Warning to Watsonville: This week, I’ll be eating all your fruit

Spring Break Road Sign with Dramatic Clouds and Sky

Over the years, my editor has offered to send me to many places. Usually in a raised voice. And often to a destination that is physically impossible for anyone who isn’t a skilled contortionist.

However, maybe it’s because of the unusually good weather we’re having in Oregon (not raining), or that she’s going on vacation soon, or possibly because there’s been another mix-up between her blood-pressure medicine and someone else’s painkillers.

Whatever the reason, she has given me the “thumbs up” to visit Watsonville, Calif., this week. Naturally, this was exciting news! At least once I got over the creepiness of her actually giving me a “thumbs up” sign. 

So what does this mean exactly? It means this Thursday, June 23, there’s a good chance you’ll find me facedown in a row of strawberries somewhere in Watsonville.

Did I mention I love fruit?

I know there’s more to Watsonvile than farming. With a population of more than 51,000 people, along with nine TV and radio stations, 28 parks, the Santa Cruz Fair Grounds and Ocean Speedway, there are plenty of ways for me to get into trouble that don’t involve getting run over by someone riding a tractor. Unless it’s during a tractor race on the speedway.

I’m pretty sure I couldn’t outrun that. Even for a fresh strawberry.

And hey, any town that can claim being home to “Killer Clowns from Outer Space” is my kind of place.

Most of Thgis movie was filmed in Watsonville. They don't mention that in the brochures.
Most of This movie was filmed in Watsonville. They don’t mention that in the brochures.

Something else that makes Watsonville my kind of place is that it’s a community that helps its hungry. As Chris Ryan at Second Harvest Food Bank pointed out, the only time “humor” and “hunger” are close together is in the dictionary.

I couldn’t agree more.

However, on June 23, I’ll be using humor to help the hungry by donating a third of my book sales to Second Harvest. I’ll be at the Register-Pajaronian from 10 a.m. to noon this Thursday. I’ll have copies of my book, “Humor at the Speed of Life,” available for $15, with $5 from each book going directly to Second Harvest.


I have no staff or overhead.

Heck, I barely have a desk.

So you can trust me when I say the full $5 from each book will go to Chris and the folks at the food bank.

More than anything, I’m looking forward to the chance to meet as many Register-Pajaronian readers and folks from Watsonville as I can.

Um… except you, sir. You remind me of my editor.


But as for everyone else, I hope you’ll stop in for a visit so we can get to know each other beyond the newspaper page. If you decide to buy a book or just make a donation to Second Harvest, all the better.

I want to thank Erik Chalhoub and everyone at the Pajaronian for having me. It’s a real privilege to be a part of the Watsonville community through your local newspaper. I’m looking forward to getting to know you, and the chance to do some good for an important cause while I’m here.


But seriously, folks.

I’d hide the fruit…




Ned is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. His book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is available online at Port Hole Publications, Amazon Books and Barnes & Noble. Write to him at nedhickson@icloud.com


Published by

Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

43 thoughts on “Warning to Watsonville: This week, I’ll be eating all your fruit”

        1. It’s from the Native American word Pajaro, which means “Bird.” There are the Pajaro Dunes and a Pajaro River. Apparently, it’s for the birds…?

  1. Awesomesauce Ned. Mmmm, fresh strawberries, Mmmm. Book signing? What book signing? Mmmm, fresh strawberries, Mmmm. Ha!

    That’s a fair jaunt – 663 miles according to my map. That’s at least a day each way plus time spent there. We’ll make a trucker out of you yet. (I imagine that your past job of head chef resulted in a lot of traveling.)

    1. Yeah, it’s going to be fun, but it’s about a 10-hour drive each way. But we’ll be staying over a few days, so it’s not too bad really. Just my wife and I and the open road. We’ve got snacks, wine and eight days to do it in… Wait, that sounds inappropriate.
      Accurate, but inappropriate… 😉

  2. Just when you think it is safe to visit a few blogs, you go and post a still from Killer Clowns from Outerspace. I guess it could be worse. You could have posted that scene with the puppet show in which one of the clowns rises up from under the puppet theatre and in so kept me from sleeping soundly for nearly a week, but still…

    Have fun!

  3. I would hide the fruit too. We’re still talking about the thing you can eat and not the people who enjoyed the Clown movie, right?

      1. The great thing about Ned is that he doesn’t moderate so we can say all sorts of borderline nasties all night and he won’t know until the morning. For instance, have you ever seen strawberry confections that are sexually suggestive?

        1. Good to know, good to know. And yes, yes I have.

          For instance, the other day I saw a gigantic tub of strawberry ice cream that whispered, “May I suggest you only have one serving if you ever want to have sex again?”

          1. “Red Riding Hood says “Oh Granny, what big teeth you’ve got!” and the wolf replies “All the better to eat you with, my dear!” ‘

No one is watching, I swear...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s