Vegetables, Labor Rights, and You

Fair pay and a crinkle cut will do it

John Levin
Tales of Improbable Magic
2 min readSep 28, 2023


Image generated by the Author using DALL-E 2 with the prompt “A poster advertising a convention of New Mexican chefs in Santa Fe. Poster art in the style of Alphonse Mucha”

I heard that one time all the russet potatoes decided to unionize, even though they were all living underground where no one could see them in the first place. They asked me to be their spokesman.

“Why do you want me?” I puzzledly asked them. “I’m not even a potato!”

“Well, we looked for who in the area ate the most french fries.”

“Oh, I get it.”

Experience always trumps false knowledge, except when it doesn’t, of course.

“You’re using too much ketchup. That’s our only complaint,” they let me know. “Do you want the job or not?”

“Can I bring my girlfriend to union meetings?”

“Sure, as long as she’s not a vegan.”

“I thought you’d love vegans!”

“Only when they leave us alone, John.”

“You’re being hassled by vegans?”

“We want our union slogan to be ‘Steak and Potatoes — Fair Wages for All!’ … Have you ever read the Grapes of Wrath, John?”

“You guys are weird. What does Steinbeck have to do with this?” I was getting totally lost!

“Steinbeck wasn’t a vegan … and he understood vegetables,” they misconstruedly pointed out.

“Guys, you haven’t even read Steinbeck. That’s not what the book is about!”

“Of course we haven’t read Steinbeck. We’re potatoes, and we only have a 5th grade education.”

“You guys are educated?” I was realizing how little I knew about them!

“One of our demands is free college tuition, too!”

“I can relate to that. I’ll report to work on Monday!”

“Thanks, John. You really are a trooper. Maybe you could run for President, too.”

So always be nice to your potatoes, everybody.

And they’ll be nice to you.


© “John” Lesly Levin 2023



John Levin
Tales of Improbable Magic

Scientist. Writer. Meditator. Blue Tantrika. Mystical Rabbi. Climate & Human Rights Activist. I’m a man of few words, except when I open my mouth.