It’s our 100th episode! Let’s mark the occasion by throwing several hundred thousand tomatoes!
Later this month, Buñol, Spain will host La Tomatina, otherwise known as the world’s largest tomato throwing festival.
There are multiple stories about how it all got started, but this festival appears to be the fruit of another gathering in 1945.
As one version goes, there was a costume parade in town, and some young people knocked part of a costume off a participant.
The angry and not-quite-costumed paradegoer started a big fracas, and some of the kids defended themselves by grabbing produce from a nearby vegetable stand and throwing it at the guy.
From then on, young people in Buñol would bring tomatoes to the parade, and sometimes throw them, until the tomato throwing became a big attraction on its own.
At first the town didn’t really want to be known for produce bombardment, but popular demand grew and the people turned against the town’s efforts to squash their squashing.
Citizens threw a mock funeral for the event, lugging a coffin containing a big tomato through town.
This convinced the authorities to formally recognize La Tomatina, which now draws tens of thousands of people to town to throw hundreds of thousands of overripe tomatoes, which are set aside just for the occasion.
But as Walter Sobchak would say, there are rules here.
You have to squish the tomatoes before throwing, so they don’t hurt anybody.
Wear goggles and real shoes, no flip-flops, and the tomato throwing lasts for one glorious and bizarre hour, starting and ending with the sounds of pistols or fireworks.
Oh, also, while all this is going on, there’s a soap-covered pole with a Spanish ham on top. If you can climb the pole and grab the ham, it’s yours.
And if being pelted by tomatoes isn’t your idea of a good time, how about yo-yo tricks?
It’s day one of the World Yo Yo Contest, which this year is in Cleveland, Ohio.
There are six categories of competition, including “Looping Trick Freestyle with Two Responsive Yo-Yos,” and the judges will score both technical ability and overall performance.
I plan to do a gyroscopic flop, which is a yo-yo trick, but I meant I was just gonna lie down and watch some yo-yo tricks online.
Tomatina History (Tomatina.es)
La Tomatina festival photo by MikeJamieson(1950) via Flickr/Creative Commons