Earlier this week, a truck full of tomatoes crashed on a California highway, spilling 150,000 plump little darlings onto the roadway and creating a sauce around “two feet deep.” A highway full of glistening red sauce as far as the eye can see? A dream. “Don’t mind if I do!” I scream from my desk across the country.
Sauce contained is the Lord’s gift to mankind, but, I realize, sauce on the highway is a logistical nightmare. “Those tomato skins, man,” a police officer said of the situation. “Once they hit the asphalt, it’s like walking on ice.” (One person was injured from the crash with a broken leg.) State officials had to close the lanes to traffic and spend almost an entire day cleaning the tomatoes with a “scooper like a backhoe,” according to the New York Times.
Have they never read Strega Nona? In the book, Big Anthony, a young man employed by Strega Nona, steals her magical pasta pot (magical because it makes endless pasta) and accidentally covers the town in spaghetti. When Strega Nona returns, she deftly handles what has become a tense situation (to say the least). The townspeople are ready to actually murder Big Anthony, but Strega Nona convinces them that requiring him to eat it all is the better solution. The truck driver, who has already been through a lot, should not have to eat the street sauce. What I’m saying is let me do it. I will do it. (Someone else will have to eat the Alfredo spill in Memphis.)