From today’s Los Angeles Times, in its consistently excellent Column One slot, the age-old love story of a computer engineer and his 10,900 tomatoes:

Last year, Bill Anderson grew 10,990 tomatoes, not counting the ones consumed by Buster the Manchester terrier….

Each morning of the tomato season he collected the ripe fruit and spread them out on his kitchen counter. He organized them by variety and entered the totals onto index cards stored in a cookie jar, for later transfer onto spreadsheets. And he ate tomatoes — for snacks, in salads and sauces. He and Griego gave them away, fed them to friends. They froze tomatoes. Lots of them; in February, they still had frozen tomatoes to give away.

And, from the front page of the LAT’s Web site, an appropriately Onionesque reefer: “Winnetka man loves his tomatoes.”

That’s comic gold no matter how you slice it.

Justin Peters is editor-at-large of the Columbia Journalism Review.