prize-winning cabbage is listed as 115 pounds, or as the cursive handwriting
on the winning tag breathlessly states, The heaviest in almost
50 years! The cabbage resembles alien vegetation, vaguely threatening
even in its current state, with its leaves beginning to brown.
And then, just like that, one of the judges (he assumes one of the
judges, he wears a tired professorial air and a smudged-out name tag
droops from his lapel) who is passing by sees him and juts a finger
in his direction. He was used to scenes like this in his youth, but
to see it now is a bit unusual.
The judge gasps, It's - you! You're here! It's a sign!
He does not answer, does not smile, does not hem or haw or make small
talk. He has discovered through past trial-and-error that the simplest,
best way to conduct
himself is to make a relaxed stone wall of his face. Easiest to let
others have their opinions of you, and not confirm or destroy their
expectations. Glide by, smooth as electromagnetic rails.
Others have gathered, and with the judge they gaze at him with open-mouthed
wonder. It's because of you that this cabbage is so large, isn't
it? the judge says. Extra sun this year. You've blessed this
Again, he does not respond, although this time he cannot hold himself
back from giving the mildest of shrugs.
Please bless the cabbage! the judge says in a hoarse near-whisper.
This time he lets out a deep breath that can be interpreted as resignation
or relaxation. He reaches out and touches