No. 8 in a Series of 253,486

ICEBERG LETTUCE (Pseudolactuca).—Lettuce is a member of the composite family Compositae (sometimes incorrectly called Asteraceae), which also includes dandelions, daisies, thistles, and analog video. There are two main types of lettuce: iceberg lettuce and leaf lettuce. Leaf lettuce (Lactuca) is made up, primarily, of leaves, and need not concern us any longer in this article. Iceberg lettuce, on the other hand, is a mutant artificial monstrosity and crime against nature.

Naturalists have not been able to account for the development of the “iceberg” strain, although the botanist John Torrey was once heard saying that there must have been some demonic force at work. Structurally, iceberg lettuce consists of a thin membrane of greenish plastic stretched over a certain quantity of dishwater. Culinarily, its primary use is to take up space, which it does with ruthless efficiency. So-called “salads” made almost entirely of iceberg lettuce are routinely served in restaurants across North America, in clear violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to say nothing of local rules on consumer fraud, but nothing ever seems to be done about it. Iceberg lettuce thus stands as a stark reminder that there is still much to be done for human freedom even in our own back yard.

Iceberg lettuce is governed by the planet Pluto; for, just as Pluto is not really a planet, so iceberg lettuce is not really a lettuce.