My Cabbages
June 20, 2020 5:31 PM   Subscribe

From peddler of produce to titan of industry, Slate presents an oral history of the story behind Avatar: The Last Airbender's erstwhile vendor of leafy greens. (SLSlate)
posted by NoxAeternum (8 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
I've just checked the cast list on the M. Night Shamalyan movie to confirm: there is no cabbage vendor in his film.

Yet another reason why Shamalyan's adaptation was sub-par.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:47 PM on June 20, 2020 [16 favorites]

Timely, as we just finished rewatching this. Still one of the best!
posted by Ashwagandha at 6:03 PM on June 20, 2020

I love the fact that it's in part a Cowboy Bebop inspiration or nod. He brings to mind the three old men, except they have names: Antonio, Carlos and Jobim, named after Brazilian songwriter and musician, Antonio Carlos Jobim.
posted by filthy light thief at 6:11 PM on June 20, 2020 [2 favorites]

O’Bryan: I think [Avatar co-creator] Bryan Konietzko actually may have had the idea to bring him back, though it was so long ago. I remember him saying on one of the anime shows that he watched, Cowboy Bebop, there are characters like that on every planet they go to. And I haven’t seen it enough to know what he was talking about, but I remember thinking that was hilarious. Like, we should just have him already there when they show up at this other city, and then they fuck up his cabbages again.

I just rewatched Cowboy Bebop myself, and I'm not sure what they're talking about either. In a typical episode, you'll see the three old guys who always manage to be on the same planet or moon with the main characters, and some innocent bystander's day will get ruined by the main characters chasing after their bounty, but those aren't the same people.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 6:17 PM on June 20, 2020 [1 favorite]

This article is 100% gold.

O’Bryan’s son: He’s funny.

O’Bryan’s daughter: I think he’s pretty stupid.

posted by capricorn at 6:22 PM on June 20, 2020 [3 favorites]

It's not exactly the Cowboy Bebop trope, but close enough that I assumed it was inspired by CB.
posted by tofu_crouton at 8:44 PM on June 20, 2020

...we all have our cabbages. There’s something that’s important to us, that we get frustrated about how it’s handled, how nobody else respects it, and we seem to be alone in the world. Sometimes we just feel like everybody’s against us. And that’s how the cabbage merchant feels sometimes too... He’s that encapsulation of all of our frustrations and exasperation. We are all the cabbage merchant.
posted by wildblueyonder at 8:52 PM on June 20, 2020 [1 favorite]

Naturally, TV Tropes has a category for it (Unlucky Extra), though there's fewer examples than I would have expected.
posted by dephlogisticated at 10:08 PM on June 20, 2020 [1 favorite]

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