Opinion: Lettuce pray for the courgette crisis victms
THE year is 2117. In an underground bunker, a battered tablet screen flickers in the gloom. On its screen are the words The 2018 Broccoli War...
A scrawny old man, dressed in tattered clothes enters the room and slumps in a worn chair. Picking up the ancient electronic device, his trembling finger hovers over the screen, before descending on the blinking button bearing the words 'Begin lesson.
Prior to 2017, The United Kingdom (as it was then known) was a relatively stable and affluent place. There was concern about a forthcoming 'Brexit', although most were unclear what this actually involved, including the elected government of the day. The preceding year’s high ‘celebrity’ (see ‘singers’, ‘actors’ and ‘reality TV’) death count, had left the inhabitants of the UK on edge, and a seemingly insignificant shortage of courgettes (see ‘watery vegetables’ and ‘middle class food’) early in ’17 was the starting point of a rapid descent into chaos.
Cold and wet weather in Spain (see ‘unbearably hot in July’ and ‘holiday homes’) and Morocco (see ‘mythical places’) meant a shortage in the supply of many vegetables that the UK climate (see ‘damp’ and ‘misery’) rendered impossible to grow. Although hard to pinpoint, it is believed that the first riots occurred in the Henley-on-Thames branch of Waitrose (see ‘posh’ and ‘supermarket’), where a fight over the last iceberg lettuce (see ‘tasteless’) escalated into a full-scale riot, with the two factions hurling tins of edamame beans and jars of manuka honey (see ‘how much?!’) at each other, after building barricades between the brioche and hummus sections.
The fighting spread, via social media, and by late in the year, two rival gangs, the Cor Jets and the Eyes Bergs ruled most of the Home Counties (see ‘expensive houses’). As desperate allotment holders erected barbed-wire round their plots, and black market aubergines (see ‘inexplicably purple’) exchanged hands for the price of diamonds, the fighting spread.
The healthy eaters were early victims, and power blackouts and a chronic shortage of small tubs of over-priced fruit and veg meant nutri-bullets (see ‘rubbish lava lamps’) remained empty, and the hungry were forced to burn their spiralizers to stay warm. By the middle of 2018, the severe lack of vitamins left the scurvy-riddled population longing for the days when you could get cabbage and Brussels sprouts on ration.
One final battle, triggered when a rumour spread about the existence on Google Maps of a broccoli field in Yorkshire (see ‘the foot of our stairs’) saw the exhausted survivors battling to their deaths. This decisive battle is why we now call this dark period of our history The Broccoli War.
Due to their aversion to green fruit and vegetables, many teenagers and the Scottish survived, and this is why emojis are now our national flag, and Irn Bru is consumed on special occasi...'
The screen flickers again, and the display suddenly disappears. A tear falls from the old man’s eye. 'Rest in peas, friends', he quietly says, before shuffling out of the room.