MIAOLI, TAIWAN—Two seemingly normal eggplants have become so bloated and deformed that they resemble human beings. While scientists call the transformation an “alarming scientific anomaly,” locals call it a “miraculous godsend,” and have given the eggplants honorary titles.
Miaoli elementary student Chen Sui-Ni (陳隨你), 12, first came up with the idea of naming them when he was reading Jonathan Swift. “My God, the things they teach you in elementary school!” he exclaimed as he touched the eggplants. “Did you know that the name ‘Vanessa’ was, contrary to popular belief, invented by Swift? It’s a portmanteau of the first and last names of Esther Vanhomrigh, a dear friend and lover of Swift.” The eggplants stared blankly at Chen, who added, “Do you even know what a portmanteau is? Do you even know who Swift is? He’s amazing!”
In honor of Swift, Chen publically christened one of the eggplants “Vanessa.” Locals enamored of the other allegedly sacred eggplant named it, quite aptly, “Angel.” Likewise, poets have sung their praises, writing such Shakespearean lines as: “Is it for fear to wet a widower’s eye, that thou consum’st thyself in eggplant life?” and “The world’s a farm, and all but two are mortal tubers.”
Scientists are still perplexed by the eggplants’ transmogrification, but they have warned locals to “watch what they eat.” “We are not sure what to make of this phenomenon yet,” said researchers at the National Taiwan University. “But don’t eat the eggplants without consulting your doctor. We don’t know if they’re edible or toxic.”