Monday, August 09, 2004

Water, Watermelon Everywhere

Don't Go Near The Watermelon, Either

I said in a recent post that I don't go near the water. I should have also said that I don't go near the watermelon. It's much the same. Everyone I know loves it to the point of ridiculousness, almost madness. This is the South, after all. On top of that, it's Southeast Texas, so near to Louisiana where they brag endlessly about the quality of their watermelons. The people around here make it sound nearly sensual when they allude to it. Most of the ones who become so rapturous about it are the same ones who would never talk aloud like that about either straightforward or kinky sex. And it gives me the creeps.

Too Much Love Talk

I have long found this misplaced talk of "loving" watermelon to be repellent. I don't want to hear large segments of otherwise respectable society rave with slobber dripping off their lips about the red ripe juicy flesh of fruit. I don't want to hear about big gooey hunks of barbeque ribs, either. Nor do I want to hear how aroused they can get about eating big hunks of chocolate—I'm partial to chocolate myself, but I don't want to walk around exulting about it! How can these otherwise repressed Southern Baptists around here gush without restraint like this, I always wonder. Can't we ever keep food separate from sex?

Hey, you, quit making those noises! And get your silly face out of that melon! What would your mother think?!


Everything about watermelon is a further complication of my life. I used to like it as much as anyone and it's not as if I can't stand it even now. I always liked to eat it when it was very cold, yet to refrigerate a big one requires every bit of spare space in the refrigerator! It takes over the house! Watermelon is the guest who comes to dinner early and leaves late. Until it's completely gone, it completely owns you.

Sloppy Mess

If I eat watermelon, it tastes all right, but I find the rewards limited because it's such a messy endeavor. And, God, those demonic seeds! It's a lot of trouble, I find, trying to wield a clever fork and eat my way around the seeds before they enter my mouth. And it's even more work if I try to do the same after the seeds are in my mouth, to separate them from the edible parts and spit them out without dribbling down my shirt front or putting out anybody's eye.

At the same time there's such a large percentage of it that you cannot eat! There's pounds of what's inedible left after you've eaten your few ounces of what's delicious! Then you have this big drippy mass of rind to get rid of while trying not to slosh it on the floor and every other horizontal surface between the dining table and the garbage can. When time comes to dispose of the garbage, one often finds that someone has continued to fill the bag with all that it'll hold, regardless that it now weighs as much as a load of bricks and the bag's on the verge of splitting and leaking a juicy slime trail all the way out of the house.

Eat That Thing And Get It Outta Here!

Some of you outdoor eaters may think that's the solution, but if you just chunk the rinds somewhere in the high weeds without taking further action, you must truly live in the open country. My back yard is a good size, but it isn't the Grand Canyon. Wherever it falls, it will draw flies, start to stink, and if you leave it long enough, will eventually uglify to the point of resembling what some bigfoot monster puked up. You may like it like that, but I don't.

The Perpetual Challenge

Watermelon is, to say the least, a perpetual tactical and strategic challenge for me. The trick, I guess, is whether you love it that much. I don't, and those who do seem entirely wacky to me. I'll take some other challenge, if you don't mind—something that's not sticky and icky and full of seeds! Something that's not heavy as a corpse and just as sweet-smelling once it's really ripe! I'm not going near the watermelon, period, and I don't care what you say!

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