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Top five uses for zucchini

Missoula, Montana, is a lovely town in the middle of nowhere with a population consisting primarily of cowpokes and carnivores. Yesterday, the two met in a standoff on the back porch of a house just outside of town, when a black bear paid a surprise visit to a local woman.

The bear wasn't playing nice with the woman's dogs; when she went out to investigate the reason for all the barking and whining, she saw the 200-pound bear batting around her collie. To save the pooch, she grabbed the first weapon within reach: a fourteen-inch-long, six-pound zucchini she'd just plucked from her garden -- and hit the bear in the noggin. Startled, the animal ambled off.

We always knew zucchini has many uses, but we'd never before realized that its number-one function is as a self-defense tool. Here are four more:

4) You're in the kitchen making biscuits and suddenly realize that you don't have a rolling pin. What to do? Go to the fridge and bring out that zucchini that's been chilling for a month. It's a perfect substitute for the missing rolling pin. 3) If you want to work out but you're too poor to afford a gym membership, go to the garden and grab the two biggest zucchinis you can find. These heavy veggies will pump you up as you watch Maury while wearing your Richard Simmons shorty shorts. 2) Your gig entertaining pre-pubescent boys as a juggler at the local mall didn't quite work out, but you can keep those skills fresh by juggling what isn't in the hydrator of your fridge. 1) Zucchinis make excellent playthings. When I was growing up, we didn't have much cash; while neighborhood kids played with Lincoln Logs, my mother would give me a load of zucchini to use as building material. Strange, but after I was done with my "toys," she would always scoop up a zuke or two and keep them for her own amusement.

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