Lately we are constantly being warned that we will die if we sit too long at our desks. Fifteen minutes is tops otherwise our organs will all collapse and our cholesterol will overtake the national debt. We are advised to set a kitchen timer and leap up the moment it goes off. I don’t have a kitchen timer and who remembers to check until the kitchen is on fire.
But when I do remember I force myself to get up and take a walk outside.
Whacking pecans off the tree is a good break with the added reward of one of the world’s best nuts, soft enough to crack open with your teeth. I stand in the orchard and swipe at the tree with a branch that’s fallen off a next door Jackfruit tree.
Jackfruit are really disgusting – great swollen things that hang there like Shrek’s testicles. They are the largest tree-borne fruit in the world, grow on the trunks as well as branches and can reach one hundred pounds. Although they are being touted as a new miracle food they stink of rot. No one around here eats them so they drop and decay on the ground turning black and even more attractive.
Waving at them from across the lawn are the beautiful yellow bananas – great bunches of them hanging there shaded by enormous leaves which are terrific for baking fish in. We ate them by the ton despite those really annoying warnings that keep appearing on screen screaming that you must NEVER eat one -.or you will forever remain a fat pig.
Right now after a whole summer of profusion we are all a bit sick of the bounteous banana. At the height of the season people were hanging them from the rafters and storing them in the bath tub.
I was offered a plastic carrier bag in a fruit and vegetable store recently. Not very exciting by most folk’s standards – but up here quite a rare event. There is a major campaign underway to eliminate the evil plastic bag totally from the world. Given that the amount of plastic being washed up and choking wildlife it’s perfectly understandable that we need to be mindful.
But some people panic at the thought of no bag at the cash out.
“Do you seriously expect me to carry my undies out of the store not in a bag???” asked one girl on an internet forum raging against Target’s bag-free policy (since rescinded)
And some people get really carried away.
“You’ve got to be real careful who you offer a bag to,” the girl on the checkout told me. “A guy came in here last week. When I offered him one he thrust a banana in my face and started yelling ‘See this banana! It doesn’t need a bag. It’s got its own packaging! It’s called a SKIN!’ I thought he was going to attack me with it.”
Even in these tranquil climes where it’s all pretty mellow and cruisey there is road rage – an infuriated driver recently attacked someone with a spear-gun. There is even surf-rage. This evidently erupts when someone has the bad taste to drop in on another surfer’s wave – the ultimate surfing crime and something the Beach Boys never sang about.
I doubt if anyone has ever been killed by a banana but banana rage is getting serious. Clearly her assailant had been sitting at his desk for far too long and needed to get outside and take it out on a pecan tree. Or a Jackfruit. At last we may have found a use for the big stinky scrotum blighting the landscape.