by Chris Collier
“Here’s to the ones who dream. Foolish as they may seem”
As long as I can remember, I felt a deep longing for something more. My parents sat me down on my seventh birthday and told me I could be anything I wanted when I grew up: a doctor, a certified public accountant, or even President of the United States. I felt out of place. I didn’t want to be any of those things because I didn’t like them. The only thing I liked was chomping on a delicious head of cauliflower. I blew out the candles on my cake, and from that birthday on I wished for one thing, and one thing only: to someday be a big tasty bushel of cauliflower.
In my high school’s production of Fiddler on the Roof, the director cast me as an apple at the market. I asked if I could be a bushel of cauliflower instead and she said, “Sure, I guess.” On opening night I felt the spotlight pour on me in my cardboard cauliflower costume, exposing my hopes and dreams to the world. I was cauliflower. I am cauliflower. I will be cauliflower. Past, present and future merged with the orgasmic ecstasy of self-realization. I realized I couldn’t keep this charade up. I ripped off my cardboard façade and sprinted home. I dug a hole in our back yard, stripped naked and buried myself neck deep in the fertile topsoil. After four short months of edging myself out fractions of an inch each day, I would be ready for harvest. I finally felt satiated.
To my dismay, I awoke the next morning to my parents digging me up. “No!” I cried, “I haven’t even begun to reach harvesting maturity yet!” They didn’t understand. My parents had just realized this wasn’t a phase: this was my dream. I stood there, naked and covered in dirt, as my parents told me they could no longer support these foolish endeavors. If my destiny really was to become a luscious bushel of cauliflower, I was on my own. I packed what I could into my beat up 1998 Ford Windstar and set off for California: the cauliflower capital of the world.
I wish I could say the rest was history, but a long and trying journey lay ahead of me. Farmer after farmer rejected me saying, “Why do you want to be a cauliflower? That’s a vegetable and you’re human. That’s stupid. You’re a stupid idiot dumb dumb stinky fart face.” It didn’t stop me. When you run into adversity in pursuit of your dreams, you must keep working towards your goals. Finally, on August 24th 2013, I met a farmer by the name of Jacob Milton. That day would change my life forever.
Milton took a long puff from his cigar. “We already planted cauliflower for the season, kid. Sorry, maybe next year.” Milton turned to go inside as he tossed the butt of his cigar on the ground. “Wait!” I pleaded. I was on my last dollar and couldn’t afford to lose this chance. “I would be willing to start on the ground floor as a carrot, or possibly a legume. Please, I know it’s unrealistic to ask to be a cauliflower on the first try. I’m willing to pay my dues.” He turned around slowly and looked me in the eyes. “Alright kid, I like your gumption. We’ll be planting cabbage at five in the morning. You make it to harvest, and we’ll see what we can do about making you a cauliflower.”
The droughts were long, and the rabbits ruthless, but I made it to harvest. The farm hands exhumed me from the ground, washed me, and took me to market, where a middle-aged mother of four bought me for $1.39. She looked at me and said, “Ooooh, look at you! I’m going to make sauerkraut out of you yet!” She took me home, ripped me limb from limb, diced me up with a Ginsu knife, tenderized me with a mallet for 8-10 minutes, poured a tablespoon of sea salt over me, and packed me in a jar with a 2% brine solution to ferment for a week. When the week ended, she took me out and served me to her family, who all laughed and laughed as they gulped down every last bite of me while talking about how good I tasted. After I finally worked my way through each of their respective digestive systems, I collected myself and returned to Milton’s farm. I would have passed through the endocrine system of 100 more families, too, if it meant one day realizing my dream of becoming a cauliflower.
I approached Milton’s rustic porch a tattered and broken version of my previous self. He stood from his rocking chair, and reached a glass of lemonade out towards me. “Drink up,” he said with a crooked smile, “It’ll be a long four months until harvest.” I started tearing up. “You’re a cauliflower, kid,” affirmed Milton, “You know where to go.” My dream finally manifested itself into reality. I chugged the lemonade as fast as I could. I went out to the fields, where the farm hands stripped me naked, covered me in manure, and planted me in the cauliflower patch. If anyone tells you your dream isn’t worth it, or that you aren’t good enough: don’t believe them. You are good enough. You will make it. Take it from a big tasty bushel of cauliflower.
Chris Collier is a writer, comedian, and uncle living in New York City. He doesn't really have any credits yet, but he hopes you like this article.