"What would you like today?"
"How's about a medium-rare cheeseburger with extra tomatoes and a spinach
(Extracts walkie-talkie from pocket)
"Sonny, we got another one. Get Bellevue here Stat."
Moments later, and not without a great deal of complaints on his part, Marvin
is wrapped in a straitjacket, tied to a gurney and placed in the back of an
Concerned relatives and friends began showing up and taking their seats in a
waiting area at the hospital. After waiting about an hour, a doctor emerges from
a hallway and asks if they're related to our friend, Marvin. Yes, yes! They
chime in together.
"Does he have a significant other with whom he resides?"
Cheryl piped up, "That would be me." The doctor beckoned her into his office.
"Miss, how long has Marvin been acting unreasonable or peculiar?"
"Unreasonable? Peculiar! He was fine this morning when he left for work. And
what constitutes 'unreasonable?'"
"Well, there's no delicate way to put this...he attempted suicide earlier
Cheryl let out a gasp and then started crying, occasionally crying out "why?"
and "that's just not him!"
The doctor suggested that close members of his family be brought in. Each
person, when given the news, reacted in a similar fashion as did Cheryl.
"Do you realize that he ordered his lunch in willful disregard of the warning
that 'eating under-cooked potentially hazardous foods may lead to food-borne
illness?' Not only that, he compounded the situation, the situation that he's
become a danger to himself, by ordering tomatoes. Haven't you any idea how many
people are getting salmonella poisoning from tomatoes..."
The doctor was interrupted when a nurse entered his office with a chart.
"He's sedated now and resting comfortably."
When Marvin's mother cried out, "What's this with a hamburger? And tomatoes?"
The doctor jumped in "and a spinach salad, ma'am."
The nurse explained to anyone who'd listen that Marvin was a typically
difficult case, presenting with having attempted to consume not just one but a
combination of unwholesome food choices. "Heck, we put a very nice lady
in here the other day just for eating triple treyf."
The same City Council that had prevented smoking in all
public areas had just enacted a new law. Anticipating litigation from the
National Restaurant Association, they left it up to the consumer to make
a choice. Already in the legal pipeline was a regulation that diners carry a
pocket thermometer to test if their soup meets temperature guidelines.
While it's no crime to eat a tomato in New York City, it is, indeed, a crime
to cause or intent to cause harm to one's self or another person.
Since the enactment of the regulation, one can see blinds drawn where
previously they let the dawn's light in; the obliterated windows to hide the
horrible evidence of eggs "over easy," or, Heaven forbid, poached.
Anxious to cultivate their own tomatoes, the public at large began to purchase UV lights and potting soil in such
copious amounts that limits were put on their purchase. Sushi became a black
market favorite among persons of wealth and privilege, with the price of an
order of Tuna Sashimi skyrocketing from $2.50 to $35.00.
Oh, and Marvin? Marvin was released from the hospital as soon as he assured
his doctors he'd "eat safe." He and Cheryl promptly moved to Mexico where the
price of tomatoes had plummeted, and they ate them at least once a day.