" Meat, meat, meat, that's all we get these days.." Never was a truer word spoken in light of the unfortunate death of the vegetable; spoken as it was - with unerring predictability - by one Albert Gizzard.
Gizzard eyed the tableau set upon the table with resigned hostility and pined for the day when his meals were accompanied with a humble carrot or perhaps a parsimonious parsnip or perhaps even a great dollop of mashed potato parked on his plate like a dollop of angel shit. Instead he had before him what looked like liver; the mass of monotone matter taunting him in it's ubiquity. Who'd have thought that life could become so dull post legume, he missed the delicate interplay of colours that the vegetable brought to the plate: the warm orange of the carrot set against the sporting green of the Brussels sprout had profound and beautiful resonances for him now. His reverie continued and he began to become nostalgic for the interesting contrast between shapes and texture; the gnarly phallus of the parsnip juxtaposed with the less endowed runner bean.
The death of the vegetable had happened so suddenly and with out warning; signs and notices had appeared at local retailers and supermarkets across the land warning of a shortage of this or that, in fact the first casualty had been the utilitarian potato. Government scientists had been brought in to investigate and with much umming and erring and grave sound bites they concluded that the potato, that staple, that national institution had been ravaged by some unknown blight - the symptoms of which were a rapid discoloration a wilting of leaves and an ignoble death.
Of course the logistical implications of this were huge: the diaspora of migrant eastern Europeans were laid off and so as well as being jobless had nothing to eat; chip shops became chop shops and the vegetarian lobby began crying - well, they began crying. Dark forces were suspected: alien bacteria, the impact of GM methods and practices, global warming, there was even a theory perpetrated by an obscure far right group who called themselves Das Boot, that it was a militant Muslim conspiracy, their dark scheme rendering the collective West constipated and in turn prone to horrible cancers of the colon and anus. The Prime Minister had assured his bloated public that this was "unlikely.."
After the potato, the blight was rapid and merciless in it's scope and the whole vegetable genus was eradicated. R.I.P.
As Gizzard sat upon his much put upon toilet bog, straining and groaning and pushing - his temples straining with the exertion, a thin bead of sweat probing his arse cheeks - he began wistfully recalling the happy times he'd spent on his allotment, tending his tomatoes, hoeing the earth in preparation for a fresh consignment of radish or leek, the wind in his face, muck caked to his wellies and callouses - oh the callouses.
After half an hour of his futile labors he dejectedly rose from the pan glancing down at his non-discharge. He pulled the chain, more out of habit, for the toilet was as empty as their vegetable rack.
He clumped back down stairs where his wife, Mable, was busy concocting some hell brew to induce a peristaltic movement, a potion that would dislodge his own and indeed her own internal Stone Henge.
"It's no use love, we've tried everything, we need roughage and shit loads of it.." Whimpered Mable, her face a sickly yellow color. "I know love, if we don't..well that's it - we'll go the way of, of my bloody allotment. Reg were saying that his Gladys had been cooking their meat in WD40 , don't know what that will do though, probably helps the lubrication." Gizzard gazed out of the window and thought he saw a potato man sitting on the garden bench reading a copy of The Times'
His wife came over and sat down beside him and clasped his hand and they both looked at the potato man. Maybe they could just wait, wait for the rapid discoloration, the wilting of the leaves and the ignoble death, yes that would be best.