Saturday, February 21, 2009

Mark Clifton's "The Dread Tomato Addiction" (flash fiction, satire, free): Logic as used by certain classes of people!

This funny piece must be among the better flash fiction by anyone. OK - original Astounding classification for it is "essay", but it reads well as fiction too.

This is about the convenient logic used by "The average politician", "The advertising copywriter", & "The dedicated moralist". Their logic is demonstrated by arguing how tomatoes are so addictive, in spite of being absolutely fatal! A couple of examples (story has many more):

  1. "Of those people born before the year 1800, regardless of race, color, creed or caste, and known to have eaten tomatoes, there has been one hundred per cent mortality!"
  2. "Obtain two dozen tomatoes ... crush them to a pulp in exactly the state they would have if introduced into the stomach, pour the vile juice and pulp into a bowl, and place a goldfish therein. Within minutes the goldfish will be dead!"

Fact sheet.

First published: Astounding, February 1958.
Rating: A.
Download full text.
Alternate download links (these are slightly edited version of the original): link1, link2.
Listed among the stories from John Campbell's Astounding/Analog.
Related: Stories of Mark Clifton.