- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The increasingly famous Montgomery County cucumber has been sentenced to legal limbo with the ruling of a federal judge last week, which is too bad, considering the hype that has enveloped this normally modest side dish.

The Montgomery County cucumber has been the subject of countless news stories and commentaries this spring, as America undergoes the uncomfortable process of learning everything it ever wanted to know about the cucumber but was afraid to ask.

The Montgomery County cucumber is the co-star of a low-budget flick, “Protect Yourself,” along with an actress who has all the lines. Of course, the latter is merely an assumption, given the film’s limited release in Montgomery County. It is possible the cucumber could be a talking cucumber in the small-screen tradition of Mr. Ed, the talking horse.

You just never know with directors, and in this case, the director could be Dr. Ruth, who once touted the multidimensional aspects of the cucumber on “Late Night With David Letterman.” As for the actress, it is hard to determine whether this is good career move on her part. She runs the risk of being typecast, no doubt about it. The District will have to reserve judgment until the movie opens at the Uptown Theater.

Unless you have been vacationing on Mars, you know that the leading public school educators of Montgomery County have decided that a cucumber a day keeps the pediatrician away, as well as a bevy of health issues, so long as the cucumber is ensconced in a condom.

Of course, most cucumbers do not wear condoms, which is a dining issue.

If you ever encounter a condom-wearing cucumber in a Montgomery County restaurant, which would be almost as bad as encountering a finger, you should not try to remove it and instead report it to the proper authorities.

To be fair to the cucumber, it is especially delectable in the summer months, pickled or not, and its flesh contains a beneficial amount of vitamin C and acid that is good for the skin.

Until the Montgomery County cucumber came along, the cucumber rarely received the good public relations of the vine-ripened tomato. Garden lovers often turn teary-eyed in the vicinity of a vine-ripened tomato, particularly after a winter of consuming the plastic variety from the grocery stores.

So far, the leading public school educators of Montgomery County have left the tomato out of their sex-education curriculum. But give them time. Perhaps in “Protect Yourself, Part Deux” they can award supporting roles to two tomatoes, or just one if the intent is to discuss testicular cancer.

In “Protect Yourself, Part Trois,” perhaps the leading public school educators of Montgomery County could make it a thriller, as such: The actress punctures the condom with one of her neatly manicured nails while struggling with it and the cucumber. The actress pauses long enough to let the scene build, then reaches into her purse and pulls out another condom, saying, “Don’t leave home without a baker’s dozen.”

Not surprisingly, certain Montgomery County parents are uncomfortable with the cucumber and the whole notion of educators intruding on a fundamental parental responsibility.

Of course, Montgomery County educators would argue that they are merely attempting to expand the sex-ed dialogue in an open, caring and safe environment, which, as we all know, depends on how you define open, caring and safe.

America’s public schools are some of the most open, caring and safe environments anywhere, so long as you are part of the cool crowd and do not spend half the school day popping zits.

Seriously, the hope here is that the teachers, parents and teens of Montgomery County endeavor to keep the cucumber in perspective.

It also is important that they know to consume copious amounts of condom-free fruits and vegetables each day.

Obesity is an ever-growing problem in America, and Montgomery County undoubtedly has its share of porker teachers.

Just think, if educators long ago had urged everyone to develop proper eating habits at an early age, we all would be lean, mean sex machines today.

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