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Eating Tomatoes in Portugal – some AIMN fun!

Feel like a break from all the bad news?

Well here we are, the AIMN writers and regular commenters on those articles, spending plenty of time at home. We are all part of the AIMN community, commenters and writers both . As a Voice from the Serf Hovel type of writer I sprout up now and then and I feel as though I am part of something – a community of generally like-minded souls.

And in these testing times why shouldn’t we all have a bit of fun?

So here’s the happy challenge. I’m going to pick a subject out of the hat, and I’m inviting you to present your comment as a mini-article on that subject. Make it as funny/satirical/biting as you can and you can weave any issue you like into the subject – we could all do with a happy, or even a wry, laugh at the mo.

And the subject wafting in from left-field is …

EATING TOMATOES IN PORTUGAL (don’t blame me – it was in the hat!)

Here’s the first cab off the rank … memories from the Hippie Trail circa 1979 … I’m making at least some of it up as I go along.

“Bong. My wind chimes do that too I think. Lovely fit in the hand. Lovely sound as well. What was I about to say? Oh yes. Why would I want to marry Wana anyway? She was never in Portugal with the tomatoes. Killer Tomatoes, great movie, umm, this sentence has nothing to do with Portugal or the lack of tinned tomatoes on shelves so I kindly ask this sentence to stop. Did I just say that? Can’t remember if I did. Should the Coalition drink Mateus? If they drained Portugal dry they’d still have their heads up their rears. Need a bit of loosening up that lot. The Algarve. I ate tomatoes there once for three days in the shade of the Kombi. Gave me the runs and red spray in the morning Sailors’ warning or was it something to do with Shepherds at night? Can’t remember. I’ve totally forgotten what I’m supposed to be saying here. Ah yes, that’s it, time for a re-pack of the sound of the wind chimes. Here’s to the delight of eating tomatoes in Portugal!”

I don’t doubt that all of you can do far better than that. Go for it – we could all do with a good laugh!

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  1. New England Cocky

    We have a fine crop of tomatoes this year, plump, rounded, and bright red, just like the face of our favourite adulterous, philandering misogynist. The home grown tomatoes have a thick skin, but that just may be a seasonal effect caused by lack of watering during the worst drought in living memory that killed so many fish in the MDB so that cotton farmers could raise a bumper crop on ‘stolen water’.

    Perhaps if I had stolen some water from the Guyra Tomato Farm now supplied by a NSW taxpayer funded $13 MILLION pipeline taking Armidale NSW drinking water from Malpas Dam directly into the huge glasshouses, then I would have had nice soft smooth skinned tomatoes like the much vaulted Champion breed.

    Still my tomatoes grew with dam water supplied through a rural bull manure bucket to ensure that any profits grew regardless of my all hands approach to grafting. Delicious!!

  2. Kangaroo Jack

    It’s interesting that the capital of Portugal, Lisbon, always reminds me of a Greek Tragedy and a game of football, while the capital of a tomato, is a slender green shoot, with particularly political views on the nature of forest fishing, and why blame for bushfires is apportioned to a small group of zealots with the world as their oyster, led by a septuagenarian Tasmanian with only one head.

    Greece still has an island named for Greek tragics and denizens of some clubs in Oxford St Paddington on Pride Night.

    I’ve often leaned against a bar and enjoyed swapping war stories with a young woman so politically focused she keeps asking if my name is Voldemort. And asks whether I remember Stonewall (which I do, vividly).

    Then I remove my tomato stained rose coloured glasses, and think once more of the shiny flash that landed me here on this night, at this time, and quietly remember eating tomatoes, with my head gently resting in the lap of a boy with no shirt, and very short shorts, with a hunger for conversation and cuddles, and occasionally kisses, who lived next door to my pensione, in Lisbon.

    I remember the night his mother found us coiled on the bench, talking and living and not being aware, and told us to get inside before the restaurant across the road opened, to serve their wondrous tomato soup.

    Another road train rushes by. Several hundred more cattle off to feed the starving masses. Off to be killed for human hunger. And I reach down and scratch a resident kangaroo between the ears where she can’t reach, and realise how blessed I am, and how much I miss the boy and the bar and the conversation.

    If only I could once more feel those thoughts, gone now for years, but sitting on the surface waiting to be reached out to, like a leaf floating on a storm fed drain, scouring the gutters, and another memory approaches –

    rain pouring for less than half an hour in Barcaldine at the Shakespear Hotel, filling the gutters.
    an old man with me as we smoked and enjoyed the downpour.
    flashes of lightning splitting the earth around me with its huge report
    the publican leaning out – are you okay dad? to my companion
    I note to her – I just saw 6 steers, a drover on a horse and a dog get flushed down the drain on the corner
    are you a plumber says the publican, she of the blonde locks and generous breasts
    no I regret
    well that’ll be us f-cked in the morning she opines.

    And the memory reaches out, to fried green tomatoes, Netflix and the recipe box.

    And all is well.

  3. Miles Pharaweigh

    Nice one Jack

  4. Keith Davis

    THE RED HANKIES DECAMP TO PORTUGAL for a bit of a rest …

    Well, they had little choice in the matter. According to their Sergeant-at-Arms, Scarlegs Monahan (aka Derek Smith, a Brisbane based public servant) the Qld Bikie Anti-Association Laws forced their hand.

    “The trouble with being a notoriously unknown and uncriminal Motorcycle Gang, and prize-winning Mens’ Morris Dancing Troupe, is that nobody takes any notice of you. Except for the Qld Police of course.

    Every Thursday night, regular as clockwork, they turn up at our clubhouse/dance studio. They boot over and demolish our cherished Vesper Scooters, they tear our Colours down from the wall (two rich red tomatoes nicely highlighted on a rather fetching beige background), and they raid our secret stash of fine linen hankies and rare Morris Dancing bells. Worst of all, they guzzle up all the lamingtons and pastries that our wives lovingly supply to sustain us during our energetic Morris Dancing practice sessions.

    Naturally, and we are well known for it amongst ourselves if nowhere else, we always do the scary bikie menace thing right back at them. Usually it works a treat if the way people run screaming away from our performances in the Queen St Mall is anything to go by.

    We line up opposite the coppers and we dance, we wave our hankies, we tinkle our bells, we swirl in circles and jump up and down, we excruciatingly sing old english folk songs at full volume, we really let rip at them. Magnificently scary bikie sort of stuff. However, they usually totally ignore all that and, more often than not, throw us in the clink overnight.

    We are really getting to the point of thinking that Thursday nights are becoming a bit tedious, and trying to find spare parts for our oft demolished Vespers is beginning to become a real chore.

    Then, out of the blue last week, we heard that Portugal holds the world’s biggest Tomato Festival every year, and that they fully sponsor any tomato-themed overseas act that is brave, or silly enough, to turn up. Well, we are both of those things in bucket loads.

    Next month, us and our families are off for a fully sponsored junket/jaunt to the land of the squishy red. Mind you, being billed by the Portuguese as the Australian Dangerous Dancing Bikie Belled-Up Tomato Gang is a bit of a mouthful. But it’s a free holiday. So can’t complain.”

  5. Vikingduk

    Good fun, Keith, greatly appreciate the opportunity to be silly duk. Was hoping more would accept the opportunity. Oh well, did ya see the tomato red sunrise, looked quite edible. Of course, not many people know this yet, but in the coming months, all those that have been infected will mutate into zombies. That’s right, the zombie apocalypse will be upon us and in a bizarre twist they will turn a tomato red colour voraciously seeking lush, ripe tomatoes. Oh, also brains of any colour.

  6. Keith Davis

    Hi Vikingduk … yeah, a bit of silly fun is just the ticket right now. Laugh or cry seems to be the binary choice at the mo. I enjoyed your flights of imagination – but I’d better run over and bar the door – red hued zombies – that’s enough to scare me off my Vesper!

  7. Vikingduk

    See you in Portugal, Keith, closet Morris dancing fan for years, the bells, the hankies, the jiggling. Just Devine. When next the plod raid your clubhouse, I would suggest meeting them with copious tomatoes. As well, you could practise your zombie guttural grunting, of course colouring all exposed skin a fetching shade of tomato. Won’t know what hit em. Stay well, stay bent, have fun. See you on the other side.

  8. johno

    Portugal is a long way to go for tomatoes. We often use the organic canned variety from Italy.

  9. Vikingduk

    Johno, you mean to say you would pass up the chance to see Keith and his mates Morris dancing in Portugal to stay here and eat tinned tomatoes? Shame on you, get a bit of culture in your life.

  10. johno

    The fact is vikingduk, I can’t even get culture in a can at the moment, they keep selling out.

  11. Vikingduk

    Well, Johno, you could always google Morris dancing, though I’m sure nowhere near as good as Keith and his vicious biker mates. Hopefully this will help any culture deprivation at least until supermarkets can restock.

  12. johno

    At last, got some culture back, scored two tins of tomatoes yesterday. Puttanesca is on the menu tonight.

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