Some time ago, probably several months back, a farmer bent down and pulled from the ground a ripe oblong brown potato. Smiling, they put the potato into their sack and reached for the next one. Well, given that it’s the 21st century I doubt even organic potatoes are harvested by hand, but I’m going to pretend this one was. And so, it traveled to its destiny in a crate and then a bag full of other potatoes fated for a Waterloo supermarket shelf.
Likely a week or two later, this potato was bought by a girl and forgotten in her cupboard for several week or months, who really knows and who really cares; the point is that when she looked at it again it had begun to sport teeny tiny little green bumps. The miracle of life, ladies and gents, can happen in the most inane places. This girl was intrigued by her potato and brought it out to coffee to show her friends, whereupon it became the unofficial “mascot” of a design team, acquired a face, and was sent home with my roommate to be planted.
Days, then weeks, then months passed while this potato, now bearing a foolish grin, sat in our kitchen window, unplanted. I think we have all forgotten this potato exists, tucked away in a corner behind the dish rack as it is, but every so often I will glimpse its mischievous little face grinning at me. Though it has still not been planted, the tiny little bumps have grown into slightly larger buds, defying the very cycle of farming – who needs dirt anyways?
Yet every time I catch sight of the little potato eyes, staring at me from behind a plate, I think how silly it is that we still haven’t planted it, yes. But I’m also reminded to put a damn smile on my face, because if a fucking potato can smile like it hasn’t got a care in the world, even though it doesn’t even have any goddamn soil to grow in, I can find something to smile about too, even if it’s just in response to a potato. And honestly, I think that’s the greatest gift you can receive; a reminder that there’s always a reason to turn the corners of your mouth up and un-furrow your brow. That, and fries. Fries are a literal godsend.