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Steal This Zuke
Yes, that's the word "abundance" carved/grown into this squash. We're now managing to sentimentalize even our vegetables.

abundanceSM1.jpg

This thing was about 15 inches long, and my friend Glenn said it had been there for about a week, on this concave sculpture of a body, on somebody's front yard in Santa Monica, off Main Street. (I'm guessing it had only recently acquired the "FREE" and "enjoy" signs.) On our way back we saw somebody had either taken it -- or taken it inside and put it out of its misery.

Posted by aalkon at August 17, 2007 1:42 PM

Comments

Since I am a native of fly-over country and the smell of the barnyard is not a stranger to my nostrils, and since I don’t have to worry about getting kicked off the “A” list, I can say I think this is kind of neat and not much different than carving a pumpkin at Halloween. And I’ve been around and traveled far, including Santa Monica where I found freaks...I mean unique modes of self expression were commonplace. A stunning redhead can zip around in her hot pink Nash until she trades it in on a cute hybrid. So what’s wrong with some goofball getting their craft on with something from the garden and showing it off? It’s not like this is in one of the gated communities that befoul the landscape; where veg gardens aren’t even allowed. I think this is a better form of self expression than a leviathan SUV with a poke-in-the-eye custom paint job.
As a somewhat introverted person who genuinely likes people, I like to see this kind of thing. It’s like an invitation to walk up and say “What’s your deal anyway?” and have a nice conversation and stem the rising floods of societal alienation.
‘Course that’s just me, I could be wrong.

Posted by: martin at August 17, 2007 7:03 AM

Vegetable gardens aren't allowed in gated communities?

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 17, 2007 7:06 AM

Vegetable gardens aren't allowed in gated communities?

That's just crazy. Why can't you have a garden in a gated community?

But I understand about giving away zukes and cukes; man, our garden is so overflowing with both, and tomatoes, I can't give 'em away fast enough! Peppers, too.

Posted by: Flynne at August 17, 2007 7:17 AM

Now, if you wrote messages in them and left them at the supermarket...!

You might attract people like this:

http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=bizarre&id=5563034

P.S. I vote for a little irony, at least, in vegetable messaging.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 17, 2007 7:35 AM

"Vegetable gardens aren't allowed in gated communities?

That's just crazy. Why can't you have a garden in a gated community?"

Some of those homeowner's associations are insanely strict, even the un-gated ones. I can't imagine living that way but most of the inmates of these places are genuinely terrified of contact with ordinary people. I have some in-laws who live in a place like that (they hate it) and they have been written up for having the wrong color flowers in their landscaping beds.

So the next time you see a weirdo be sure to say, "Hey, weirdo, nice to see ya'!"

Posted by: martin at August 17, 2007 7:39 AM

I love weirdos. I guess the problem is, I don't find the Santa Monica Birkenstocky people weird, merely annoying. Too many of them are the people who cut you off in traffic and give you the finger on their way to their yoga and meditation class.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 17, 2007 8:04 AM

I have some in-laws who live in a place like that (they hate it) and they have been written up for having the wrong color flowers in their landscaping beds.

Seriously?? That's just sick. o_O

Posted by: Flynne at August 17, 2007 8:08 AM

"Seriously??" Oh, absolutely. They had to move to the area they are in now because of a career opportunity and the house seemed like a good value at the time. It is sterile, like living on a golf course or a movie set or something. Nobody knows their neighbors, what a way to live.
Personally, I think that sanitized kind of atmosphere invites daytime burglary. If people have no involvment in their neighbor's lives, how will anyone know if that moving van really belongs there on a weekday afternoon?

Posted by: martin at August 17, 2007 8:35 AM

"...I don't find the Santa Monica Birkenstocky people weird, merely annoying."

Amy, have you ever posted about where you grew up (MI, right?) and your observations of how people are in the various places you have lived?

I've been all over and for all its reputation for craziness, I found L.A. to be one of the more lifeless places I've ever been, an ocean of suburbs. Even nutjobs on the street seem to be working off a $2 script.

Posted by: martin at August 17, 2007 8:45 AM

I don't live in the suburbs. I lived in New York, I live in the beach area of So Cal, and visit Paris. I would die in suburbia. A very, very slow death.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 17, 2007 8:50 AM

It is sterile, like living on a golf course or a movie set or something. Nobody knows their neighbors,

I could never live like that, I'm too freakin' nosy! >_O Everybody in our neighborhood knows everybody else, our kids go to school together, we trade veggies and flowers, talk over the back fence, all that good stuff. Whenever anyone goes anywhere, we take in their mail, their papers, feed their pets, whatever needs to be done. I just can't imagine otherwise. How sad.

Posted by: Flynne at August 17, 2007 8:53 AM

I hear you Flynne. We have a standing rule in our neighborhood, anyone wheels out the fireplace and starts a bonfire, everyone's invited.

Posted by: martin at August 17, 2007 9:08 AM

Oh, and I forgot - read this Norman Mailer quote in The Week:

"Sentimentality is the emotional promiscuity of those who have no sentiment."

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 17, 2007 11:27 AM

"This thing was about 15 inches long"

That sounds like a vegetable I could get very sentimental about.

Posted by: Lena "Size Queen" Cuisina at August 17, 2007 11:43 AM

I knew I could count on you.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 17, 2007 11:44 AM

Completely useless factoids:
August 5th is National Friend Day
August 7th is National Underwear Day
August 8th is hide zucchinis on your neighbor's porch day
(I swear to god, I didn't make those up)


I propose we call for an annual "Hide your neighbors zuchinni in your friend's underwear day"

Posted by: Elle at August 17, 2007 10:15 PM

For Lena, every day is "hide the zucchini day"...just not on the neighbor's porch!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 18, 2007 12:54 AM

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