It occurred to me today that "vegetable" as a metaphor for a person who is clinically comatose, i.e. brain activity registers but a blip on the radar, or employing any of "vegetable's" pseudo-slang derivatives like "veg out" to refer to other some such similar figurative non-functional state of mind, is completely incongruous.
In fact, do I dare say "ignorant?"
Which ignoramus in the history of the development of our language completely blew off the class field trip to the Farmers’ Market and decided to equate “vegetable” – a word that encompasses an entire family of vibrant, colorful, living things – with a coma? If anything at all, the more appropriate analogy would be between a lumpy, rotting mass of grey matter and say, a steak. A steak comes from a dead cow. Comatose means “brain dead.” They even share the same word in their definitions – “dead.” Doesn’t a steak make more sense than a tomato? Better yet, brain-dead should be bologna. Not only is bologna an unliving thing, but bologna is just confusing.
“I’m sorry, honey. The doctors did everything they could. He’s going to be bologna for the rest of his life.”
This is precisely the type of thought I process when I am, indeed, rendered a vegetable the day following a naughty night out.
Now, I can’t tell you in detail why I was so out of it today without completely compromising my dignity. Instead, let’s just take a peek at the Larchmont Farmers’ Market, which takes over a parking lot on Larchmont Boulevard between First and Beverly every Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm.
Normally, I would never go as far East as Larchmont for a Farmers’ Market. There is at least one Farmers’ Market every day from Tuesday through Sunday somewhere on the Westside and I am all about being “local.” However, Sunday in Larchmont Village was a special occasion. I don’t recall specifically what the occasion was, so apparently, I was either bribed or blackmailed.
The Larchmont Farmers’ Market, laid out like a compact maze, is small but very busy. The vibe is similar to the Sunday Farmers’ Market in Brentwood. It is less about professional chefs stocking up for business and serious cooks looking for ingredients; more about families on a Sunday afternoon outing, tourists curious about the novelty of a farmers’ market, Hancock Park housewives obsessed with the trendiness of organics, and Asian people. There was a noticeable contingent of Asians at the Larchmont market. Not that I’m sensitive to Asian people. I’m just sensitive.
Now excuse me while I bol out.