The Tomato Effect: It Won’t Work Because It Won’t Work
Well, you learn something new every day. In theory, anyway.
I recently learned about a phenomenon called The Tomato Effect. And no, it’s not about acid reflux. It’s the brain acting up, not the stomach.
It all began when I came across an old sketch, and decided to finish it. What prompted this drawing? Dunno. I’ve heard of the film Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes, but I’ve never actually seen it. Perhaps hearing about it was enough. Here’s the finished illustration:
One interesting note about color: Our tomato is clearly using some bad language. Originally I put a cloud of blue smoke around the little swear word symbols. That’s because the color blue is associated with being risqué. A blue joke is a dirty joke.
But the blue cloud didn’t work. It looked all wrong. Gradually, through trial and error,
I found the right color combination. When tomatoes swear and cuss, they do it in red, orange, green, and yellow. I can’t prove it, but I’m sure of it… : )
I’ve been doing a lot with quotes lately. I tell clients that illustrated quotes are ideal for social media marketing. People share them for both the humor and the quote itself. Add your website URL at the bottom, and your name will get around.
So I went looking (googling) for a “tomato quote,” and found this charming thought from writer Lewis Grizzard:
Legend has it that, in America, anti-tomato prejudice was finally overcome when Colonel Robert Gibbon Johnson publicly consumed a basketful on the courthouse steps
of Salem, NJ, in 1820, before a large crowd. When he failed to collapse and die, opinions began to change. Since this dramatic historical event did not appear in print until 1948, it probably never happened. Great legend, tho.
Which brings us to The Tomato Effect: people refused to eat tomatoes because “everyone knew” they were poisonous. It was common knowledge– and it was wrong.
Dr. James Goodwin is credited with coining the term in a medical journal article in 1984: “The tomato effect in medicine occurs when an efficacious treatment for a certain disease is ignored or rejected because it does not ‘make sense’ in light of the accepted theories of disease mechanism and drug interaction.”
Here’s the sad part: The Tomato Effect isn’t limited to medicine. We embrace it every day. All of us.
We don’t take a course because we know it’ll be boring. We don’t sign up for that tuba lesson because we know it’s hopeless, it’s too hard, we’ll never get it. We don’t say hello
to someone because we know they won’t say hi back. And on and on. Missing out on who knows how many opportunities because we know, just know, it won’t work.
Do you eat a lot of tomatoes?– or does your stomach tell you to just say no?
Ever seen Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes? Did it give you a morbid fear of salad bars??
Now that you know about the Tomato Effect, will you be open to trying something new?
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