Thursday, September 13, 2012

Strange Vegetables

MangelwurzelsBlack magic is afoot.

Something old and ancient and of the deepest, darkest soil.

As I have performed my daily security checks around Grindstone Towers I have encountered weird totems left out for me. Strange vegetables left in odd but prominent places.

I’m not talking peas or legumes. I am talking root vegetables. Turnips. Swedes. Mangelwurzels.

Mangelwurzels especially.

I have found no less than four of these left on pillar bases, at the tops of stairs and placed strategically in doorways so that they are hard to avoid.

It is hard not to take these portents personally though the cryptic message they contain could be meant for anybody I suppose, not necessarily me.

Wikipedia tells me that as far as mangelwurzels are concerned their “contemporary use is primarily for cattle, pig and other stock feed” though they can be fed to humans when the root is young.

What is a young root? A rootlet? Isn’t that a quickie in Australian slang?

Plainly someone feels that I am of bovine persuasion. It is hard not to interpret that as some kind of negative feedback.

Or course, I could be misreading the situation. Maybe a regular has seen me scoffing my face with chocolate and feels that I should be eating more healthily and has taken to leaving me various food items that I could take home and incorporate into a nice stew. Sort of a low level piecemeal Red Cross food parcel service.

I admit I have been surveying the visitors to the Library contained within Grindstone Towers trying to identify the potential reader of the large print version of “Fifty Shades Of Gravy” but all to no avail. They are keeping their identity well hidden. It could be absolutely anybody.

Should I, of course, ever find a mangelwurzel in my bed I will know that the truth is I have offended the countryside mafia in some way and that my time on this good green earth is now at an end and I am about to be harvested forthwith (and not, alas, for my succulence). For as it is written: all flesh is like grass, and all of man's glory like the flower in the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls...

But all I have at the moment is guess work. Guess work, speculation and conjecture. The truth is I don’t know what is happening only that it is strange and disturbing and nebulously sexual and I would welcome input from anybody at all on this matter.

Please carve all ideas and theorems into the back of a parsnip and send them to the usual address please.

Or alternatively just leave them out in the street for me to find in the morning.


23 comments:

Rol said...

I could have really done without that picture linked the the images you just painted... at this time of night. Or any time, for that matter.

Steve said...

Rol: I could email you an intimate picture of my spuds if you like.

Gorilla Bananas said...

It's an invitation to dress up as a woman and put one of those things in each bra cup. Whoever did it must be attracted to your female side. You should be flattered.

Steve said...

Gorilla Bananas: I'd be more flattered if whoever it was left me a couple of pumpkins.

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

Arrrgh. I love a good swede. Sweet and crunchy raw. Or lashed (and mashed) with butter and pepper and nutmeg. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth Steve.
I hate to say that this is the sort of things that absent-minded gardeners do - put their harvest down to attend to an errant weed - when they are 'pottering.' But I take it there are no vegetable plots where you work.

Steve said...

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden: no, only cabbages. ;-)

the fly in the web said...

It's an modern art exhibition but someone forgot to put it on the events calendar.

Being Me said...

Your workplace never ceases to cause wonder. You'll never know what'll turnip next.

Steve said...

The fly in the web: a contender for the Turnip prize.

Being Me: for me vegetable art is a bit of a has-bean.

Nota Bene said...

Its either witchcraft..or a large hole in someone's Sainsbury's bag

Steve said...

Nota Bene: this is Leamington Spa... it's more likely to be the former.

John Gray said...

mad as the proverbial box of frogs!

Steve said...

John: if I find one of them I'll know I'm in trouble.

Keith said...

You may never get to the root of it.

Steve said...

Keith: I suspect the truth of the matter is too deeply buried.

Jon said...

It is very curious, that which you describe. When my late father moved to rural Norfolk as a boy at the start of WWII people would leave bags and boxes full of root vegetables on the doorstep late at night. At first my grandparents assumed that this was some sort of tradition to ward off evil, or possibly a clumsy attempt at a trap for the incomers.

After a while it emerged that the illiterate peasentry had little or no idea as to the identity of these vegetables and were hoping that my grandfather - an educated man - might walk into the pub (called the Ostrich, so some small research might tell you in which village they were living) and announce to the barman that he had enjoyed the kohl rabi or whatever and another minor mystery might be solved.

Instead they went directly into the rabbits and illegal pig he was rearing in the back garden.

Steve said...

Jon: thank you. The solution and my salvation are now evident. I need to acquire myself an illegal pig.

Jon said...

Steve - I strive to be off use. I suppose a couple of guinea pigs may be more suitable in an urban / suburban situation such as yours.

Steve said...

Jon: thank you - how is their bacon?

Katriina said...

Wikipedia just informed me that mangelwurzel is "a cultivated root vegetable derived from Beta vulgaris". There you have it. A definite sexual message. Or at least just a dirty message.

Steve said...

Katriina: Beta? Plainly it's still in the testing stage.

Owen said...

You may want to dig up Tom Robbins' book "Jitterbug Perfume", and read his descriptions of beets in it...

But in the meanwhile, I'd stick with chocolate, everyone knows that chocolate provides all required nutrients for a well balanced daily diet...

Steve said...

Owen: why can't you be my doctor?