Billy dreamed that he was lying in the gutter, his head hurt. "One of
those bottles of whisky must have been bad", he thought. His nose itched
but when he went to scratch it, his hand wouldn't move. Billy woke up to
find that he and Captain Charlie were tied to chairs in the study of the
Chateau Monsanto. Charlie was already awake and looked none too pleased.
"Well this is really effed", he said.
Rocky, one of Dr. Dow's henchmen came into the room. "Awake, huh? OK,
tell us where the seeds are and you won't get hurt", Rocky growled.
"Seeds?", said Charlie. "What seeds?"
"The rest of the Atlantis Tomato seeds, as if you didn't know. We can do
this easy or we can do this hard. It's your choice. Of course, I'm
hoping that you make it hard.", smiled Rocky.
"OK, OK", Charlie said. "They're in a glass jar buried in the lot next
to my house, back in the midwest.
"Where in the lot?", Rocky demanded as he stepped up and loomed
menacingly over Charlie.
"I . . . don't remember", said Charlie. "I was inspecting my cider
fermentations, you know how it is, when I thought that hiding the seeds
by burying them in the big lot next to the house was a good idea, but
just where they are buried is blurry to me", Charlie pleaded,"You got to
believe me. I can't take getting beat up any more. I've already spent
nearly a week in that effin log, got dropped off a building and then had
the log fall on me. I don't want no more."
"Right, OK, we'll see, if your telling the truth", Rocky said
menacingly. "You'd better be telling the truth.", and he left the room.
"Seeds? Atlantis tomato?", said Billy looking at Charlie for some idea
of what was going on.
"My great-uncle Ollie gave them to my dad 30 years ago and when I
decided to clean-out the fridge in the garage this year, I found them."
Charlie went on to explain that great-uncle Ollie had been in the
merchant marines and had always told outrageous stories of his
adventures. One of the stories had been about being sucked down a vortex
near the Azores, where he had stayed for a short while in an underwater
city. Charlie told Billy the story as best he could remember it.
A hour passed but it seemed like only a few minutes to Billy, when Rocky
returned looking really mad.
"We dug up the lot and couldn't find anything", Rocky said. "So's this
is where I gets to smack you around some to jog your memory."
"Oh god, oh god, you don't have to do that", Charlie said, squirming in
his ropes. "How deep did they dig? You can save yourself time, if they
dig down two feet. You gotta dig down two feet", said Charlie, sounding
a little hysterical.
"If they don't find it, next time you bleed", said Rocky.
For the next forty minutes there was silence as Charlie wriggled in his
chair, making pitiful little sounds.
When Rocky came back, he was wearing black leather gloves. "OK, smart
boy, time for you to . . .
Charlie stood up and hit Rocky so hard that the crook flew back ten feet
and landed like a limp doll on the floor.
"Whaa, how'd you do that", a startled Billy asked?
"Weren't you ever in the Scouts?", said Charlie as he stepped out of the
"No, and hey, where you goin'", Billy called after him.
Couple of minutes later, Charlie returned and untied Billy.
"Well, if we can get those tomatoes back soon, the lot next door is
ready for planting,"Charlie said.
Charlie tied Rocky to the chair that he had been in. "If'n you want a
good knot, this is the way you tie it", said Charlie showing Billy the
ropes. "If you don't want to cut off circulation, you have to be careful
how tight you pull the rope, but this is easy, 'cause I don't care.
When Rocky came to, Charlie leaned towards him and said,"Tell me what's
going on here or we will take you to the roof and drop you off, face
first, onto the concrete. I got no more time to waste on you."
Rocky spilled it all, like a wet paper bag. "The Atlantis tomatoes
improve the soil where they are grown and they release an enzyme that
hurts plant diseases and helps bugs that get along with plants and it
undoes gene splicing in GMO plants, at least that's what Dr. Dow said.
The enzyme breaks down poisons in the ground. Not only that but they,
the tomatoes, are about ten times more nutritious than regular tomatoes
and can cure just about anything."
"Why would Dr. Dow want a plant like that?", asked Charlie.
"He wants to copy write it, change it to a plant that only grows with
Roundup, and remove the gene for the enzyme that improves the soil",
said Rocky, looking nervously at the fist that Charlie had cocked. "He's
calling it the "Doomsday tomato".
"Where'd he take the seedlings that I had", demanded Captain Charlie.
"To his lab in Idontunderstan" said a reluctant Rocky.
Their conversation was interrupted by the sound of the door opening. In
the doorway stood Clay, the other henchman. Clay pulled out a gun and
started shooting as Captain Charlie and Billie dived out the window and
ran for the car that Billy had borrowed. With bullets whizzing around
them, they jumped into the car and were down the road in a cloud of
"That was a close call", said Billy.
"We gotta go get those seedling back", said Charlie.
"Where, exactly, is Idontunderstan?", Billy ask.
"It's high in the Hindu Kush", Charlie said, sounding very tired. "I
gotta get me somethin' to eat and some sleep before I can do anything
Stopping at the first bar, they went in, Charlie leading the way. "Two
beers bartender", said Charlie sliding onto a stool.
"Two beers for me too", said Billy.
After a good meal and a nights rest Billy and Charlie booked a flight to
Yomamasbad, the capital of Idontunderstan.
Landing in Yomamasbad, they departed the airport. The long plane ride
had made Billy thirsty and as luck would have it, it was market
day in Yomamasbad. Billy walked up to the first stall that he came to
and asked if he could buy some water. "Oh, so sorry, sahib, I only sell
Stepping up to the next stall, Billy asked,"Can I buy some water from
"Oh, so sorry", the merchant said. "I only sell custard. Maybe the next
stand has water." Custard? What kind of place is this?
Desperate now, Billy rushed to the counter of the next stand, "you got
The merchant looked chagrined and said, "Sorry, all I sell is jam."
"What the hell is going on here?", moaned Billy
"It's a trifle bazaar", said Charlie, and he headed on down the street.
While getting some water at a public fountain, a seedy-looking, little
guy came up to them. "You guys want to buy some watches", he said,
opening half his robe to reveal at least a hundred different types of
"No, we don't want no watches", said Charlie.
"Maybe some guns", the man said and opened the other side of his robe to
reveal a couple of AK 47s, an M-16, grenade launcher, and assorted
"No we don't want any weapons", said Captain Charlie.
"Girls, then. I can get you girls.", said the man hopefully.
"Hell no, we don't want no girls", Charlie said, gettin' irritated with
The sleazy little guy looked back and forth at them, while tugging on
his short beard, and then smiled. "Of course, I can get you some little
"Damit", exploded Charlie, "We just want the American Consul."
"Oh", said the little guy, "He'll cost you more."
Stay tuned kids for the next installment of
"The Temple of the Atlantis Tomato"
Coming to a gardening newsgroup near you soon
"For the first time in the history of the world, every human being
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