CATOOSA, OK—After months of watering, mulching, staking, fertilizing, pruning, and spraying each plant, local homeowner Margie Helmholtz confirmed Wednesday that an entire summer of tending her backyard garden had yielded one edible cherry tomato. According to sources, Helmholtz paid more than $280 for soil, fencing, pesticides, and specialty gloves and hand tools, and also devoted scores of hours to the study of home gardening, purchasing two books and visiting nearly a dozen websites on the subject prior to reaping her single-tomato harvest. The 39-year-old woman is said to have spent part of each weekend on her hands and knees in the searing heat in order to transplant seedlings to her garden, keep them weeded, and ensure the plants’ thorny vines were wrapped correctly around their trellises—actions that, taken together from late May through August, produced exactly one limp tomato approximately one inch in diameter. At press time, sources reported that the cherry tomato tasted fucking awful.

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