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Tomato pasting

Our resident tomato grower has just been dfeated in absentia. The pasting was administered by one Bill Krauss, who won the Third Annual Championship Tomato Weigh-in with an entry of more than four pounds described as the fattest and sweetest in New Jersey, the tomato state. For some reason our man took the news as if it were sharping on his inadequacies; more tomatoes than he could eat with the family away but none of the prize quality he would have liked to lay on a neighbor.

All those runty, lumpy, rusty ones ignored by the worms (though still tasty to him). All the ones that almost reached baseball size and then fell to the ground green or split their sides (probably laughing at tomato growers who don't live in New Jersey) or ripened just fast enough to guarantee a single wormhole in each beauty's most attractive profile before our man could pluck it.

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"I'll eat around it," said a compassionate friend when offered one of the specimens with a blemish. And our man had to admit that tomatoes, unlike eggs, could be a little bad without being all bad.

As they spread across the kitchen counter like those elliptical billiard balls beloved by Gilbert and Sullivan, he tried to stay in command by eating them morning, noon, and night, although he was not really partial ot tomatoes. Even for breakfast? Yeah, they were okay thinly sliced with a splash of olive oil and salt.

But, as he thought about it, said our man, he was glas to leave the four-pounders to Bill Krauss.

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