Have a Tomato, Tom, Because Your Opinion Is Showing

Article excerpt

Byline: Ronald L. Littlepage, Times-Union columnist

What do tomatoes, underwear and Tom Slade have in common?

Absolutely nothing, except each can provide us with a chuckle today.

The Tallahassee Democrat published an update last week on the plight of the UglyRipe tomato.

It seems the Florida Tomato Committee has ruled that the UglyRipes, grown in Florida by a Philadelphia-based company, can't be shipped to out-of-state markets.

I didn't even know we had a Florida Tomato Committee, but we do and, according to the Democrat, the committee ruled the UglyRipes couldn't represent the state unless they were round and blemish free like other tomatoes grown in Florida.

As the UglyRipe is grown for taste and not looks, that isn't going to happen.

So, the Democrat reported, the debate over the UglyRipe has now moved to the halls of Congress where Pennsylvania's two senators have introduced legislation supporting the UglyRipe, a move opposed by representatives of Florida.

Social Security. Medicaid. War. And Congress is debating tomatoes.

Is this a great country or what?

The folks in Tallahassee aren't to be outdone by their brethren in Washington, however.

According to a report in Monday's Tampa Tribune, state Sen. Gary Siplin has introduced a bill that would make it illegal to "expose below-waist underwear in a public place."

It's sort of like what the U.S. Supreme Court said about pornography, we all know what Siplin is talking about when we see it, but 10 days in jail for underwear hanging out?

"We have to change the way men, especially young men, dress," the Tribune quoted Siplin as saying. …