I saw this commercial on TV the other day, it was some public service announcement reminding Americans that we’re supposed to eat a certain number of servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day. And right at that moment, I was halfway down one of those new oversized Slim Jims, like it’s just like an original Slim Jim, but it’s about as thick as an Italian sausage. I had a pause, I thought, yeah, I don’t eat any fruits or vegetables.
So I went to the grocery store and picked up a little basket, committed to buying lots and lots of fruits. What a selection! I can’t remember the last time I went fruit shopping, so many different varieties. I bought like four bags, full of fruits, and that wasn’t even counting the watermelon, which didn’t fit inside a bag at all. And yeah, I probably should have listened to the cashier, she was like, “Honey, that’s not going to fit in there,” as I was trying to get it in.
But I don’t know, I’m defiant sometimes, and that whole honey business, please, I’m not you’re honey, all right toots? And to my credit, I did eventually get that watermelon inside, although, it didn’t do any good at all, because the bag was so stretched from the melon that there weren’t even any handles to grip anymore, it was just a giant watermelon half covered in tight plastic. Still, I acted like that was what I was trying to go for all along.
I got home and started to dig in, but the first thing I went for was this box of blackberries. It was like, eh, maybe one out of every ten blackberries had a nice taste. The rest were all like way too sour, and not in a cool Sour Patch Kids way, this was like biting into something and then immediately having a sense memory of being a two-year-old and putting something in my mouth that I definitely shouldn’t have, like a sour bar of soup.
Also, and this was the same with the raspberries, you really can’t just throw them in your mouth. I don’t know where, because I’ve opened a few up and tried to find the source, but there are always like three or four really small, really hard little seeds. And if they don’t hurt one of your teeth as you accidentally take a bite, they wedge themselves right inside your back molars, like they perfectly conform to the shape of whatever’s back there. And so for the rest of the day I was just feeling it with my tongue, I couldn’t do anything to dislodge it, dental floss wasn’t doing the trick. It was just torture, this one spot on the side of my tongue got raw from trying to play it out.
I thought, OK, blackberries, maybe there was a reason my mom never bought blackberries when I was a little kid. What about kiwis? I always love it when there’s a fruit salad, something you get at the deli, or one of those prepackaged breakfasts they hand out at some of the nicer hotels, there are always like one or two slices of kiwi on top, and it’s delicious.
But having a nice precut piece of kiwi is worlds away from actually buying a whole kiwi, bringing it back to your house and thinking, OK, how am I supposed to get those slices out of this fuzzy little ball and into my stomach? Because how are you supposed to peel a kiwi? I tried cutting the skin off with a knife but it’s so delicate, I was hacking away chunks of flesh. I found a potato peeler but that was also a no-go. You squeeze the fruit hard enough to work the peeler and it just collapses, there’s juice everywhere, your hands are getting sticky.
I was getting frustrated, looking at this whole bag full of fruits that I realized I had no idea how to eat, even hungrier, I was getting desperate enough where I started looking for the other half of the Slim Jim, the one I threw away before I had the bright idea to go out to the grocery store. And why didn’t I pick up some regular food while I was out there? Now what, if I want to get something else to eat I have to go back? Two grocery store trips in one day? I can’t.
I went for a banana but they were still way too green, the inside tasted like a potato. My ruby red grapefruits were so riddled with seeds that when I went to cut it down its equator, the knife slipped on a seed cluster and I almost cut the tip off of my left pinky off. Does anybody else have an allergy not to mangoes, but to mango skins? Is that even real? I didn’t notice a problem until I put my lips to the outside because, how are you supposed to get the fruit off of around that huge pit? And come on, where does all of that mango string come from? It’s worse than eating a pulled pork sandwich found under a heat lamp at some gas station on a highway rest stop.
The peaches were too sour. The seedless watermelon must have gotten lost in the seedless bin on its way to the extra seeded bin. The plums were rock hard and the apples way too mushy. Apricots, pineapples, oranges … my stomach was starting to hurt from too many little bites of under-ripe produce.
Forget the fruit, thanks, I think I’ll just move along to veggies if that’s all right. That’s what I hoped. Of course it wouldn’t be that easy. Like, what the hell are those little spikes on top of every artichoke leaf? And what about that prickly thing inside? Come on, a guy can’t even make himself a healthy bite to eat once in a while. Maybe these stores could have a little sign next to whatever it is they’re selling, like I don’t even know what Okra is, how am I supposed to get it into my mouth? Is this really too much to ask? Is this really supposed to be this difficult?