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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Red With Delight


The tomato festival was a big hit with the local towns people. Of course they had never seen a tomato before, they had not even seen anything red before and to eat it was a pure satanic delight. For this was the land of the righteous and anything and everything that could be in some way related to the devil was strictly outlawed and abandoned centuries ago, including all shades of the color red. In fact the color wheels in High School art class had only two primaries and one secondary color, the color brown was nearly impossible to duplicate in the class, and orange and purple were relegate to nature alone. (In fact this lead to many disputes in later centuries about the exact nature of brown and some went so far as to hypothesizes a third primary that made orange and purple the two additional secondary colors which were often seen in nature but not in art. This line of reasoning then lead to an ironic twist, because those theorist were often burnt at the stake and as the red and orange flames rose up their feet it all began to make sense, this was one of the few times where fire (and red) were seen as a tool of righteousness and not one of the devil.)

But then one day a traveling sales man, with a surplus of tomatoes to move before they rotted in the trucks and docks of the co-op for which he worked, entered the town. He was a forward thinking and very modern type of man. The girls swooned at the sight of his black bolo hat. Women wanted him and men wanted to be him. He was slicker then a duck in a rain storm and all that other jazz which made him real cool. He could talk a good game and with the Bible in one hand and a plump tomato in another he was able to convince the great, great, great, great decedents of those original pietists that the tomato, although red, was still a creation by God and ordained as good, was great to eat and excellent to have with pasta (which had been rather stale of taste over the last few centuries). It brought much need vitamins and topped out a bacon and lettuce sandwich very well. 

The town nearly rioted because of the color red, some agreed with the salesman and wanted the tomatoes to pour into the town. Other, more zealous of tradition and right thinking and all that, people refused and wanted to run the man out of town. The frosting on the cake was the fact that a tomato began as green and turned yellow and then red by the rays of the sun. Here was the symbolic making of a theological shift. The trinity of colors of blue and yellow making green combined with the sun, the son, the light, the warmth of the heavens poured out to create this jewel. But others saw a different symbol, a crafty snake offering a tempting but forbidden fruit. The symbolism, either way, was too much. All wanted to partake. For to err, to fall, is human. It is the nature of the creature, even centuries of right living could not breed out the fact that humanity craved the passion of life, that which was forbidden. Now the full circle was complete: peace, warmth and passion; blue, yellow and red; the trinity was completed and every range of emotion and every shade of color became available to this imagine-less town. Riot was subdued but passion to created, to flourish, to build, to spring forth, was unleashed and the tomato festival captured that very essence. 

Copyright 2012 David Corbet

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