16. The Red Tomato Caper

16.  The Red Tomato Caper

What am I doing crawling on my hands and knees in the dirt in the middle of the night?  I was following Daddy, with Mom behind me as we snuck into our neighbors garden sometime after midnight.  I hoped their dog didn’t discover us – he was a big dog and I knew he slept outdoors.

Early in the spring, Daddy and I had visited the Yonans who had the apple orchard just south of us.  Narsai Yonan always had a big garden, and Daddy wanted to see what he had planted early.  Narsai was showing us his tomato plants which were growing nicely.  “I’ll have a ripe tomato by the Fourth of July,” he announced proudly.

Daddy countered, “Really?  I’ll bet you five dollars you don’t have one ripe by the 4th.”  Narsai accepted the bet.

So here we were, crawling in Yonan’s garden the night of July 3rd, looking for a tomato!  There were lots of big green tomatoes, and none were ripe, which was exactly what Daddy wanted.  While I held the flashlight, Mom painted a big green tomato a bright red with her nail polish.  Mission accomplished – we went home.

The next day we went down and called on Narsai.  Daddy said, “we came to see who won the tomato bet.”  There were no ripe tomatoes in the garden south of the house.  Finally, Narsai led us to the place where he spotted the red tomato, and picked it.  Daddy, with a straight face declared, “Well Narse, it looks like you win the bet,  and handed him five dollars.”  Narsai looked a little bewildered, but played along with the joke and took the money.  We went home, laughing all the way.

Daddy was a fun loving guy, and always came up with good things to laugh about.

3 thoughts on “16. The Red Tomato Caper

  1. Sue Sauer

    Good one! Reminds me of a memory…my uncle was a traveling salesman and away overnight at times. While he was away one time, my mom and her sister, his wife knew he would check his tomato plants first thing after arriving home. They tied a ripe, red tomato on one of the vines! His joy of discovery was short lived!

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