Wednesday, The New York Times reported the sighting of a tomato plant on the banks of the East River. Thought to be a fluke of nature, AKA a psychedelic phenomenon, the discovery of a second tomato plant on Thursday has now left officials on high alert.
A Tomato Grows in Brooklyn
Two days ago, a kayaker named Matthew Frey found a mysterious tomato plant, baring one single red fruit, growing on a piling near the Brooklyn Bridge. Social media went wild. Who, what–A Tomato Grows in Brooklyn?
Mr. Frey, park officials, eye-witnesses wracked their brains: was it a Man, a bird, a plane, superman? How did the little tomato plant that could get there? Did the tomato chose to be born into this existence on pilings? A psychedelic conundrum. And it’s so easy to see how this would turn into a human existential crisis. I mean, how did anyone get here? What are we doing here?! In the words of Dave Chappelle: “Could somebody please find Ja Rule… so I can make sense of all this? Where is Ja?!”
A thorough investigation eliminated the possibility that a human being was responsible…for a good reason. Sarah Krauss, the chief of staff for the park, found conclusive evidence that it was one of “nature’s whims,” a “sweet accident.” Now that the local waterways around New York are less polluted than they’ve been in recent history, wildlife is returning to the area. Believe it or not, the river is even technically clean enough to swim in. Apparently this restoration inspired officials to believe in miracles again – the sprouting of the lone tomato plant was a sign that New York had cleaned up its act.
Two Tomatoes are Better than One
The plot thickened Thursday morning. Mr. Frey went back to the scene of the most ridiculous yet adorable crime in recent time. Just a few pilings away, Mr. Frey spotted another tomato plant. One thing became undeniably clear–Mr. Fey had spectacular vision. And, unlike Tomato the First, his sibling had more ambitious goals. Tomato the Second, who prefers to be called “Tomahto,” boasted a plentiful host of yellow and green tomatoes. Mr. Frey was in a state of disbelief – two tomato plants? And they looked “just like the cherry tomatoes” from his local co-op. It was inconceivable.
We now know how they were planted, but the planter still remains at large. The Times confirmed that “this plant, like the first, was rooted deep in a hole made by a boring nail on the top of the wooden piling.” Thus, it is safe to assume that this was premeditated. The tomato incident was indeed no sweet accident.
Fifteen Minutes of Fame
Now Tomato the First has its own twitter account. 75 followers–no, 85. And more are expected. Tomahto however prefers to keep a low profile. His fruits speak for themselves.
But who got up one morning, looked themselves in the mirror and said–hey I think I’ll plant some tomatoes in a piling on the East River? Maybe Two. With little space available to cultivate a garden in the city, perhaps this was his or her or they’s best bet. Perhaps the rent was raised, forcing him her them to abandon their baby tomatoes. Perhaps this tomato aficionado had plans to turn the plot of pilings into their own spin on an urban garden. Was it someone desperate to grow a tomato that actually has taste in this country? An artist making a political statement? A creative spirit surprising us all with a touch of random whimsy? Was it Mr. Frey himself, using the tomatoes to push his own agenda? Was it the aliens from Area 51, up to their old tricks? Was it Anonymous? The questions are endless.
In this day and age, growing your social media platform is of utmost importance. Do you hire a company to grow your instagram following? Or, do you opt for a natural, organic growth over time and with the precision and quality of your content? The numbers game. We know this well. We hardly even look out onto the river, the world, we’re so consumed in our phones. Then, one tomato grows in real space and time, one kayaker happens to spot it, and the internet goes berserk, for a brief moment we notice the river, the pilings, the guy in the kayak, the tomatoes in our markets. Even a tomato plant gets its fifteen minutes of fame.
The Authorities Are On It
To date, the existence of two tomato plants has been identified. Four questions remain unanswered: Who is the mysterious Tomato Planter? Will there be more tomatoes? What color fruits will they bare? And finally, and most importantly… who gets to eat the tomatoes?
Well, according to Heinz–the largest intelligence agency in the field of tomato–this is a matter of national security. Code Red and Yellow, which together make orange. No one is touching any tomato on their watch.
“We can’t make any promises about the tomato’s future, but we will soon have boots on the ground to survey the scene and alert us of any precarious activity….we are taking this seriously.”
Tomato the First is now up to 111 followers on Twitter. More is still expected.