Jan 112014
 

For most people, it would have been, “Try this ice cream that I think is bomb” and that would have been the end of it. But not if my dad was the one bestowing ice cream with explosive superlatives. Janna and I had stopped by my parent’s house one night in 2000, probably because I needed to panhandle, and we got stuck in my dad’s garage while he told us his saga regarding Reinhold’s Caramel Caribou, some goddamn ice cream that he was inexplicably obsessed with, wanted to marry, was ordered to stay within 500 feet of, is currently getting its name lasered off his bicep.

I refer to it as solely my dad’s garage because this story is set during the awkward time between my parent’s separation and subsequent divorce, so my dad was essentially living in the detached garage. Don’t worry—he was fine. He had a jukebox, a TV, a couch and a vintage Pepsi machine full of bottled beer. He was just fine.

So this ice cream, Janna and I had never heard of it because we were going through that stage where all we did was basically drink and eat food that could be ordered via telephone, and as far as we knew, there was no Mike’s Hard Ice Cream and the local pizza joints seemed like they were sticking with “just cannoli” as their takeout dessert option. This just made my dad even more excited to tell us about his newfound freezer aisle romance. We were all prepared for him to just give us a goddamn bowl of it, but first we had to listen to A Story.

I guess my dad had fallen in love with Caramel Caribou at first spoonful, and this is the part where we assume it was made from the milk of a crack-addled cow. Too bad for my dad, but going back for seconds was about to get challenging. He told us about all the time he spent looking at the grocery stores, but there was nary a carton of Caribou to be found. God only knows where he ate his first bowl of it. Some black market creamery in Chinatown? What the fuck.

“And then one day a Reinhold’s delivery truck drove past me,” my dad said, getting all excited and I think probably losing sight of how grand of an audience he actually had. I mean, come on, Guy. Janna and I were in a hurry. “So I pulled a U-ey and followed him.”

Like you do when you’re feenin’.

He followed him a few miles down the road until the truck pulled into a school parking lot, at which my point my dad waited for the driver to exit the truck before veritably accosting him for a hookup. (Trust me, I know my dad. I can only imagine the fervor he laid out during this encounter. I equal-parts wish I had been there & am grateful for not being there.)

Now I wasn’t there for the verbatim exchange, but I’ve always believed it for sure went something like this: “Hey palsie, ya gots any of that sweet ass Caramel Caribou back there?” In hushed tones. With my dad shaking him by the collar of his work shirt. Like it’s some kind of new marijuana blend that is eventually going to be the subject of a future Degrassi episode.

Reinhold’s Driver indulges him, but he does not in fact have any on his truck, or on his person, but offers to check the warehouse when he gets back. So they exchange numbers, like you do when you’re stalking someone for ice cream.

And a little while later, the guy actually fucking called my dad. He sounds like a really great guy, but I’m wondering if there was any sort of cash handoff.

I guess the guy’s boss was all, “You can’t sell products from our warehouse to a street-person, fuck off.” So the driver instead gave my dad a list of where he could MAYBE find certain ice creams named after reindeer by total ACCIDENT and not because some Reinhold delivery driver SNITCHED.

Eventually, my dad bought some multi-gallon jug reserved for ice cream parlors and single broads on Valentine’s Day and was finally able to celebrate his Caribou love in the privacy of his own home (garage).

After enduring his story, he served Janna and me each a bowl of what was essentially just vanilla ice cream with Rolos. It was OK.

I thought of my dad’s heroic efforts last week though when I ate my first Sonya apple.

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We almost didn’t stop at Shop n Save that day because Henry is a heartless bastard who thought it would be just fine to visit Speck and Don’s graves at the pet cemetery without bringing a floral offering. Who does that? Fucking asshole Henry, that’s who. He also kicks albino puppies and wants to eat seals, not save them.

Anyway, I got all huffy so Henry turned the car around and drove to a grocery store about 10 minutes away from the cemetery because he’s afraid of The Huff. That’s when I saw the glistening bushel of Sonya apples. (Not when he turned the car around, but when we went inside Shop n Save. Don’t be stupid. I don’t eat fruit off the side of the road. Anymore.)

When I saw the Sonyas, I’m not going to front and pretend like some dubstep Hallelujah chorus kicked into effect, because as of that moment, it was just an apple I had never had.

You know how I am with apples. Ever since Barb duped me into falling in love with them all the way back in 2011 (I was a late bloomer), I’ve since been on a mission to try every single “brand” of apple I can get my decorated paws on. Lately, though Henry has only been bringing home the ubiquitous Jonagolds and Galas, sometimes a Honeycrisp if I’ve been good, because apparently it’s slim pickins in January.

But this Sonya apple. My god, it tasted like fucking candy. Like no other apple I have ever had. Literally, this motherfucker was a natural candy apple. I couldn’t believe it. Pornography on my tongue. Can’t type in full sentences.

All I knew was that I needed to eat these gems like, every day. The problem was that Henry, the official grocery shopper of the household, said that he had never seen these apples anywhere in his pantry raids. (Or panty raids.) And the Shop n Save we bought them from (just two because Henry “refuses” to buy a metric shit ton of something he’s not sure I’m going to love or reject) is approximately 20 miles outside of Pittsburgh and Henry just doesn’t love me enough to be making weekly Sonja pilgrimages.

And thus the burgeoning obsession was born. No, I didn’t stalk a farmer a la Erin’s Dad, but I did take to the Internet, where I found the official website of the Sonja apple, which presented me with the opportunity to leave customer feedback. SO I DID.

AND THEN A SONYA APPLE REPRESENTATIVE EMAILED ME!

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I was so stoked about this that I of course wanted to shout about it to everyone at work. The blanket response was: “I mean….OK. Good job.” And that’s when it hit me. He might not be my biological father, but holy fucking shit, I am just like my goddamn dad. Casing creepy Asian markets for persimmons, having my BFF mail me cherimoya from California, ingratiating myself with Sonya apple breeders–what is my life??

Fruit is my Caramel Caribou.

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Don’t worry about me. The local Shop n Save is also selling Sonyas, so I’m stocked up for now.

For now….:(

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Sep 232013
 

Henry bought these big ass motherwhompin’ Fuji apples and at first I was like, “Fuck yeah, big ass apple!” But then once I brought it to work, I soon realized that there was no way this morbidly obese fruit was fitting in no goddamn apple corer. Bitch, please.

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It’s like the size of a baby’s head. And probably just as juicy. Mmm, soft spots.

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Here it is next to a Homie for perspective.

So earlier today, I approached Gayle. And in my sweetest voice and best innocent visage, I cued up the violin music and dove into my sob story.

“Yes, I’ll cut your apple for you,” Gayle interrupted after about 5 seconds. I guess it was pretty obvious where my tale of woe was going.

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I met her later on in the kitchen and watched her use A BIG KNIFE to lobotomize my mutant fruit. Our boss walked by on her way out of the office and kind of looked at us funny.

“My apple was too big for the corer, so Gayle is cutting it for me,” I explained with a shrug.

“And do we really want Erin handling a knife?” Gayle added. This seemed to satiate the boss’s curiosity.

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Thank you for your heroics, Gayle!!

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The slices couldn’t even fit all the way into my huuuuuge mouth! THAT IS HOW BIG THIS DAMN APPLE WAS.

It was such a delicious apple! Although, every time I jammed a piece into my mouth, I tried to remain blissfully ignorant to what sort of science made my apple so gigantor in the first place. LALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALA.

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Sep 122013
 

Henry has been OMG so busy because of his job, which means he’s been sorely slacking on the produce tip. (If he were a real man, he’d find a way to multitask, thank you.) Thankfully, Gayle had a spare apple for me yesterday, but after prowling around the department for a little while earlier today, it was starting to look grim. Barb gave me a peach but last time I checked A PEACH IS NOT AN APPLE.

I mean, I’ll eat it though. I wound up with a small bounty thanks to my caregivers here at work:
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But then my boss caught wind of my apple hunt and gifted me with a Honey Crisp, so I’m totally content right now.

Some of my co-workers were like, “WTF is up with you and apples, anyway?” and since it’s Throwback Thursday on some blogs, I decided that this would be a good time to repost the story that started it all! Dude, it’s from 10/27/2011, which means I’ve stuck to an obession for almost two years,e ven though Henry was all, “No, I’m not going to buy you an orchard considering you’ll probably hate apples after three weeks.” Well, BOOM, motherhumper! Look at me, still eating the apples after all this time.

*************************

Applegate

10/27/2011

Or: How Barb Found Another Way To Ruin My Life

Or: That Fucking Tomato, The Sequel

Before Barb left work on Monday, she had to go and fuck up my whole world by offering me an apple. I just smiled and said thanks, but what was really happening at that moment was that a vignette of cumulative botched apple-cutting situations began whirring around in my head, my inner-wrists started tingling at even the suggestion of wielding a paring knife, and my teeth were curling back inside my gums at the thought of biting into a whole apple.

Meanwhile the ghost of Johnny Appleseed openly mocked me from above my desk.

It just sat there all night, to the left of me, this glowing red/yellow orb of temptation. If I had been the original Eve, the Bible as we know it (and I don’t really know it) would be drastically altered, because I have a feeling Adam would have been too busy exploring holes with his dick to cut a fucking apple.

We might all be walking around nude right now.

Eventually, I tossed it into my purse, thinking I would just find some way to eat it at home. And by that I of course mean Henry would put a Gerber bib on me and slice the apple into Erin-appropriate wedges.

That night at work, I ate peanuts and Halloween candy instead. Fucking apple.

***

I forgot the apple was in my purse until the next morning and Henry had the audacity to not drop everything and come home from work wearing his produce armor to cut my fucking apple.

“Where did you get an apple?!” he asked, probably thinking I was trying to eat random growths from neighborhood trees again.

Gee, I don’t know, Henry. An old fucking lady brought it up to my cottage window while goddamn bluebirds sang Disney songs behind her.

“Barb gave it to me last night and I put it in my purse! Don’t act like you don’t go through my purse!” I answered defensively, like I was trying to deny an affair with a bait shop owner.

(This all happened via Facebook; look at me, making it appear that Henry and I have real life conversations that don’t take place via the Internet, text, and Post-It Notes!)

Seriously, when will apples shake their stigma? WE NEARLY BROKE UP OVER THIS.

I had people on twitter sending me tutorials but the first I watched said I needed a melon baller and I started to break a sweat because I was pretty sure we don’t have a melon baller and also because I think I used a melon baller as a torture device in a short story I wrote a long time ago.

I decided to just wait for Henry to come home from work.

***

Henry hadn’t yet had a chance to get both feet through the door before I was blocking his path and shoving an apple-fist in his face.

He looked tired and disgruntled.

“Give me the fucking thing,” he said, snatching the apple from my hand. As he disappeared into the kitchen, I heard him grumble, “You’re pathetic.”

Nice to know he worries about my safety and the possibility of apple-induced arterial spray.

He practically frisbee’d a plate of shoddily-cut apple wedges at me before storming out the door to pick up our son, who will have to learn how to cut his own apples if he ever so much as dreams of eating one when Henry is away from the house.

This was definitely the product of a pissed off man with a knife. I call it Henry Sliced the Apple: the shocking conclusion to How Will Erin Eat Her Apple?

***

When I got to work later that day, I regaled Barb with the horrors of what had come to be known as Applegate. I did a lot of hand-wringing to further illustrate the distress her stupid apple had put me under.

“Oh, honey,” she said in her Babying Erin Voice, which you might have figured gets a ton of use. “You should have just used the apple corer we keep here.”

WHAT APPLE CORER.

I took a picture of Barb demonstrating, so I could look back on it for reference.

That night, Barb left me another apple, the apple corer thing, and an assignment: to try it by myself.

I waited until everybody but the late shift people had gone for the day, just in case I wound up causing a scene. You never can be too safe. My first attempt propelled the apple with great force against the kitchen wall, knocking over the paper towel holder. (Speaking of the paper towel holder: The roll was empty the other night and I put a new one on all by myself. So now no one can say I haven’t helped out around there.) I think I didn’t have it properly centered because I might not have been paying attention.

My second attempt sent me lurching into the kitchen counter, but I did reach some low level of success. I couldn’t get the blades to split the apple the whole way through and wound up having to break it off the corer thing, but this was a win as far as Things Erin Tries To Do In The Kitchen goes.

Then I happily ate my apple, while saying, “I did this myself!” to everyone who walked by. (And by everyone, I mean just Carey.)

And that is how I learned to cut an apple at work.

(You should see me with an orange.)

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Apr 152013
 

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“Just stay in the car,” Henry barked when we pulled into the Oriental Market parking lot. “Please,” his bark turned into a whine.

Yeah right, and risk missing out on the expensive delicacies that Henry would be sure to pass over?

Chooch and I pushed and shoved our way into the store past Henry, who was rapidly aging right before our eyes. He was also muttering under his breath and I’m certain it probably wasn’t an apology for farting.

The very thing I saw? My elusive MANGOSTEEN, mothafuckas.

“I AM GETTING THIS!” I declared to the entire produce section, but no one paid me any mind because I’m sure crazy white bitches up in the Asian markets are a dime a dozen.

Ignoring us doesn’t actually make us go away, though. Sorry.

You could almost hear Henry’s forehead vein strumming along as he watched me toss a bushel of mangosteen balls into the basket at $9.69 a pound.

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Unfortunately, the little market was wax jamboo-less by the time we rolled up, but I made sure to Google that shit and immediately add it to my Must Eat list.

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I’m so glad that I decided to buy one of these aroemanis mangoes even though Henry said, “IT IS JUST A MANGO.” Because it tasted much better than a regular mango! Richer, creamier, more expensive.  (And NOT Asian, I’ll have you know. The sticker says that it’s a product of Mexico, what the fuck is THAT, you produce posers!?)

Henry tried to pull the same authority with the Fire Dragon.

“THAT’S JUST A DRAGONFRUIT PUT IT BACK!” Henry yelled. But if it was “just a dragonfruit,” then why did they also have dragonfruits for sale further down!? So I made him buy a Fire Dragon, too.

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Chooch always picks out one package of cookies and then promptly makes puking sounds in the backseat of the car after tasting one.

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This is Henry’s face after the young girl wearing oversized lensless eyeglasses rang up the small pile of produce and asked him to hand over something greater than thirty US Dollars. We didn’t speak for awhile, but he seemed to be in a little bit of a better mood once he went to Jo-Ann Fabrics. (Seriously, I can verify that Henry doesn’t actually have a vagina, but I can understand why you’d wonder.)

A little later that afternoon, Henry stormed into the family room with one lone eyeball-sliver thing on a plate and spat, “HERE. YOU BETTER PRAY YOU LIKE IT BECAUSE YOU’RE EATING THE WHOLE BAG.”

It was a small piece of mangosteen and maybe it’s the lore and mystique talking here, but it was pretty fucking fantastic. It was like a mild Sweet Tart, with the texture of an eyeball, but the closer I came to the seed, the more its consistency was creamy and buttery like an angel’s nipple—just like my beloved CHERIMOYA. So if you don’t like cherimoya, go fuck yourself. I mean, then you might not like mangosteen.

But it wasn’t as good as cherimoya. That’s still top dawg.

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Thank god I bought the Fire Dragon because WOULD YOU LOOK AT THAT AMAZING FUSCHIA HUE?! I was worried that it was going to deceive me, the same way that beets fool me with their vibrant chromatics. One of these days, I’m going to eat a beet like it.

I hope.

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Henry could shove one of those into a ring and I’d say yes.

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This is what the mangosteens look like in their protective casing. I think I should probably keep a bag on hand when I’m riding the trolley. I might need to use it. And by use it I mean forcefully swing it into the balls of a would-be rapist. Those motherfuckers.

I’m eating my 4PM fruit salad right now at work and it feels so good to be back in action, like I could do ANYTHING. There are also grapes, apples and tangerines in my fruit salad, but who cares.

If it’s slow at work tonight, I’m going to check to see if there are any Fruit Clubs on Meetup.com and if so, I’m going to join and be a complete fruit snob. You know, like I am with everything else in life.

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Mar 192013
 

The last couple of apples Henry has bought have been downright horrific. I’m talking so bad that I have THROWN AWAY more than half of each 7pm work apple. They taste hard and like the ground, similar to raw potatoes. Total fucking fruit foul. WHAT IS GOING ON!?

So I asked Henry just that: “WHAT IS GOING ON?!”

“It’s not apple season,” explained Henry.

I didn’t like that answer, so when I was whining to Debbie and Barb about it at work today, I wailed, “WHAT IS GOING ON?!”

“It’s not apple season,” explained Barb.

OH OK, HENRY JR.

Later, I sidled up to Barb’s desk with my “I AM A VERY SWEET GIRL” smile on my face, while palming a Gala apple behind my back.

“Can I feel your apple?” I demanded. And of course Barb let me feel her apple, because I’m Erin Rachelle Kelly. In response to Barb’s curious expression, I said, “I just know that my apple is going to suck, and if that’s the case, then I would rather you eat it.”

“OK. So, do you want to trade apples?” Barb is so good at reading between the lines.

And that is how I turned my Gala into a Pink Lady. I don’t know yet if it sucks. If it does, I’ll be interofficing Barb some hate mail.
———————–
Speaking of apples, Henry’s mom Judy was singing the praises of grapples a few weeks ago. She told me that they are apple and grape crossbreeds and that they are REALLY JUICY. This sounded good to me, so I asked Henry why he never buys any.

“Because they’re 4 for $4!” he cried. I always forget that we are peasants living in Shantytown, wearing sardine cans as shoes, and that we cannot afford such extravagant and superfluous foodstuffs. I guess I’ll just have to make do with the vittles I scavenge while playing wildberry roulette in the forest.

Finally, Henry bought a sleeve of grapples and by George those motherfuckers are some fine ass produce. They reek of grapes but taste like really moist apples! No wonder all these other apples taste like overripe garbage.

Grapples or gtfo!!!!
———————-
Henry and I had time to kill while Chooch was at a birthday party on Sunday, so I suggested that we walk up to the local Mexican market in Brookline. I went there with Chooch in December, but that was before I cared about fruit, so we only looked at candy and rosaries.

At first, I was so excited. This place had all kinds of non-American fruit! But then I realized that it was just regular fruit with the names written in Spanish.

There were cactus petal things that Henry refused to buy, and these long ass weapons that were apparently aloe. Henry said no to those too. He did let me get these dwarf mango things, like I’m supposed to get down on my knees now or something.

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“Ow! What are these?” I asked Henry about these grapefruit-sized balls of pain.

“I don’t know,” Henry answered.

“Ow!” I yelled again.

“Yeah. Keep touching it,” he muttered.

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I made Henry buy tomatillos because I thought they were what fried green tomatoes are made from, but apparently fried green tomatoes are made from green tomatoes. But now we have a shit ton of tomatillos so Henry made salsa which is better than stupid fried green tomatoes anyway and now no one has to get hit by a train.

Henry also added some of my midget mangoes to the salsa. It was OK, but kind of tasted like a garden. I guess because that is what “fresh” is supposed to taste like.

Henry turned around after buying chorizo from the meat counter to find me standing with my arms full of scary religious candles, which is all I really wanted to go there for anyway. Truth comes out.

——————–

In other ethnic market news, Henry went to Pitaland (right next to the Mexican market; I hope they don’t decide to feud anytime soon because I walk past both of them A LOT) to get pita (surprise!) for his mom. He also came out with a bag of fresh dates. I love dates, but these dates were DESIRABLE. Super plump and soft, I couldn’t believe it.

SIDE NOTE: When Henry and I went to Coachella in 2004, visiting a date farm in Indio, CA was the highlight of the trip for me, probably because we fought so furiously—enough to make Sid and Nancy blush from their Afterworld drug den—that I literally blocked out most of that trip from my memory. But that date farm I will never forget. We watched some video about dates having sex, and they have always had a sleazy connotation for me ever since.

And we had date milk shakes.

Motherfucking milkshakes made from dates.

I would do unspeakable things to have one of those gyrating down my gullet right now.

(Apparently, it is a date garden.)

That milkshake alone makes up for the stripper shack in San Bernadino in which Henry put us up, and the 113 degree heat during the weekend-long concert in the desert, not to mention the fact that I was there with Henry.

“What are dates made out of, anyway,” I asked Henry, closing my eyes and obscenely sucking face with a fat ass date.

“Um…..dates?” Henry said, in his typical snide Professor Henry von Fuckstick tone.

I ate one of those sexual dates while I was writing this. I probably looked like a muted porno, just so you know.

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Feb 262013
 

“Everyone at work said there’s nowhere to get good fruit downtown,” I told Henry in a sneering voice.

“Everyone? Everyone who?” Henry smirked.

“The whole department*! They all said ‘tell Henry to go fuck himself!’ So go fuck yourself,” I said, patting him on the stomach.

“Do I have to prove all you fuckers wrong?” he said, beginning to get all up in arms.

“Even Barb said so, and she’s well-versed in Things That Are Downtown,” I said, but Henry had already enlisted his phone to solve the problem.

“Rosebud!” Henry shouted, the glow of his cellphone screen spotlighting his tired, yet smug, face. “It’s on the corner of [streets I don't know]!” He gloated about this for a few more seconds before mumbling, “Oh. Never mind. It’s closed.”

*(4 people.)

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Feb 252013
 

After WEEKS of being forced to eat American people fruit, we finally went fruit hunting last weekend, thank the fucking lord. Henry asked me where I wanted to go and I just looked at him like his mouth had turned into a flapping kooka.

“Um, an Asian market, idiot!” I scoffed and it’s a wonder that man never backhands me.

There we were, surrounded by the fruits of the Oriental Market, and Henry asked, “What are we getting?”

What a fucking dumbass. All of the persimmons, obviously.

I haven’t had persimmons in weeks. WEEKS. The regular grocery stores quit selling them, but I just had a feeling my stinky little Eastern markets wouldn’t let me down.

Henry wouldn’t buy all of the persimmons, just four. Fucking tightwad. I was picking through the pear selection when I noticed a box of small green balls.

Apparently, jujubes aren’t just teeth-hugging candy. I tried to unload a handful into the basket but Henry juju-blocked me.

“You better google that shit and find out what it is first,” Henry warned, not wanting a repeat of the 2004 Durian Disaster.

Google told me that jujubes are basically Chinese dates. I love dates! So we bought some. Unfortunately, I didn’t read enough to learn that when the jujubes are green, that means that they’re not ripe and will essentially mock the taste of an apple, only without any flavor at all.

They also had mangosteen, which I desperately wanted and not only just because it looks like some crazy medievel marirtal aid. However, Henry did the whole cartoon-eyes act when he saw that they were only available in mesh bags (probably also doubling as marital aids in some uncivilized country) and were $8.toomuch a POUND.

This is apparently a lot of monies for fruit so Henry quickly shooed me away from the produce aisle, which was fine, because it’s in close proximity to the fish counter resulting in a veil of rotting scales got trapped in my throat every time I opened my mouth to complain.

So then we went to dumb Whole Foods where Henry stocked up on boring, regular fruits (seriously, how many types of tangerines do yuppies & hippies really require?!), which is what I ate all week in lieu of exotic pulps.

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I’m a citrus’d out. Henry watched me eating a grapefruit the other day and was one errant eye-squirt away from enrolling me in the remedial living facility down the street.

“Who eats grapefuit like that!?” he cried, watching me stab the pink with a limp wrist and a fork.

“Someone who doesn’t have a GRAPEFRUIT SPOON!” I snapped, opening the door for another Life Lecture from Henry who tried to  tell me all I need to do is CUT IT WITH A KNIFE.

Oh OK, Henry. Remember my knife allergy?

Every time I eat a grapefruit, I wind up looking like the tail end of a citrus porno was just filmed on my face.

One time, I used one of Chooch’s coats as a bib.  And I don’t care if you tell him, because:

  • he shouldn’t have left his fucking coat on the goddamn couch
  • he’s done way worse shit to my stuff

Eating fruit is exhausting. I’m one step away from having Henry chew it for me first.

We went back to the Oriental Market on Saturday. The whole way there, I chanted, “Please can I get a mangosteen. Please can I get a mangosteen. Please can I get a mangosteen I’VE BEEN SO GOOD!” (Lies.) Totally wore Henry down and he snapped, “OK! OK. God.”

And of course they didn’t have any so I got to indulge in a Veruca Salt moment.

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They did, however, have a jackfruit! Look at the size of that motherfucker! I didn’t even bother asking Henry if we could get it. That fruit’s girth had his answer written all over it.

Meanwhile, two white vans full of Asian adolescents dressed in their most eye-blinding neon swag (lens-less neon eyeglass frames, check!) spilled into the store and began loitering in every area I needed to access, like they were waiting for an LMFAO appearance. Chooch and I took that as our queue to go sit in the car, but car key-carrying Henry and I were separated by a sea of shopping carts spilling forth with bricks of tofu and seaweed-wrapped quail eggs and not one of the carts’ pushers would respond to my sad whimpering and quiet “excuse me”s so I had to walk all the way back around the produce department just to make it to Henry, like some lame Asian market rom-com.

Mangosteenless in Pittsburgh.

You’ve Got Exotic Fruit.

I don’t really watch many rom-coms so I have no idea what I’m saying right now, except that I had this overwhelming desire to get back to Henry, like he had just come home from the SERVICE and the only thing that stood between us was a bunch of adulterating whore-bitch army wives and psychological quicksand.

I have never felt that before! Either I’m Falling in Love For Real or I just really wanted out of that market.

Meanwhile, Chooch was squinting at candy wrappers, like clearer vision was going to help him understand how durian could possibly be made into a delightful treat.

After finally escaping with my precious produce, Henry got in the car and animatedly spoke of being jostled around by Eastern  elbows and finding himself the victim of a brutal line-jumping*, which was probably more action than he experienced in the SERVICE, but Chooch and I definitely didn’t care because there were no battle wounds to show for it, plus it didn’t happen to us and we are selfish motherfuckers cut from the same cloth.

(*Some old lady sideswiped him with her cart when he was trying to move up in line, totally robbing him of his spot. Cry us a river, Henry.)

At least I have enough persimmons to get me through the week.

I guess this wasn’t as urgent as I thought.

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Jan 292013
 

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Oh, sure—this pile of fruit looks beautiful, doesn’t it? Too bad being aesthetically-pleasing to the eyeballs don’t mean SHIT if the tongue’s not getting flavor-fucked.

We have officially run out of Weird Fruit at the Appledale household. Henry went grocery-shopping over the weekend but came home with nothing that I haven’t already eaten, nothing that only grows in a riverbed of wombat dung, nothing that requires watching a YouTube video to learn how to eat it.

Just strawberries (yawn), blueberries (seriously, Henry?), pears (and not even exotic pears, but regular pears  that even orphans probably eat), apples (oh OK, 2011!), kiwis (Jesus Christ, Henry, I outgrew kiwis in the 90s), mangoes (overrated) and cherries, which I’m actually happy about because apparently when I settled for a Blue Collar Life with a man whose fruit palate is clearly as calloused as his hands, I settled for a life where a bag of fucking cherries is considered a “splurge.”

Even the blackberries Henry dumped into my fruit salad tasted like nothing more than petty Pittsburgh produce. I mean, what went through Henry’s mind when he was at the grocery store? “Oh, here are some plain oranges that plain Americans eat. I bet Erin will love that because her standards are so plain.” IS THAT WHAT YOU THOUGHT, HENRY!? Bitch, please! He might as well just go buy me fruit from Wal-Mart.

My fruit purveyor Andrea called my current fruit menu “pedestrian,” and while she was probably mocking me I don’t care because this fruit is fucking PEDESTRIAN. I will stop short of calling it jejune, because that word sounds too fancy for what this fruit really is.

Oh my god, I miss the days of lychee and longans and jackfruit! Persimmon and cherimoya! Eating that fruit made me feel important, like the guts of that cherimoya was really some kind of indulgent fruit-oyster that plain people weren’t allowed to share with me. But this everyday shit? There are elderfucks in nursing homes eating the same fruit as me right this very moment, except that theirs is suspended in green Jello and sadness.

Oh, I just can’t stand it.

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Oct 032012
 

 

“I have a present for you!” Gayle announced on Monday. I instantly perked up. “I’m not above buying your love!” she teased.

“That’s how I became friends with this one,” I said, thumbing at Barb’s desk over my shoulder. “You don’t think that came naturally, do you?”

Gayle laughed really loud.

I wasn’t joking.

But Gayle had forgotten to bring my present on Monday, and then she forgot yesterday, too! But by then, I already knew it was a chocolate-covered Granny Smith apple. If you’ve been following my apple journey over the last year, you know I’m not a big fan of green apples, but hey — it’s the thought that counts, right?

“Um, how am I going to cut it?” I asked Gayle, because this sounded like a job for my enemy, Knife.

“Oh, don’t worry—I’ll cut it for you,” Gayle said. Suddenly, this present was sounding better and better.

Today, I came to work and was met with a giant orb of chocolate on my desk, the size of one of The Situation’s testicles after a scoreless night at Karma.

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Every person who passed my desk today did a double take. Some even backtracked to inspect it closer. Amber1 stole it twice.

Finally around 6:00, I could stare at this chunk of confectionary Heaven no longer, and shuffled back to Gayle’s desk with it cradled in my palms. I batted my eyes at her, which she took as her cue to get to cuttin’.

She even cut all the seeds out for me, and made the slices into bite-sized pieces so I wouldn’t choke!

I snatched up a piece while Gayle was methodically slicing and was not prepared for the defibrillating jolt to my tongue as each taste bud blossomed in a beautiful rebirth. Suddenly, Granny Smith apples weren’t so bad.

Unfortunately, while Gayle and I were standing outside of the kitchen, one of the evil ladies from the Travel Office came slinking out of her cave and instantly sniffed out my golden apple. In an uncharacteristic fit of generosity, I offered her a slice, even though Barb is certain she’s a devil worshiper. I secretly hoped she would decline, but she TOOK ONE. 

Hopefully Heaven doesn’t drop a load of frogs on my house tonight.

I shared a slice with everyone on late shift, then took what was left back to my desk, where I sat in a very un-ladylike position, jaws engaged in some nasty Tantric chewing.

“How is it?” Chris asked, after spending all day looking at it even though he doesn’t like chocolate.

“Mmmmmmpgh,” I choked around a retainer of chewy caramel, eyes closed, slowly nodding.

“That was the best response ever,” he laughed, probably wishing he liked chocolate so he could know what God’s post-sex snack tastes like.

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Look at how thick that chocolate coating is!

“Wow, you were really hungry,” A-ron said, noting that 3/4 of the apple had been demolished when he passed by my desk on his way out.

“I didn’t eat it all myself! I shared it with everyone!” I cried in defense.

“You gonna go to Wendy’s later, too?” he teased and I just whimpered in defeat.

I feel like I must have chocolate all over my face. (And I know for certain I have some on my pants.)

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Apr 132012
 

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I feel like this is what I look like every time someone at work tries to talk to me while I’m eating my apple, which is EVERY TIME because evidently there are some people who just physically can’t speak to me unless I have a wad of apple mush lodged between my teeth and uvula. And I’m like, “Really? Because you’ve had SEVEN HOURS where there was nothing in my mouth but perhaps a jellybean and disturbing commentary fighting to break loose.”

Speaking of apples, Aaron walked past me around 6:30 yesterday and said, “There’re apples in the fridge.” I was like, “Um, OK great, but everyone knows I brought a Jonagold today.” And then I turned to my right to lovingly stroke it BUT IT WAS GONE.

I frantically pawed around my desk drawers, my purse, gave the surface of Lee’s desk a cursory glance, to no avail. Then I replayed Aaron’s announcement and it occurred to me that he said, “YOUR apple is in the fridge.” So I ran to the fridge where I found my little baby shivering on a shelf.

Aaron told me later that Chris took it as payback for the Great Orange Ball Kidnapping, but Aaron felt compelled to tell me because he is supposedly my ally but IS HE REALLY?

One time a few weeks ago, he told me I was his best friend, but then kept narrowing it down so it became “in the department” and then “in this quadrant” and then “in this quadrant but only while Barb is out on medical leave” and then “in this quadrant but only after everyone else goes home at 5:30 because you are the type of girl a person can only be secret best friends with due to all the shame.”

I’m making most of this up now. Because I am HYPER! I am HYPER because Christina is coming to visit this weekend for the first time since October 2009! I have reason to believe it will be a little less angry and tense as when we spent the afternoon together in Columbus last month trying to see if we could be in the same city without my anger dismembering her. It went OK. I think this weekend will be better, though.

UPDATE: Chris said he did NOT take my apple last night and I’m inclined to believe him.

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Apr 122012
 

Fuck. Xiu Xiu has been one of my favorite bands for the last 8 years, and still remains one of the all-time best shows I’ve ever been to, but their new album has totally taken them to a new level in my heart. Jamie’s voice is what the murmuring in my head sounds like, in case you ever wanted to know. I wish he was laying next to me, whispering Urban Dictionary entries and autopsy reports to me every night as I drift off to sleep, I fucking love him so much and maybe I have had too much coffee already today or likely am beginning to ascend the roller coaster hill to Ultra Mania, but I can’t stop laughing all guttural and sinister-like.

Also, I think this is a sign that I need to start eating apples like Jamie Stewart. He obviously wanted me to see this video so that I’ll know I’ve been doing it ALL WRONG.

I make mp3 CDs when I’m feeling this manic and have already been mapping out a springtime track list in my head. If you’d like a copy, say so! I like mailing things. (Read: I like giving things to Henry to mail.)

ETA: Here is a picture of Henry’s reaction when I made him listen to “I Luv Abortion.”

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Apr 102012
 

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Henry completely rushed me out of the house before work today and in my haste, I forgot to grab an apple. Luckily, Gayle offered to split her gigantic orange with me. I’m making Saint Rita watch me eat it.

In other “Henry Ruined My Life” news, I had a mini crisis a few minutes ago at work as I regaled to Lee my hot dog nibbling scandal from Saturday.

“If Henry really loved me, he would have stopped me,” I whined.

“Wow, I can’t believe you took it there,” Lee, who is ALWAYS on Henry’s team except for when Faygo comes up, said.

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Mar 012012
 

I. The Cutie

Henry hasn’t replenished my apple supply in TWO DAYS, so yesterday I was roaming around the department begging for apple handouts.

“No one around here has any spare apples!” I whined to Wendy, who gave me two Cuties as a consolation.

Hours after she left, I was ready for my fruit-meal, but I didn’t know how to start. I just sat there and twirled one around in my palm, looking for the zipper that the Cutie boxes show.

“How do I open this orange thing!?” I texted Wendy.

“OMG you’re a goof!” she texted back, before saying that she was going to display her Poor Henry pin for the rest of the week.

“Hmm, use a knife,” Amber, who is beginning to learn about my idiosyncracies now that I sit on her side of the office, suggested.

“Oh, I can’t use knives,” I said, putting my hands up. “I’ll just make Carey do it.”

But then Carey said her only tried and true method of peeling Cuties is to bite into them to get it started. So I just stabbed it with my fake blood-splatted scissors and went from there.

It was OK, but it was NO APPLE, I’ll tell you that much. And then I started to get angry because one of my co-workers comes from a line of apple orchard people so why isn’t he supplying the office with bushels of that shit? God, people let me down constantly.

II. The Fucking Orange Ball

Two of my co-workers, Chris and Lee, share a bromance so tight it would make even Pauly D and Vinnie blush. What they also share is an orange ball.

A fucking orange ball.

They like to play catch this fucking orange ball, which would be fine if they didn’t both sit behind me and sometimes one of them stands in front of my desk and does the little “Toss it to me!” jig, at which point the fucking orange ball is whaled above my head, tickling my follicles and threatening to hit one of my Jonny Craig pictures. I mean, my son’s pictures.

Other times, Chris announces his presence by dribbling the fucking orange ball around the department.

Apparently today, Chris left a note on Lee’s desk that said “Going to lunch. Watch Ball.”

Lee was the primary caregiver of the fucking orange ball the other day, because Chris was being punished or something. I’m not even sure, their relationship is so complex at times. That day was really bad for me, because Lee tends to be a little more aggressive and there were times my hair legitimately tousled in the wind as the ball grazed the air next to my head. And then he would threaten me with it, telling me I was lucky I had so many picture frames on my desk because he was so tempted to chuck it at the back of my head.

My first mistake was telling them how annoyed I was, how I come to work to get away from this same scenario at my house, where a five-year-old hurls plastic eyeballs against every available surface of the living room. Because of this,  I am trained to instinctively wince and duck every time I hear the dull thud of the fucking orange ball hitting the floor around me.

At one point today, I was holding a stack of papers with both hands while walking toward Chris, who just couldn’t help himself and faked me out with that fucking orange ball. I almost dropped my papers, you guys!

Here is what other people are saying about the fucking orange ball:

  • It is so out of control
  • I’m going to shove it up Chris’s ass!
  • It’s better than a blue one
  • What fucking orange ball?

Today, it came close to hitting me again, when Lee tossed it over top my desk to Chris, but it hit the ceiling and nearly ricocheted back down on top of me. Even Chris was like, “THAT WAS TOO CLOSE, LEE!” because Chris knows that if I get Marsha’d, that fucking orange ball is getting stabbed to death by my fake blood and Cutie-splattered scissors.

Natalie happened to be walking by at the height of the ball-bouncing and said the scowl on my face was priceless, even emailed me about it later when she was in her office, reliving my agony.  

“You should replace it with your other orange when Chris leaves,” Carey suggested all deviously. “And then leave a ransom note!”

“Yeah, it’s not like you’re going to peel it,” Kristen, who was here for last night’s Cutie conundrum, mocked.

This statement got me all flustered and I defensively sputtered, “Fruit is weird!”

“Pot kettle!” Kristen exclaimed, and then walked away laughing.

Touché.

(Wendy totally peeled the second Cutie for me today. It was a really big deal. People stopped to watch.)

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Feb 102012
 

Henry bought a new (to me) apple-brand home last night called Kiku.

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IT’S EXOTIC YOU GUYS. And I’ll tell you what else it is: It’s the goddamn Sumo wrestler of apples. Motherfucker was so wide, it got itself stuck a quarter of the way down in the apple corer at work. I had to seek out the nearest Man for help. That happened to be Nate, and it (probably) required him to imagine he was pushing a cranial-sized corer down onto the face of some Batman villain. (Nate likes Batman.)

(I don’t know what I’m talking about.)

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It even peeled itself on one side.

Misplaced your bowling ball? The Kiku’s your guy.

My verdict is that while it’s semi-sweet, I did not get any flashes of exotic lands while eating it. The slices were so thick that it was extremely difficult for me to maintain my delicate flower facade while trying to force my teeth all the way through. Carey came over to talk to me while my molars and jaw were exhausting themselves trying to break down the chunk of Kiku meat in my mouth and felt like a horse on display. Someone needs to teach me how to eat an apple like a lady, short of turning it into juice, and not a farmer dishing out slop.

I feel like people in other departments can hear the snap of the skin every time my teeth sink down. I am so hyper-aware of my cacophonous apple snacking.

It officially took me an hour to finish it, and the whole time I could hear Pee Wee Herman’s voice in my head chanting, “It’s like an apple that someone keeps on chewing, a-h-hand chewing, a-ha-hand chewing, a-ha-hand chewing, A-HA-HAND CHEWING.”

However, once all the work was done, the Kiku was pleasant with slightly sweet undertones and although it was on the crisper side, I would probably eat it again.

Or just use it as a gag for that bitch I’ve got stowed in the trunk.

EDIT: Henry asked me how it was and I said, “It was neither exotic nor sweet, although if I closed my mouth and breathed out through my nose, it filled my mouth with a slight undercurrent of sweetness.”

“What are you, tasting wine?” Henry scoffed.

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Jan 122012
 

I was sitting here watching “Friends” (I have a rough life) when I heard the UPS man drop a package between the front doors, at which point I then heard a tinny Spanish children’s song cue up. I thought it was the UPS man’s cell phone and started to laugh, but when I opened the door to get the package, I realized it was coming from inside the box.

Whatever it was, I loved it already.

And then, from within the box, I pulled out the most amazing APPLE DOLL.

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Jesus, I love it so much. Thank you, Andrea and Amanda! Marcy loves it too!

(Someday I’ll remember to hold my phone horizontally.)

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