Current Mood: viadelarosable
Friends, romans, and assorted rubberneckers, i apologize for this final little fender bender. It appears that accidents (or at least accidental updates) do come in threes today. Never fear, the payoff will doubtless be a long stretch of, if not smooth commuting, then at least the normal garden variety traffic jams.
Now that that's out of the way... how about the real reason for this update?
You have to go a little ways back to get to the beginning. When i was younger, we used to walk all around the hills behind our house. At the top of one hill, at the edge of the powerlines, was a persimmon tree. I don't know if you've ever had a persimmon. When ripe it is a fine fruit. Somewhere between a mango and a peach, maybe, although i'm sure that's a poor way to describe it. But the point of this story is not how it tastes when it is ripe. When it is unripe, the best way to describe a persimmon is that it will turn your mouth inside out. Put a spoonful of baking soda on your tongue and you'll get an idea. But it's more foul than that. If you live near Durham, NC and want to try one out, i'll be glad to point you to a tree that's between a highway and a walking/bike path.
My father is a very gentle and kind man, but from his mother he got a little bit of a mischievous streak. One of the ways in which this manifested itself in those days was with the persimmon tree. In my memory, it seems like this happened very often, although it was probably more like 2 or 3 times. When someone new was hiking with us, he would persuade them to try out the persimmon. To demonstrate that there was no harm, he would eat one.... a ripe one. When the other person was ready to try one, he would hand them an unripe one and then either we would all laugh at the person trying to spit the foulness out of their mouth, or he would take another bite of a ripe one and say "what? what's wrong with it?" with his green eyes twinkling.
Fast forward to me and my peppers. I have these purple peppers. They are purple when a normal pepper would be green, so from purple they go to yellowish, then orangish, and finally to red. For 5 or more years now i have had these peppers. I don't eat them because they are too hot and don't have much flavor. I took one of these things in to work one time, to a guy who said he loved hot peppers. He took a bite and ran for some water, later commenting on how powerful it was. But for some reason i like to grow them, so every year i pick the red peppers, save them up and.... well and then what? That is always the question. I ground a bunch of them up in a blender with the intention of mixing the flakes in with my birdfood to keep the squirrels out of it. But i think that bag is still out there in the garage somewhere and we don't have enough squirrels at this house to really care about how much bird food they eat. The one thing i always do with the old red peppers is pull a few out in the spring, crack out the seeds, and sprout some new peppers! This year i planted some around the mailbox with the annuals that i usually put there. I think they look quite nice (the foliage is kind of purpley-green) and my daughter loves to pick the red ones. She is always bringing me one and asking me to eat it. I will usually bite off the tip and eat it and throw the rest away, then exclaim to her how good it is in a half-serious, half-pretend tone.
The other day my dad was up and we were out in the yard. I was winding up a hose reel so i didn't get to see the events unfolding and the first thing i heard was my dad choking and spluttering. My daughter was sort of looking at him concernedly as if wondering what she had done. Someone must have asked if he wanted a drink because he said "i don't think water is going to help this!" Then my wife said "you asked if they were hot and i said that they were!" I don't recall him ever liking anything more spicy that mild salsa, so i can only imagine it was the sweet face of my daughter, innocently expecting him to have a bite like i do and say how good it was, that convinced him to try the pepper. Of course my comment was "i guess that's payback for all those unripe persimmons!"