|Ekoj Slooflirpa’s story is incredible|
I am always on the search for local history or stories and by Jiminy; I found a jewel out Crosby way for this week’s column. I’ll be honest and say that this beats the socks off anything Jim Finley has written in a while and not to take away from Wanda Orton’s take on history – this particular fellow is going to put the area on the international map.
Bu-cee’s is a big draw you say? Ha ha ha! In the ensuing rush, people will whisk through and forget to buy their precious nuggets and buy gas at Bu-cee’s just to come see what this local visionary has grown.
Crosby denizen and horticulturist Ekoj Slooflirpa’s story is incredible in the literal sense and when the rumor of his amazing skills came up on the BaytownTalks.net forum and what he’s growing, I simply had to hear the story and of course bring it mainstream. What better way than the Baytown Sun, so I asked local contributor Dufresne, who incidentally also brought to my attention the Bead Rattler of Baytown (which is a whole ‘nother story).
Arriving at his proving ground and passing through his elaborate security checkpoint, which is one old bluetick coonhound, I found the man to be a curious mixture of intense passion, combined with a bizarre social awkwardness, most likely caused by long tenuous solo hours working in one of his twenty-two large greenhouses. For the sake of the patent, I was asked to not disclose the actual whereabouts of his farm and by golly, I am honoring that. Seeing his operation, I told him like I told Ken “the Dauber” Pridgeon, “”This thing is simply too big!” and “You won’t be able to hide it!” and “Zounds, man!”
“Yah, I going to poot meat veggies on every table in Texas . You wait and see young fella, dis combo-ski be more popular than fajitas (which he pronounced fajita-in-ski’s). His accent was rather peculiar and I wasn’t really familiar with it, but when I asked if he was from –maybe Channelview, he verbally wandered and finally replied to my question:
“Most folks tink people who can grow tings have a green tum. Seeing I was born wid fingers that resemble hotdogs, but love to garden, I figured I could combine meat and veggies and possibly, mind you, breach de gap and create a meat-eatin’ vegan-type food,” blurted the future award winning gardener and obvious expert.
“My folks – Gott bless dare souls, were farmers in our home landski – the Czech Republic, but most people brand me as being Polish. I not Polish! Why would I live in Crosby if I wast Polish? Yah, yah! I know, many Poles are parading as Czech’s here, but let me axe you someting? Can a Pole grow a meat cucumber? Can a Pole move his feet like dis?” He does a rather bizzare upper body dubstep with his furiously moving brogans resembling a cross between someone in a bed of fire ants and the River dance.
I assured him the fleshy brown bumpy tubes look rather difficult to duplicate, at least with conventional methods and he continued. “My meatumber-inski’s, which by de way ist a patent-pending trade name, can be eaten by de rich folks wid a steak knife and fancy silver fork, tossed on a steamed hotdog bun wid kraut, or for de Tex-Mex loving crowd, gloriously wrapped in a flour tortilla-ski. Ist de perfect food!”
He claims to have recently perfected the tasty-looking digits and each greenhouse is a work in progress. “Now deese,” he points at rows of green and pinkish-looking weiner-bearing plants. “Deese are wad I call greenie-weenies and will replace dose greasy pork sausages in kolache-inski’s. Did you know the Czech’s invented de word kolach? No? Yah and my greenie-weenies will hab only six calories minus de bun and will promote amazing weight loss.”
I found this truly amazing and asked how he knows this, seeing he doesn’t appear to have a board of scientists on his payroll. “I am gardener sir. Gardeners know stuff like dis and it is too technical to cover on simple interview. Hey, let me show you dese tings!” He lurches wildly ahead of me and it is the dickens to keep up with the tireless man of the dirt.
He points at a huge steaming pile of “magic droppings” and the odor causes my eyes to burn and I cough out a lung. “De secret is in de manure!” he says and plunges forward. I pull my t-shirt up around my nose, as my eyes are watering heavily and follow as best as I can.
We wander over to the next greenhouse and the “meatumbers” here resemble of all things, boudain. When I loudly point this out, Mr. Slooflirpa ducks down and looks around, pushing his hotdog fingers up to my lips and shushes me. “I do not want dis to get out just nyet! My Meatumber-dainski has no rice or pork, only my patented meat-veggies.” He looks warily around and I do too, but I see only the greenhouse and pinkish bumpy meat-laden plants. Waving his arms around like a rooster about to crow, he tries in vain to say what is obviously on his heart. Like I said, he’s as socially awkward as many engineers I know.
“If your, ahem, meatumber-inski becomes as popular as you believe, Mr. Slooflirpa, what is your plans for the area, seeing that you will basically be the main attraction in Harris County?”
“I going to push to hab de city renamed to Crosby-inski to honor my heritage and my tuber-ski’s.” He is quick to point out they are not real tubers, but do indeed “kinda look like dem”.
Well, there you have it folks, breaking news right here in our area. I declined to take Mr. Slooflirpa up on his offer to actually taste the “delicious-looking” hybrid, as I had already eaten before the interview, but one thing is for sure, it would probably be real tasty with a side order of Kasza gryczana.