Bernard Howard proposes an answer to a curly question.

During the recent drought I was asked by a friend if I could explain why her cucumbers were growing with such a pronounced bend. Some indeed were almost complete circles. At one time the reason for this would have eluded me, but recent discoveries in the realm of homeopathy quickly suggest a probable answer.

Cucumbers are particularly watery vegetables, and in the dry summer we were having in Canterbury, I reckoned that most of the water in my friend’s cucumbers had reached them via her garden hose. An examination of her irrigation arrangements made everything clear. The plants were growing quite close to the garden tap, so, my friend being a tidy person, the excess hose was neatly coiled.

Obviously the passage of the water through the coils impressed a twisty character on the water molecules, and this shows itself, at the macroscopic level, in the cucumbers.

I reluctantly had to tell my friend that her cucumbers would not return to the straight form of growth until the water molecules they contain returned to the linear form which was imparted to them by falling straight down from heaven, as nature intended.

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