Totally fried green tomatoes

September 9th, 2009 · 94 comments

Shannon in New York saw this note posted on the fence of the nearby community garden while she and her roommate were taking her dog for a walk for. The thought of a little old lady glued to her binoculars at 4 in the morning, this had them laughing for many prepositional phrases of time.

if you have a key, the return for that key will be ask for

related: the right to bear fruit

FILED UNDER: CAPS LOCK · Clearly a non-native English speaker · excessive underlining · flowers, trees, houseplants & gardens · New York · spelling and grammar police · stealing · WTF?


94 responses so far ↓

  • #1   sKate

    I prefer to think of the little old lady disguising herself as a tomato plant to catch the perps.

    Sep 9, 2009 at 10:38 pm   rating: 17  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   MAMARILLA2 bang

      Grandma Rambo was avenging the taken and cut plants.

      I could have killed ‘em all, I could kill you. In town you’re the law, out here it’s me. Don’t push it. Don’t push it or I’ll give you a war you won’t believe. Let it go. Let it go.

      Sep 9, 2009 at 10:47 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.2   Green Tomatoes

      “Green Tomatoes has been taking from this garden.”

      If you know it was me, what’s with all the surveillance threats?

      Sep 10, 2009 at 12:19 pm   rating: 15  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.3   aging hipster

      It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

      Sep 10, 2009 at 2:50 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.4   T imo® bang

      HA! :lol:
      Sally will just think you are crazy.

      Sep 10, 2009 at 2:59 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #2   QuarterRoy00 bang

    Those damn green tomatoes taking everything from the garden. Somebody outta stomp on them and make ‘em catch up on the rules…

    Sep 9, 2009 at 10:39 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   Neeners

      Scary, green tomatoes taking over the world like in War of the Worlds? What else will they want …. our KEYS?

      Sep 9, 2009 at 11:00 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
    • #2.2   Car RamRod

      That reminds me of an awful cartoon from my childhood. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. Anyone else ever catch that nonsense? As I just saw on wikipedia, the show was actually based on a movie from 1979. Sounds worth investigating, though it also sounds like someone would have to be stoned to appreciate it.

      Sep 9, 2009 at 11:51 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

       
    • #2.3   Rob T Firefly

      As was so often the case in the 1980s, the movie was great, but the sequels and cartoon were crap. Stick with the original.

      Sep 10, 2009 at 1:23 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
    • #2.4   TheOldSchool

      Trying to stomp out tomatoes is always dicey. It’s almost impossible to catch up, unless you do a spicy little dance like the salsa.

      Sep 10, 2009 at 11:26 am   rating: 9  small thumbs up

       
    • #2.5   GhostWriter bang

      In my experience, stomping out tomatoes is ineffective; I usually have to take a deep breath, clench my stomach muscles, and squeeze it out.

      Sep 10, 2009 at 11:47 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
    • #2.6   antoinette jeanine

      I LOVED the original Attack of the Killer Tomatoes as a kid (I had somewhat less love for Return of the Killer Tomatoes). As far as movies that employ bad music to destroy enemy threats, it’s right up there with Mars Attacks.

      Sep 10, 2009 at 3:13 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #3   leftfoot

    When the fake plastic deer began appearing in the garden, the neighborhood knew they were being watched…….

    Sep 9, 2009 at 10:40 pm   rating: 16  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   notolaf

      Fake plastic deer……FAKE plastic deer…So, deer made of meat, then?

      Sep 10, 2009 at 11:51 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #4   Bella

    “court”….hmm…is that supposed to be “caught” with some sort of accent?

    Sep 9, 2009 at 10:41 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   Car RamRod

      Looks like somebody dropped out of 3rd grade to work on the farm. Aahh rednecks…

      Sep 9, 2009 at 11:50 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

       
    • #4.2   TheOldSchool

      Too schoon ve get old — too late, schmart.

      Sep 10, 2009 at 12:15 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

       
    • #4.3   bowloftoast bang

      Looks like they started out with ‘cout’ and let the spellchecker in Word ‘fix’ it. Kudos to them for getting the ‘u’ in the first place.

      Sep 10, 2009 at 2:29 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

       
    • #4.4   beware the spoon

      Coach Z?

      Sep 11, 2009 at 12:30 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #5   ffhcd

    anyone “court” doing so… ?
    wow

    Sep 9, 2009 at 10:41 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #6   MAMARILLA2 bang

    This must be read with an accent…It took me three tries to get through it properly.

    Sep 9, 2009 at 10:42 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

     
  • #7   jason

    This person must be asian.

    Sep 9, 2009 at 10:42 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   Neeners

      Maybe they just have a speech writing impediment.

      Sep 9, 2009 at 11:02 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.2   Bunnee

      I bet they say “warsh”, too.

      Sep 10, 2009 at 12:07 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.3   Sue Do Nim

      And “lie-berry.”

      Sep 10, 2009 at 3:42 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.4   park rose

      “Court” and “caught” are homophones where I come from!

      *not that there’s anything wrong with that*

      Maybe I tourt this person. Blame me! Blame me!

      I guess we just never figured what to do with that middle ‘r’ sound, so we got rid of it all together. Can I offer you a bee-(y)ah? in my cah? (ooh, we don’t know what to do with the final position ‘r’ either) :D

      As the Beatles once famously said,

      Baby you can drive my cah,
      Yes I want to be a stah,
      Baby you can drive my cah,
      And maybe I’ll has been loving you… ♥

      Sep 10, 2009 at 7:16 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #8   Tisad

    But I wasn’t going to personally keep them for myself! I swear!

    Sep 9, 2009 at 10:44 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

     
  • #9   PunkyPower

    I didn’t know Yoda was into gardening. BTW, what if you take plants and give them to other people? Would the Tomato Police be cool with that?

    Sep 9, 2009 at 10:46 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

     
  • #10   Canthz_B bang

    Green tomatoes on crack often start taking things.
    It’s because they get so fried.

    Sep 9, 2009 at 10:52 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

     
  • #11   Canthz_B bang

    Taking or cutting?

    Isn’t cutting plants without taking them called pruning?

    Sep 9, 2009 at 10:57 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

     
  • #12   Canthz_B bang

    The perpetrator must be the Juvenile Court…damned kids.

    Sep 9, 2009 at 10:59 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #12.1   MAMARILLA2 bang

      I believe it was the two yutes dat did it.

      Sep 11, 2009 at 2:28 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #13   Neeners

    ‘Someone will be watching day and night.You won’t see them, but they will see you.’

    Hmmm, voyeurism is this kinky old lady’s thing huh? That and growing plants and vegetables that look obscene.

    Sep 9, 2009 at 11:06 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   Canthz_B bang

      In this economy, even Batman has had to moonlight.

      Sep 9, 2009 at 11:08 pm   rating: 18  small thumbs up

       
    • #13.2   C.S. Harmonikah

      aww. I also had a batman joke kudos for your quickness.

      You have earned a thumb. (and if you play your cards right, a fist)

      Sep 9, 2009 at 11:26 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
    • #13.3   Canthz_B bang

      ‘Someone will be watching day and night. You won’t see them, but they will see you.’

      Sounds to me like they already know it’s the blind news stand operator on the corner poaching the produce.

      Sep 9, 2009 at 11:30 pm   rating: 12  small thumbs up

       
    • #13.4   GhostWriter bang

      I feel sorry for the blind newstand.
      Destroyed by the internet, and it never saw it coming.

      Sep 10, 2009 at 11:08 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

       
    • #13.5   Canthz_B bang

      Yeah, he was blind-sided by events.

      Sep 10, 2009 at 1:20 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
    • #13.6   mamason bang

      mmmmm… poached tomatoes.

      Sep 10, 2009 at 6:34 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #14   The Great Joe Bivins

    Coherent use of language has been taking from this note. This we can not have. The return for that language will be ask for.

    I think this note was written by CATS from Zero Wing.

    Sep 9, 2009 at 11:10 pm   rating: 32  small thumbs up

    • #14.1   Tisad

      All your green tomatoes are belong to us.

      Sep 9, 2009 at 11:50 pm   rating: 36  small thumbs up

       
    • #14.2   TheOldSchool

      It reminds me of that song the young blonde aryans sang to Liza Minelli and Michael York in the film version of Cabaret: “Tomatoes Belong To Me.”

      Sep 10, 2009 at 12:20 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #15   Canthz_B bang

    It really could be worse.
    Instead of thieving tomatoes, she could be attacked by killer tomatoes.

    Someone should warn this contrary Mary that her garden may grow her death!

    Sep 9, 2009 at 11:16 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #16   C.S. Harmonikah

    It reminds me of the old Buddhist tale where the young Buddhist monk picked a flower to give someone, and the wise monk scolded him saying that the flower growing free gave joy to everyone but once he picked it he took it for his own selfish enjoyment he broke everything that Buddha stood for.

    Do as this how you will. Good day to all.

    Sep 9, 2009 at 11:23 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #16.1   Tisad

      Man, elderly monks are such killjoys.

      Sep 9, 2009 at 11:55 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

       
    • #16.2   Wade bang

      This explains the paucity of Buddhist florists.

      Sep 10, 2009 at 5:58 am   rating: 18  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #17   DC

    Nice to see Yoda’s still getting work.

    Sep 9, 2009 at 11:29 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #17.1   AuntyBron

      You’d've thought he would have been type-cast.

      Sep 9, 2009 at 11:57 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #18   Flaboy2425

    English as a distant third language? Kindergarten drop-out?

    Peeping Tom in training?

    Please, sir, may I have just one little green tomato?

    Sep 9, 2009 at 11:41 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

     
  • #19   Will

    The Green Tomatoes are just going through a phase…they’ll ripen up soon and stop stealing.

    Sep 10, 2009 at 12:37 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

     
  • #20   BrookeDiz

    You know what’s amazing? This person has a computer and, somehow, actually used it.

    Sep 10, 2009 at 1:21 am   rating: 32  small thumbs up

    • #20.1   TheOldSchool

      BD, not necessarily. Many, in the tomato-loving-elderly demographic, have exceedingly refined penmanship.

      The waviness in the lower left part of the O in the word, “personally,” offers a clear indication that this note was hand-written.

      The waviness tells me that the writer was tense or worried about something while she wrote the note.

      What she was worried about? I’m afraid there’s no way for us to discern the answer to that question without running some dna and v8 tests in the lab.

      Sep 10, 2009 at 11:53 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #21   bowloftoast bang

    This is exactly why LOLcats should not be permitted to compose letters.

    Sep 10, 2009 at 2:32 am   rating: 16  small thumbs up

     
  • #22   GK bang

    After reading this note — and taking some time to try and translate it into English — I am now convinced that “green tomato” is some sort of new street slang for marijuana.

    Sep 10, 2009 at 2:47 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #22.1   Bunnee

      You mean it’s not “t shirts” anymore? Crap, I need to catch up on my street lingo.

      Sep 10, 2009 at 12:10 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #23   Itdb

    Green tomatoes fucking delicious, those were

    Sep 10, 2009 at 6:24 am   rating: 10  small thumbs up

     
  • #24   Trifioso

    Wow, that Marie Callender can get really touchy!

    Sep 10, 2009 at 6:57 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #24.1   park rose

      It’s the bain of her life.

      Sep 10, 2009 at 9:17 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #25   Elodie

    Poor thing! Well, green tomatoes to take lots of work!

    Sep 10, 2009 at 7:03 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

     
  • #26   ash

    ROFL! I love this and the comments too :P

    Sep 10, 2009 at 7:53 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #26.1   TheOldSchool

      Oh … Ash … stop … please.

      Sep 10, 2009 at 8:35 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #27   T imo® bang

    Every step you take.
    Every vow you break
    Every tomato you take I’ll be watching you.

    Sep 10, 2009 at 8:51 am   rating: 17  small thumbs up

     
  • #28   Woman on the Verge bang

    So if I take and/or cut plants to give to someone else, I’m in the clear, right?

    Timo, I picked this green tomato for you….

    Sep 10, 2009 at 9:24 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #28.1   T imo®

      Awwwwww ♥ WotV!

      Sep 10, 2009 at 9:38 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #29   kevin

    there is too much wrong with this note for my brain to even process. this should probably be on engrish.com too.

    Sep 10, 2009 at 9:37 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

     
  • #30   JoMama

    Obviously this was done on a word processor; did she just IGNORE the spelling/grammar check???

    Sep 10, 2009 at 10:35 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #30.1   Geek Goddess

      She tried, but the spelling/grammar check software kept crashing.

      Sep 10, 2009 at 11:19 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

       
    • #30.2   katieMB

      Move along, nothing to see here…

      Sep 10, 2009 at 6:20 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #31   KingTaco

    4 AM in the morning? Now that is crazy! 4 AM in the afternoon or 4 PM in the morning would be so much easier to put up with.

    Sep 10, 2009 at 10:50 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #31.1   Flaboy2425

      Ending a sentence with a preposition? Tsk. That is something up with which I shall not put.

      Sep 10, 2009 at 9:36 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #32   GhostWriter bang

    If you read down the last words of each line, you get:

    Cutting Garden? Keep Not!
    Ask Court; No “Welcome Key” that for.

    …and it makes as much sense as the note itself.

    Sep 10, 2009 at 11:14 am   rating: 11  small thumbs up

    • #32.1   Analogeyser

      That’s the key blurt-out line from the off-off-Broadway production of “The Last Words of Joey Gallo” by William Burroughs + Brion Gysin.

      They just threw in any old verbiage, left-justified it and hoped people would be scared by the Beetniks.

      Sep 19, 2009 at 10:15 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #33   GhostWriter bang

    The “Anyone Court” is a late-night cable version of “Judge Judy,” but it’s run my monkeys and a talking toothbrush.

    Sep 10, 2009 at 11:17 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #33.1   T.U.M.

      I thought it was more like “Night Court,” but with a different judge every night. Like, he could be anyone.

      Sep 10, 2009 at 1:11 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #34   GhostWriter bang

    …glued to her binoculars” is a new one for me, but I once fell asleep at 4 in the morning with a little old lady stuck to my telescope.

    Sep 10, 2009 at 11:28 am   rating: 10  small thumbs up

     
  • #35   Tuesday

    “Court”? Oh, I see, this was written by Coach Z! Kind of explains the creepy stalker vibe there at the end.

    Sep 10, 2009 at 11:36 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #35.1   Phalange

      You’re doing a great jorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrbbbb.

      Sep 10, 2009 at 12:21 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

       
    • #35.2   Howie Feltersnatch

      Damn you! Beat me to it.

      Sep 10, 2009 at 3:41 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #36   TheOldSchool

    Oh my god!

    This is too funny. Embarrassing.

    Humiliating, even.

    I shouldn’t post it, but I will.

    Tomatoes weren’t even grown in England until 1590!

    L-O-S-E-R-S!

    Ha ha! Seriously. FifteenNINETY!

    One Five Nine Zero A.D.!

    Oh well, we shouldn’t be too harsh. There could have been extenuating circumstances, like … um … er … something.

    Sep 10, 2009 at 11:39 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

     
  • #37   Hork N Chunks

    I love the english tense used in this note. Anyone recognize the writer’s first language? I want to translate all of my notes into this new language.

    Sep 10, 2009 at 12:45 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

     
  • #38   T.U.M.

    I will see neither day nor night?

    Sep 10, 2009 at 1:12 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #38.1   park rose bang

      In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee
      In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.
      In 525,600 minutes – how do you measure a year in the life?

      Sep 10, 2009 at 7:39 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #39   Howie Feltersnatch

    “Anyone court doing so…” Is this person channeling Coach Z?

    Sep 10, 2009 at 2:54 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

     
  • #40   JetJackson

    But I’m not stealing them for myself… I am giving them to the poor and needy.

    I am the Robin Hood of community gardens everywhere!

    Sep 10, 2009 at 5:53 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

     
  • #41   katieMB

    Why, I’d love be courted by a green tomato…

    Sep 10, 2009 at 6:22 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #41.1   park rose bang

      Nah, too seedy for me.

      Sep 10, 2009 at 7:29 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #42   mamason bang

    “The Green Tomato!”

    The vegan superhero!

    Sep 10, 2009 at 6:42 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

     
  • #43   Chi

    Community garden gardeners are extremely protective over their gardens – in cities like NYC, the garden was probably built from abandoned lands or slump yards that no one dares to venture into. And because the gardeners brought life back into these places, they feel like they have a sense of ownership over them, so they can get aggressive and very protective – especially when someone just comes in and steal their produce.

    Most of these abandoned lands are in extremely poor neighbourhoods – which might explain the poor grammar and poor spelling. It was most likely written by someone who had very little education living in a poor neighbourhood…

    Going back to the poor neighbourhood bit – because fresh produce are expensive and hard to come by (especially in NYC), I’m not surprised that they’d have someone on the lookout to make sure their hard work is not taken away from them…

    … I hope I didn’t just ruin the fun for everyone…

    Sep 10, 2009 at 6:48 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #43.1   Geek Goddess

      I am once again standing on the sidelines wondering why I didn’t get the joke, when everybody else seems to be having a wonderful time at this party. Always the wallflower…

      Sep 10, 2009 at 7:03 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

       
    • #43.2   park rose bang

      …never the vine.

      Sep 10, 2009 at 7:29 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #44   park rose bang

    To be fair… she is using difficult grammar…and doing pretty well.Future present perfect… I’m not surprised she forgot the past participle!

    And why throw past tense after that ‘unless’? (Because she’s trying to write a participle clause, and a passive one at that). It’s just the wacky way that English is, is English is, is.
    In fact, I’d have to drag out the books to check both of those, so if a fellow pedant out there wants to help, throw in your two bits’ worth!

    As for the word order, well . . .
    Overall, though I think she’s done a pretty good job!
    Yaaay, frazzled green tomato lady. Sure you’ve got some redundancies, but we could weed them out. I couldn’t do what you have done in a language that was not my own.
    My own language can do it in though, I! Witness .

    I think that tomato stealing passive principals,
    Without principles,
    With dangling modifiers and participles,
    Principals pretending to be perfect and passively progressive,
    Instead of using passive perfect to hide their transgressive
    plurals in disarray and non-agreement ,
    Should not be given any extra treatment,
    And should, yea verbally, have their day in court.
    As should I…
    Hung, drawn and courted.

    She’s right on that one.
    And so, I join Chi and Geek as the wordy wallflower with info no-one is really interested in.
    I think I’ll join TOS at #36. It all makes so much more sense.

    Sep 10, 2009 at 8:30 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

     
  • #45   Delurker

    I think I graded this essay the other day–one of my 8th graders turned it in.

    Sep 10, 2009 at 10:10 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

     
  • #46   Personally Keeping

    Best line: this we can not have

    I cut and took the green tomatoes for myself initially, but they were stolen from my lunch bag by a co-worker.

    THX SANDRA

    Sep 11, 2009 at 11:09 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

     
  • #47   CaitieWithaC bang

    wowww…grammar fail. This makes me think of something that should be on Engrish.com haha

    Sep 11, 2009 at 12:29 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     

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