing clothes. Some sort of clothing-optional zucchini beach.   I ask the employee standing near the table where the contest for the dressed up zucchini is.

She just gives me that look, the, 'Hmm, I wonder if medication could help her' look, and says, "No, we don't have any such contest. I really don't know what you're talking about."

At any rate, last day of the fair is today, and I'm feeling a tiny bit sad that I missed it.

Does it seem wrong, by the way, that the little 4-H-ers raise pigs, and make a display poster with bacon recipes?

Would a spider bite cause all of this bleeding, by the way?


  1. Why is it that I can totally picture you hauling around gigantic dressed up zukes? Oh, and you missed some really lovely green beans at the fair this year. Love those grange exhibits!

  2. Could there be such a miracle as fish shaped stigmata? Anything in the Unitarian religion about that? Just in case I stop by the mammogram trailer and have to talk about religion.....meg

  3. I drug L through the baked goods exhibit and he actually got into looking at them. We also looked at the grange exhibit...I always think of you in that section.


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