Potato Of The Day Episode 93

littlewhitebuttonmushroomOnce upon a time, the White Button family had decided to go on vacation, a long road trip to do some sightseeing. They were all set, packed, and ready to go. Well, that is except for Little White Button, who was having a very difficult time deciding what to bring with in the car.

“But Pa, I need all my clothing,” said Little White Button.

“All your clothing?” asked Pa White Button.

“Yes! What if it gets cold, or hot, or it rains, or snows, or there’s wind, or I spill, or get uncomfortable, or need a disguise?” replied Little White Button.

“Okay, if that’s what you need, that’s what you need,” said Pa White Button.

And so he loaded all of Little White Button’s clothing into the car, packing parkas and pants, swimsuits and sweaters, tights and Toadstool costumes, and on and on and on, until the closet was empty and there were no more clothes to pack.

“Are you ready to go now?” asked Pa White Button.

“No, no! I need my books! It’s a long trip. I’ll need to read,” said Little White Button.

“Okay, if that’s what you need, that’s what you need,” said Pa White Button.

And so he loaded all of Little White Button’s books into the car, packing away Where the Wild Truffles Are, and Chanterelle’s Web, and Goodnight Morel, and on and on and on, until the bookshelves were bare and there were no more books to pack.

“Okay, are you all set now?” asked Pa White Button.

“Oh Pa, one more thing! I need my toys! What if I get bored, or lonely?” said Little White Button.

“Okay, if that’s what you need, that’s what you need,” said Pa White Button.

And so he loaded all of Little White Button’s toys into the car, packing away stuffed bears and bobcats, and jackals and jaguars, and leopards and lions, and on and on and on, until the toy box was barren and there were no more of Little White Button’s collection of Harmless Stuffed Carnivores left to pack.

“Okay, that’s everything, Pa. I’m ready. Let’s go!” said Little White Button.

“Ah, I’m sorry Little White Button, but you’re not going anywhere,” replied Pa White Button.

“We’re not?” asked Little White Button.

“No, no. We, that is your mother and I, are going, but I’m afraid you’ll have to stay behind,” said Pa White Button.

“Why’s that, Pa?” asked Little White Button.

“Because with all your stuff in the car, I’m afraid there just isn’t mushroom left!” spouted Pa White Button.

And everyone laughed happily ever after! The end.

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Potato Of The Day Episode 92

whiteonionWhenever I’m rocking the old chef’s knife on a fresh white onion, I like to pretend I’m an incredulous doctor preforming exploratory surgery on an alien species for the first time, recording my thoughts into an imaginary tape recorder (Yes, tapes. I’m a very old doctor and stuck in my ways. Goddamned technology is ruining society! I remember when we didn’t even use anesthetic, they just sliced you open like a MAN!), reveling in the absurd discovery of the onion’s insides. It’s cathartic to release like that, to give away to the world of pretend, embracing your inner child, or, more honestly, crazy person.

“Subject presented with a unique case of flaking dandruff. After initial scrub and cleanse, the outer flake shell broke off on its own. I can only conclude the husk provides some sort of protection. Deeper analysis into the creature’s makeup is necessary. I’m making the first cut now, a vertical incision along the creature’s center axis. The skin gives way easily, peeling back, revealing… MORE ONION? Holy shit! I’ve never seen a creature like this before. Dual layers of skin. Quite an evolutionary quirk! I need to explore deeper. But first, the top most layer of skin must be completely removed. Forceps, please.”

Which makes me realize I would be a HORRIBLE doctor. You’re really not supposed to remove the entirety of your subject’s skin just because you’ve noticed something interesting inside of them. Imagine if you did that to a human. “Oh, looks like you’ve got a unique bone spur on your heel there. We’re going to have to remove all of your flesh to get a better look.” That’s basically what I do to the onion. That’s not real Hippocratic oath-y of me, so I inevitably switch roles, transforming into an interrogator, a real rule-ignoring bastard of a man, for a secret shadow government agency.

“TELL ME WHAT YOU KNOW. Don’t make me remove your second layer of skin, White Onion. We know you have the codes! WE KNOW YOU HAVE THEM. Oh playing tough and silent, huh? WELL I’VE GOT THE KEY TO UNLOCK YOUR ASSHOLE, BUTTHEAD. And by asshole, I mean mouth, because you’ve got a butt for a head. THERE’S PLENTY MORE WORDPLAY WHERE THAT CAME FROM. Nothing? Then it’s time to rip off your skin and… OH MY GOD MORE ONION. WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU?”

But by that point the onion has gotten to me, and my eyes start welling up. You don’t ever see any black-hearted bastard torturers with tears in their eyes, do you? No, of course not. There ain’t no empathy in the torture game. So I have to switch again, this time taking on the role of a heartbroken woman, having arrived home to find her husband tortured to death after a botched surgery.

“White Onion, honey, are you home? I picked up brisket at the market.I know it’s your fav – OH MY GOD! WHITE ONION? Oh no… oh no, no, no, no! THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING! WAKE UP YOU SON OF A BITCH! WAKE UP!”

And that’s about the point in time when I realize I’ve gone too far… again. I need to stop playing with my food.

Potato Of The Day Episode 91

purpleroseapriumHey, kids! ARE YOU READY FOR AN INCOHERENT SMORGASBORD POST? Cause I sure am! Rapid fire multiple personalities now! Who can roll with the punches like a Purple Rose Aprium? Is it YOU! Show me, children! Let’s pound round fruits into square holes! Can holes even be square? I always thought “hole” implied a certain roundness, but that’s a debate for another day! BECAUSE THIS PARAGRAPH IS ENDING, KIDS! HOORAY!

PURPLE ROSE APRIUMS DEMAND SQUARED ORDER BE CONSTRUCTED FROM THE ROUND CHAOS OF THE WORLD. HALT HUMAN, SUBMIT TO THE GRID CONSTRUCT. YOU WILL CONCEDE YOUR FREE-FORM WAYS. YOU WILL GIVE UP YOUR UNSTRUCTURED MOUNDS. YOU WILL CONFORM. PURPLE ROSE APRIUMS DEMAND THIS OF YOU. YOU WILL CONSUME OR BE CONSUMED. END TRANSMISSION.

Yo dudes, if I’m being straight up with you for a second here, Purple Rose Apriums are the fucking DOPEST. It’s all in that naming, that top-shelf branding. Purple. Rose. Aprium. As in apricot-plum. A fusion. Just like we fused two of the mothafuckin’ dankest colors together in the first part of the name. Purple. Rose. Fused fusions fused! That name is hitting on you layered levels of mental real estate, bro. PURPLE. ROSE. APRIUM. I’d go into more detail, but I’m working on a perfecting a purple rose #HASHTAG.

So a pluot is a cross between a plum and an apricot, but an aprium is also a cross between an apricot and a plum. A pluot, as the name structure would imply, lends itself more to its plum ancestry, a more stoic path. But the aprium, in its unique genetic modifications, actually skewers more on the wild side, letting its dangerous apricot fly its crossbred flag. It’s an interesting line to draw in the sand. Where does the pluot end and the aprium begin? It’s much like question of the Purple Rose Aprium itself. Does it line up in staggered horizontal rows, starting left and ending right? Or does it prefer columned organization, one after another, from bottom to top? Let’s ponder that significance with a transitional sentence serving no substance, lost in pseudo-science sludge.

Let’s throw a bunch of pop culture references at your ass. Ready? Go. Purple, the color of Barney the Dinosaur and the McDonald’s anthropomorphic being, hugging mascots polluting our children with morality and morsels. Rose, dropping blue diamonds off the starboard port, whispering, “Paint me like one of your Golden Girls, Jack”. Aprium, a large open foyer, filled with rows and rows of folding chairs, occupied by cloned Gorilla Grodds and Donkey Kongs, tickets purchased well in advance, a conference promising the secrets to primate life, presented by King Kong. Is that enough? The narrators move on, Huck Finn and Ishmael, ushering you to your seat.

Who am I? I can’t remember. The fog sits heavy in my mind, a clouded bank of memories not functioning correctly, stagnated strands firing on incomplete electrical signals. I reach for my pockets, searching for warmth from a sudden and unforcasted fit of summer chill, finding instead a crumbled piece of paper. I pull it out, unfolding it with one hand, more a nonchalant gesture than deliberate action. Fragmented handwriting, scrawled through wrinkled sheet, stares up at me, scratched in hurried ink. “Purple Rose Aprium knows.” Knows what? My answers stretch out of reach, words tumbling from a paragraph at the end of page.

Let it all go now.
A Purple Rose Aprium
is to eat. Not THINK.

Potato Of The Day Episode 90

starfruit“Ground Control to Starfruit, come in Starfruit.” This was my second attempt at communication, my first having gone unanswered. Things happen. It’s not unusual for delayed response on first contact. But still. There was something crawling around in the back of my head, a stray thought that wouldn’t die. Today felt off. First contact was one thing, but this was second contact after all. That’s classified as more than standard delay. I held the handheld coms unit ready, but there was no response, just searing static.

“Ground Control to Starfruit. Starfruit, do you copy?” Again, nothing. I stared up at the ceiling, willing my vision through the drop-hanging textured tiles, peering beyond into the great dark abyss above. I could picture her up there, on the edges of imagination, her yellowed edges floating tantalizing outside of Earth’s reach, a ripe Carambola you couldn’t touch. What was going on, Starfruit? Why weren’t you answering?

“Ground Control to Starfruit, be advised, your responses are not being heard. Switching to reserve, emergency frequencies. Follow protocol Avverhoa.” I turned the dial on the hand com, setting it to the reserve bandwidth, and sent out a signal response detector, a simple beep that Starfruit would return upon successful reception. I waited.

No response.

That wasn’t good. The reception return signal was an automated process. If there was no response, that meant there was no Starfruit. I felt my breath start to quicken. I swallowed it back slowly, not allowing panic to seep. I picked up the emergency contact phone, a direct line to mission command headquarters. No dial tone. What was going on? Were all coms out? I set my handheld to broadcast all frequencies, sending out a standard response call. Nothing came back. Where the hell was the communication network? There should have been dozens of replies. What else was down? My cell phone? No signal. The internet? Not connected. The handheld HAM radio in the storage closet? Dead air.

I roamed the building, normally bustling, home to hundreds of employees, accountants, scientists, mechanics, repairmen. No one was there. I went up to the observation room, a glass giant of a wall overlooking the city at large. No movement from afar.

I was alone.

Breath suddenly failed me, my lungs raspy, my chest tight. Sweat. Where did all this sweat come from? I felt so very hot, my consciousness teetering on the edge of faint. Where did everyone go? No. This can’t be real. This can’t be happening. Not to me. I closed my eyes, praying for normalcy when my vision returned. But no. It was all gone.

I ran back to the communications room, my heart racing harder still, pounding like a piston. I snatched up the coms unit, desperately broadcasting to all channels. “STARFRUIT COME IN. STARFRUIT DO YOU COPY? STARFRUIT, PLEASE, YOU MUST COPY? DO YOU HEAR ME?”

The sound of steps accompanied by rubber wheels echoed into the room from behind me. No, not yet. They’d come for me. I needed more time. There must be someone else out there. There must be something out there! Anything! This couldn’t be happening again! “STARFRUIT! PLEASE!”

And there I was, still yelling into my hardened breakfast croissant, ass exposed in a medical gown, crying “Starfruit”, when they wheeled me away.

Potato Of The Day Episode 89

pomegranateI wish more things in life weren’t like pomegranates. Pomegranates are difficult. They’re hard to crack, hard to eat, hard to enjoy. They require real effort, deliberately focused repetitive energy. They require motivation. They require commitment. Sure, there’s a payoff there, a pearl of life-refreshing juice. But there’s just too much you have to go through to get to that point. You have to cut and score the skin, you have to break the membrane apart, you have to pick the seeds out one by one, you have to filter and strain, you have to rinse, and THEN, only then, do you get to eat. And it might be great, it might be life changing, it might even be a tropical fruit orgasm for your mouth, but DAMN, it was a lot of work. Too much work. Just like success in life. Fuck that noise. I’m off that.

I don’t want to work for success. I just want it. There. Delivered to me for doing whatever it was I happened to be doing. I just want the pleasure of enjoying the fruit, not the fruits of my labor. I want to be that lucky bastard who got straight to the pomegranate seed without dealing with the skin first. And be honest, you know you want that too. Sure you can work really hard, you can study and perfect, you can practice, you can plan and execute, you can master your craft. You can do all those things you need to do to succeed, and you might, might, get there, to that promised locked, away burst of treasure juice. Or you might not. Maybe by the time you get there, it’s gone bad, you know? Or maybe, the whole journey, the trials and tribulations, wiped away your desire to get there in the first place? Or maybe, the effort is just too much, and you never make it at all. And then what?

So let me just have this one. Just nod to yourself and go, “Yup, good post”. Give it a big ole fucking gold star. Just don’t ask me to put more effort into this. Don’t make me sell it to you. Don’t make me share it. Don’t make me work. Just let me exist in minimal effort, collecting praise for a job done. Who cares if I did it all that well? Who cares if I spent time editing, revising sentences, carving excess marble away, reducing down to the perfect blend of punctuation and word? Who really cares? Maybe you do. But that pomegranate sure doesn’t. And I sure don’t. So maybe my first sentence was wrong? That decision is up to you.

Potato Of The Day Episode 88

pineapplemonster

Piercing sky, the monster rises, decorated in spiked skin and thorny crown.
In between buildings, we run, weaving in and out, avoiding crumbling debris.
Near the end of the street, she trips, falling over forgotten looted score.
Enter the monster, looming above, spraying sweet citric acid in dripped arch.
Armed with nothing, I jump forward, shielding her from sight and spray.
Pressed close behind, she stays, muttering hushed prayers in the sticky rain.
Peering down, the monster sheds, sharp shoots flying from its flowered crown.
Leaf spears flutter our direction, razor-edged, threatening decapitation.
Enough wind, or luck, pushes danger away, shoots colliding into nearby walls.

All goes quiet in my ears as dust erupts, smothering us in cloud, a dirt shield.
The monster stays, standing in ominous stillness, stretched up like tropical air.
Then, sans warning, a jet appears, flying fast, low, targeting the giant’s head.
At once, the jet fires, unleashing a barrage of thin, pointed wooden missiles.
Chunks of monster plummet, landing in spongy splashes, rods still attached.
Kneeling no more, we collect and rise, biting monster meat, our victory feast.

Potato Of The Day Episode 87

rubyredpearYOU GUYS I FOUND IT! I finally found it! You know, it! The magical object that will set me free, returning me home, away from this endless dream of fruits, vegetables, and starches – oh my! It’s right here, finally, after eluding me for, what, 87 days (well more if we include weekends, holidays, and those inevitable days where I forget I’m supposed to blog). A truly long journey to be sure. But I’ve done it! I’ve located my magical vessel, my enchanted crux, my spiritual key. It’s not shoes, sure. But it is a pear! A beautiful, plump ruby pear! Right there waiting, waiting to take me home!

It was a long yellow road, built by corn kernel brick after corn kernel brick. But I’ve made it, past the deep dark forest of celery and cilantro, sneaking by the flying edamames, defeating the Wicked Kiwano of the West, peeling back to curtain to reveal the lime controlling it all. Those were the fiercest of the trials and tribulations. But there was good in this journey, too wasn’t there? New friends made along the way. A strawberry without a brain! A tomatillo lacking heart! A cowardly lemon unable to muster the courage (the courage to stop telling jokes)! And who could forget my trusty pet, Potato? They were all there, and it was so very grand! But it had to end, didn’t it? All journeys do!

And this one ends in joy, because I’ve finally found that piece of inspiration that will send these dreamed walls, those four edges of the screen, crumbling down! Because that’s all that was missing all along, wasn’t it? Inspiration. The inspiration to be free, to break away from the bane of normalcy, to find something worth imagining about, the unimaginable in the tangible. That’s what we’ve done! You, me, all the readers, all the fruits, all the vegetables, all the potatoes around the world! We’ve done it. And all I have to do is buy this ruby red pear, take a bite, and this all comes to a sudden, but wonderful and joyous end. There’s no food like home.

Annnnd… I’ve forgot my wallet. No, no, no. This can’t be happening. I’m too close! Please, man, just let me have for free! Please. PLEASE. Oh come on, the capitalist system isn’t worth it, dude. I don’t care about your family you have to feed. Feed them pears! SHIT. FINE. WHATEVER MAN, SCREW YOU. I’M JUST GOING TO JUST TAKE A GODDAMNED PICTURE AND KEEP ON WRITING ABOUT PISSANT PIECES OF PRODUCE AGAIN THEN. FUCKIN’ A, MAN. FUCKIN’ A.