“Fried Green POISON!”
If you’ve dropped by this blog from time to time, you may remember reading a couple of months ago about “Judge Phyllis,” one of cable television’s most popular programs.
Well, I checked recently, and I was surprised to learn that the Judge Phyllis show has gone on to become the number-one syndicated courtroom show on TV and Phyllis is now quite a celebrity. Her ratings are terrific: nearly 10 million viewers daily.
Willow’s prompt this week reminded me of a recent case on the Judge Phyllis program – it was all about fried green tomatoes. It went like this…
JUDGE PHYLLIS: Let’s see if I have this straight. You say that your husband is telling everyone that you’re trying to poison him?
JEANNE: That is pretty much what is happening, your honor.
JUDGE: Pretty much? Doesn’t sound all that definite. Let’s talk with the spouse. You’re – Richard, right?
RICHARD: That’s right, Judge.
JUDGE: Why are you telling folks that your wife is poisoning you?
RICHARD: She isn’t. I mean I don’t. I haven’t; I wasn’t -- what?
JUDGE: I see. Let’s talk to Jeanne. What evidence do you have that your husband is spreading the word that you’re poisoning him?
JEANNE: Well, your honor, it’s a bit complicated. You know how different things are these days because of the internet? Well, when I serve fried green tomatoes – a dish I learned how to cook when I was a little kid – he goes around telling everyone about it, including all the guys at that place where he works.
JUDGE: You mean he complains about your cooking?
JEANNE: Oh, no. The opposite. He usually told them how much he loves tomatoes served that way.
JUDGE: Where does the poisoning come in?
JEANNE: Well, I was amazed to learn from the internet that fried green tomatoes, prepared a certain way, can be toxic.
RICHARD: And poisonous, judge.
JUDGE: H’mm. So Richard learned this on the internet?
JEANNE: No, he didn’t read it there. He doesn’t really, your honor, read all that well. With the little words he’s okay; the bigger ones not so much. But someone there at work looked it up and told him the internet says that the leaves and stems of the tomato plant contain – wait, I wrote it down – “tomatine, a poisonous alkaloid.”
RICHARD: And you can imagine how that made me feel. Let me tell you something, Judge: poisonous alkoids can make you sick!
JUDGE: Yes, I tend to avoid them, for that very reason.
JEANNE: But, your honor, I don’t – no one does – use the leaves and stems of the tomato plant when I make fried green tomatoes. You saw the movie? Just about everyone saw that movie. No one got sick from those fried green tomatoes!
JUDGE: What are the monetary damages of this?
JEANNE: You mean money?
JUDGE: Yes, monetary means money.
JEANNE: Oh, it’s not the money. We live in a small town; you know, where everyone knows everyone else’s business. I now have the reputation of a wife who’s trying to poison her husband. People look the other way when I walk by. And what’s worse, every once in a while some woman will come up to me and whisper, “You go, girl!”
JUDGE: Ha. Sorry, I didn’t mean to laugh. What about you, Richard? If Jeanne makes these fried green you-know-whats again, would you eat them?
RICHARD: I guess so. Long as they’ve got them alkoids out of ‘em.
JUDGE: Jeanne, I’m afraid there’s not much we can do, legally. You might avoid preparing this dish for a while. And Richard, don’t talk about it at work. This way the two of you can move ahead to a long, happy, alkoid-free life. Bailiff, next case!
1 year ago