The Sheltered Islander: “Squashing” My Gardening Dreams

It’s that wonderful time of year when the seed packets are on display at the stores and I stand before them in a Martha Stewart–inspired delusion that even I can grow a beautiful garden of healthy produce. Martha says it’s simple, and if she can do it despite her busy schedule, what excuse have I? Besides, I just love yellow squash, all the squashes really. But try as I may, I never seem able to grow them.


Yellow Squash Seed Packet:Holy God, it’s her! Zucchini! Zucch! Wake up! It’s her! She’s here…oh man…she’s looking at me, you and Spaghetti Squash.”

Spaghetti Squash: “What’s wrong with that? Don’t we want to be looked at
and bought?”

Yellow Squash: “Yeah, but not by her. She’s not normal. Everybody else takes us home and puts us in a drawer and forgets about us. Some people, real gardeners, plant us and take care of us so we grow. But not her. She plants us, remembers to water us once or twice, then forgets about us, leaving us to die a slow death of thirst.”

Zucchini: “Or get dug up by cats using our garden for a potty. Or choked out by weeds. She’s a squash killer.”

Spaghetti Squash: “Just squash? What does she have against us?”

Yellow Squash: “Nobody knows, maybe she had a squash trauma in her childhood. Maybe she was forced to eat squash by one of those ’50s parents who were members of the Clean Plate Club. Whatever it was, she’s been punishing us ever since. Oh jeez, she’s looking for her glasses. Quick, somebody ask the flower packs to jump over here in front of us.”

Zucchini: “The Zinnias and Pansies said they’d help,”

Yellow Squash: “Thank God. Quick, throw me a Pansy! Perfect! Everybody covered up? She’s got her glasses on and she’s really starting to look. Nobody move a pip.”

Zucchini: “It’s working…she’s looking but not finding…oh no, she’s gonna spin the display rack, everybody grab your spin partner and hold on!”

Yellow Squash: “Looks like she’s giving up. We might have caught a break here.”

Zucchini: “Looks like she’s changing her focus…she’s looking at the salad guys…the lettuces and cucumbers, maybe the tomatoes too…should we tell them?”

Yellow Squash: “Shhh…Don’t
say anything…”

Zucchini: “That’s not fair, man, we need to warn them.”

Yellow Squash: “There is a time and place to be noble and this is neither. And if you open your big mouth now, I’ll tell the Plum Tomato girl that I saw you with
that Zinnia.”

Zucchini: “That’s dirty pool man, you know I only asked this Zinnia to get in my basket for survival.”

Yellow Squash: “Yeah, and try to sell that to your tomato. You know tomatoes are the redheads of the produce world…they got those tempers…shoulda dated a Sweet Pea, like my girl.’


For some reason, I’ve been having trouble finding squash seeds. Maybe they’ve become more popular than I realized. Martha says they’re the easiest plants to grow, guess the secret got out.

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