Oklahoma's state legislature recently passed a bill to name the watermelon as the official "state vegetable". Now (because you are reading this blog) you are one of the most intelligent people in the world, and you probably though thte same thing I did when reading the article: "Wait, isn't watermelon a fruit?"
I thought the same thing - apparently the all-powerful Strawberry Lobby (no doubt led by "Big John" Auffet) has already staked out the claim to being the official state fruit of Oklahoma. Because when I think strawberries - I think Oklahoma!**
So now because there is no official botanical definition of "vegetable"* Oklahoma has now taken liberties with reality to define it as something along the lines of "anything that is even remotely plant-like". One wonders why they didn't try to go for something really cool like naming Swamp Thing as their official state vegetable. After all, they already have a state cartoon character, so why blow "state vegetable" on something your state is barely known for?
And also, it seems that just about every state in America has already laid claim to the title of "watermelon capital" including Cordele, GA; Knox City, TX***; Clyde, KS; Saline, LA; Lincoln, IL; and last but not least Rush City, OK****
Of course, I have to temper my ridicule somewhat, because after all I come from a state that has an official state muffin. But at least we call it a muffin and don't try to sneak it in by calling it a cookie.
* Unlike fruits, which are generally considered the developed ovaries of a flowering plant - usually containing seeds. Examples of which include apples, oranges, and yes - watermelons.
** This post sponsored by the North American Stawberry Growers Association - Getting seeds stuck in your teeth since 1977!
***Seedless, shmeedless - I don't see a difference. Frankly I hate seedless watermelons anyway because they still have seeds, they are just smaller and more likely to be missed when you're eating them, making them more likely to result in a quick death by choking.
**** Obviously, home to the state representative who sponsored the bill in the Oklahoma legislature.