all of the selves we Have ever been
I am developing a bad attitude about apples.
It started with oranges.
Have you tried to peel an orange lately? Even utilizing a bona fide citrus peeler, the task is hopeless. It would be easier to remove my own gall bladder. All it takes is a Q-tip and a quick swab of my cheek to get all the way down to the roots of my family tree and come back up with the names of my Cro-Magnon ancestors. How can it be this hard to get down to the flesh of an orange?
Why couldn’t the Garden of Eden have been in Florida? If the snake had offered Eve an orange instead of an apple, we’d still be lying on the beach sporting perfect figures. Dirty laundry never would have been invented.
Like Eve, all of this talk of fruit arouses my curiosity. I find myself being seduced by the snakes on the modern tree of knowledge, the internet. I type in the question, “how to peel an orange.” The tree of knowledge answers with 68,200,000 results. I am suddenly aware that I must be the only person in the world who does not know how to peel an orange. I am ashamed.
I click on the first entry, 68,199,999 to go, and I discover that oranges originated in Southern China. OMG! Does the President know about this? Upon further reading, I learn the orange is not a wild fruit meaning it does not occur naturally—someone tinkered with the DNA…Call Mike Pompeo!
I set aside my national security concerns for a moment while I gather intel that will help me blow the cover off my citrus. Basic structure: First, there is the rind. Well, everyone can see that. What I did not know is that the rind can be used to repel slugs from the garden. Hmm. Should I be acting on that knowledge?
Beneath the rind is an inner rind called a pericarp or albedo. Sounds to me like early forms of the words for privates and libido. Apparently, Adam and Eve got bold and frisky after tasting the apple, and they bit into the rind of an orange. The rest is human history.
There is a third layer described as threadlike white pith. At last! There is a name for that stuff that fuses to my fingers and sticks to my teeth! But not a word concerning what I can do about it. I guess I will just have to learn to live with it.
Rounding the corner, I find that under all of those layers is the edible portion, the orange segments or carpel. And that explains the tingling and numbness in my thumb and index finger since I tried wrestling the peel from that orange. I think I have carpel-tunnel syndrome…the fruit-induced version. No more thumbs up for me.
With my knowledge accumulating, I click on the second entry and learn that Christopher Columbus brought oranges to the New World in 1493. I groan. Isn’t that guy in enough trouble?
Two clicks and I am quickly overwhelmed by information—all of it anxiety-provoking, and none of it helpful. My mother was right, “A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.” You would think a mom might also have mentioned that we shouldn’t trust the advice of snakes. We can’t even trust the wholesome Osmond Brothers. One bad apple can spoil the whole darn bunch.
So much for the fruit of the tree of knowledge. We’ve all paid a heavy price since the first couple took a bite out of the big apple. I think we should appeal our life sentence of pain and hard labor. Knowledge may be plentiful. It may be beautiful. It might even be terrific, but it doesn’t seem to be doing us much good.