The Call of the Catalog

It is time. The seed catalog has called, and I answer. My resolve to deploy a smaller army of tomato varieties in my not-enormous garden weakens. What am I to do when confronted by all these admirable traits, painstakingly acquired and voluptuously displayed in the glossy pages of the seed vendors of the world? Their names alone are so inspired, so evocative, that entire novels could be written just by listing them. Or anyway, short stories:

On a Cloudy Day in Oregon Spring Indigo Rose, Defiant. She was a Summer Girl with a Hungarian Heart and though she was the Patio Princess she refused to make an Heirloom Marriage with the Black Prince. Big Mama and Big Daddy had already invited Madame Marmande, but that was too bad. She wanted a Better Boy. As the Skyway flashed with Red Lightning bright as the Fourth of July, the prince’s henchmen, Jersey Devil, Martian Giant, and Bloody Butcher, rode up to the castle on a Bobcat, throwing Cherry Bombs, looking to capture the Damsel. She quickly dispatched her Orange Pixie on its Crimson Sprinter to get word to her Champions, Gladiator, Super Sioux, and Mortgage Lifter, who rode down the Big Rainbow on Green Zebras to defeat the Big Boys, reducing them to Carbon. So the princess put on her Zapotec Pleated Pink Berkeley Tie Dye Cherokee Purple dress, invited a Celebrity or two, and they all sat down to eat Supersteak, Pork Chop, Black Pineapple, and Chocolate Stripes while drinking Cherry Buzz and Brandywine. At last, in a Sweet Zen mood, the princess decided Mr Stripey was a Longkeeper and took him home to her Red House Free Standing where they live in Peacevine Harmony. Oh Happy Day!

Yes, those are all really names of tomato varieties, and there are enough other plot-provoking names left over for a sequel. But don’t worry, I’m not going there.


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