If I were a prisoner on death row
just hours away from execution
I would NOT order a meal of calamari with ratatouille,
filet mignon with truffles and Strawberry Sherbet.
I would reject a plate of Duck Liver Terrine with Confit Quail
garnished by Baby Leeks and Porcini mushrooms.
I would sneer at Saskatoon berries and Niagara peaches
dripping in lavender honey and maple syrup.
Peking duck, Scottish kippers, caviar, abalone
Siberian meat dumplings and escargot
washed down with a fruity chardonnay and a supple merlot
would not be of interest to me.
I’d insist on a baked Russet potato
freshly picked from an Idaho organic farm
topped off with Schuler bar cheese and sour cream
and washed down with Martinelli’s sparkling cider.
In my final moments I’d reflect on how Luther Burbank
began with the seeds of an Early Rose potato plant
and worked for years to breed the awesome tuber
that has come to be called the Idaho Baker.
And I’d feel sad as I meditated on how
the brilliant but impoverished Burbank
had to sell his tater masterpiece to a tycoon
named J H Gregory for $150!
For forty years the world’s potato scientists
(and yes, there are such people)
have worked to improve the Idaho Russet
and have failed to find a serious contender.
When I’m finally executed for my crimes of inanity
and ascend to the ‘Heaven for the Misunderstood’
I’ll dine on the manna from planet Earth,
the humble but delectable Burbank Russet potato.