Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Letter to the Ludlow Advertiser

Dear Sir

Last Sunday, in a rare and uncharacteristic act of public-spirited goodwill, I put some of my treasured tomato plants up for adoption. It was a heart-rending thing to do, but due to a lack of space in my greenhouse I had no alternative option. I had already given a surplus away to my next-door neighbours and my mother, but there were still eighteen of these plants remaining.

I placed these plants in a large plastic box at the end of my road in Ludlow (for the purposes of karma and self-righteousness I kindly ask you to not publish my name and address) with a notice attached bearing the following inscription:

“We are baby tomato plants. Our Mummy & Daddy can’t look after us any more. Please take us home with you and give us lots of water and sunlight. Thank you.”

An hour later I stole discreetly and covertly to the end of my anonymous road and to my delight found that five of the eighteen plants had been adopted. I was thrilled in the knowledge that some kindly motorist or pedestrian had passed by and taken pity on these frightened but verdant little plants. All notion of performing a selfless act fled as I basked in the profound personal joy that can only come from giving.

Later that evening, still basking in the glow of self-satisfaction, I tiptoed back to the end of the road to find that all of the remaining plants had been adopted. You can Sir, I’m sure only begin to imagine my relief at this discovery. The knowledge that each of my baby plants had been taken into the bosom of new families only served to enhance my sense of selfish smugness.

To cut a long story short, the purpose of this letter is two-fold. Firstly, and most importantly I would like to heartily thank the voluntary foster parents of my vegetal progeny for saving these plants from a slow demise on the compost heap. May your plants bring you unbridled joy and an abundance of tomatoes. Secondly, I would like to ask that whoever adopted my rather useful plastic box in which the plants were contained, return it at their earliest convenience. It wasn’t included in the deal.

Yours faithfully

Henry Mackley

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