“Why,” I thought as I pulled a cucumber from the salad drawer this morning, “is it that cucumbers always wear condoms?”
This is something that’s puzzled me for about twenty years now, ever since one Saturday morning about twenty years ago. I’d gone to the farmshop round the corner from my parents’ house to pick up some eggs and other goodies, including a cucumber. The farmer giggled as he rang up the cucumber, “It’s wearing a condom.”
Sure, other fruit and vegetables come shrink-wrapped, but you can also get them without plastic; bare-backed if you like. I can see that it wouldn’t make a great deal of sense to individually wrap each banana in a bunch. But I have never seen, for example, courgettes similarly clad. And, since that fateful Saturday morning, I have never seen a cucumber on sale without its plastic protection.
This morning, I tweeted it:
Of all the fruit and veg you can buy, why is it that only cucumbers wear condoms?
So far, I’ve had three answers:
- @IanRobinson: It’s boasting to make the bananas feel inadequate.
- @SmallCasserole: they drew the short straw in the “who’s going to be the standard demo vegetable for putting on a condom?” trial
- @Alex_Davenport: You dont want lots of baby cucumbers because unlike baby carrots and baby sweetcorn, they dont go well in a stir fry
Which means I have to ask: can you do any better?