Briefly

Do you know how much it costs to have RotoRooter come to your house on a Monday night to spend 20 minutes snaking your sink?  $266 American dollar bills. Pipes and plumbing and water are so dumb. Why can’t we go back to a simpler time when people would get their water from a well or a river or whatever and maybe contract dysentery but never have to deal with plumbers who charge outrageous amounts of money.  Also, money is dumb.  I think we need to just barter and trade from now on.  For instance, if you will re-tile my shower, I will give you three awful delightful cats.  I think that’s a fair deal.

Also, my mother and I had a little conversation about this website and my liberal use of the word “whore” wherein she expressed her displeasure in my liberal use of the word “whore” and I giggled because my mom just said the word “whore” like five times.

To close this brief snippet and to further ignore the reasons for my longer than usual absence, I’d like to share with you an interesting tidbit surrounding the tomato.  I am reading a cool book about fruit and in that book there is a brief mention of the 1893 US Supreme Court Case Nix v Hedden.  My friend Carrie helpfully forwarded me the Wikipedia page from which I lifted this snippet for you:

The court unanimously decided in favor of the defense and found that the tomato was classified as a vegetable, based on the ways in which it is used, and the popular perception to this end. Justice Horace Gray, writing the opinion for the Court, stated that:

“The passages cited from the dictionaries define the word ‘fruit’ as the seed of plants, or that part of plants which contains the seed, and especially the juicy, pulpy products of certain plants, covering and containing the seed. These definitions have no tendency to show that tomatoes are ‘fruit,’ as distinguished from ‘vegetables,’ in common speech, or within the meaning of the tariff act.”

Justice Gray cited several different Supreme Court cases and stated that when words have acquired any special meaning in trade or commerce the ordinary meaning must be used by the court. In this case dictionaries cannot be admitted as evidence, but only as aids to the memory and understanding of the court. Gray acknowledged that botanically, tomatoes are classified as a “fruit of the vine”, nevertheless they are seen as vegetables because they were usually eaten as a main course instead of being eaten as a dessert. In making his decision, Justice Gray mentioned another case where it had been claimed that beans were seeds — Justice Bradley, in Robertson v. Salomon, similarly found that though a bean is botanically a seed, in common parlance a bean is seen as a vegetable. While on the subject, Gray clarified the status of the cucumber, squash, pea, and bean.

The book is titled The Fruit Hunters: A Story of Nature, Adventure, Commerce, and Obsession.

2 Comments

  1. February 17, 2010

    So all this talk about plumbing and snaking your pipes isn’t a metaphor for anything kinky, right? I just want to be clear. Because I’m thinking the tomato thing is an allegorical counterpoint to the preceeding paragraph on the neoclassical deconstruction of the barter-trade and well systems wherein the redness of the tomato represents the “whore” to which your mother is so vehemently opposed and the fallacy of the beans and cucumers is, of course, obvious. Or maybe I’m reading too much into this?
    .-= XUP´s last blog ..Princes and Princesses =-.

  2. February 17, 2010

    your mom reads this? holy moly, did you tell her that the profanity is all for your artistic craft?

    i don’t like plumbing situations either or the money it costs. after seeing them use the snake, could you in the future do the same without their help? or perhaps, offer to help out friends and family for half the price of an actual plumber? you could get your money back, and consider the whole thing a college course AND WRITE IT OFF ON YOUR TAXES!

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