No. 5 in a Series of 253,486.

EGGPLANT. —The Eggplants occupy a curious position on the cusp of the vegetable and animal kingdoms, there being no other plant in all nature that lays eggs. Botanists are divided on the exact taxonomic place of the eggplants. Formerly they were placed in the family Solanaceae, as though they were a kind of failed tomato; but the absurdity of this classification is too obvious to require elaboration. Most contemporary botanists are inclined to class the eggplants as a separate family, and some have gone so far as to suggest removing them to a separate kingdom.

Much of culinary history is occupied with a series of futile attempts to make the eggs of the eggplant into something palatable; but the fact remains that the eggs of the eggplant are very different from chicken eggs, quail eggs, or other comestible species of egg, and have stubbornly resisted the most determined efforts of the world’s most persistent culinary minds. The eggplants one sometimes sees in supermarket produce sections have been placed there as a practical joke.

Eggplants are of limited utility, if indeed they can be said to be of any use at all. Some of the long and narrow varieties make passable clubs; but other more durable materials make better clubs, and a common footpad who adopted an eggplant as his weapon of choice might expose himself to the ridicule of his peers.

The eggplant is nominally governed by Venus, but she seems to have lost interest in it early on and left it to fend for itself.