By Tommy Clarkson from the July 2010 Edition
This morning, sometime between my second cup of coffee and my much anticipated breakfast of a big bowl of fresh tropical fruit and Patty’s newly made granola, a time warp continuum influx seems to have taken place –right there in our very own home here in Santiago (Manzanillo), Colima, Mexico!
(Would I kid about something like this? Heavens to the proverbial Mergatroid, no!)
Now, a little later we have recovered sufficiently and I will attempt to document this . . . this . . .this, well, I guess that’s the only word to describe it – this!
The personage, from the year 2115, manifesting herself in our presence, was lean, gaunt and tall – at a good six foot six inches. She, we learned, was a senior member of a somewhat militant, feminist group called – I kid you not – “Sentients Tangentially Understanding Fruits and Flora Intergalacticly Today” (STUFFIT). It is a federally funded, program, of course.
I remember thinking that they might have spent some more time in that name choosing but then she said they were allied with the VFW. And I – as a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars – immediately almost came to attention and might even have even saluted except for a cleaver held
tightly in my right hand. But then she explained that it stood for Vegetable Friends Worldwide!
The purpose of existence of these two “stellar” (her word, not mine) organizations, we were soon to learn, was “the welfare, well being, happiness, protection, care, safety, nuturement, general comfort, home adoption and happiness of all plant life.”
Hearing this in a staccato, rapid fire diatribe, neither of us could – had we even been able to think of one – reply before she continued.
At one moment she, apparently, had been “stridently” (based on her ensuing conduct – my word, not hers) lecturing at a local College for People Betterment and Intellectual Expansion (more government funding) and the next found herself with us – more specifically, in our kitchen.
This person, Ms. Pricilla Pringlesworth, is (or should that be, will be?) the Senior Executive Managing Coordinator in Chief of STUFFIT and clearly took her tasks seriously. Now, she stood, bit two feet away from me facing Patty on the other side of the kitchen. She haughtily towered there on the other side of our chopping block from where I stood in the incongruous pose of eyes fixed on the back of her head with my sharp cleaver still frozen in mid downward strike.
Always the gracious hostess, Patty recovered first from this “flash from the future” and introduced herself. Like some old, fat statue, I remained in place, mouth open, cleaver poised in one hand, pineapple held on the chopping block with the other.
After Patty’s attempt at civilities and the briefest of re -orientations I’ve ever seen in a time/space traveler, the hard, brutal reality of our early 21st Century cannibalistic nature began to become aware to us through our “guest’s” observations.
It went something like this . . .
Gaining her bearings in mere nanoseconds, she began a perusal of her surroundings abruptly curtailed by a shriek and demand of, “Why are those poor papayas, bruised bananas and, obviously, melancholy mangos being held prisoners in the bowl? Release them immediately and give them solace in being ripped from their families,” she demanded.
I followed her gaze to our fresh fruit bowl but was speechless at this sudden explosion of outright fruit militancy outrage.
She turned and seemed to see me and the upward held cleaver for the first time. Then she saw IT. The Pineapple which I had harvested and carefully ripened from our gardens – along with the earlier mentioned “prisoners”.
Noting my cutlery accoutrements, it was obvious that I was preparing to peel, cut and slice selected members of them for our breakfast. She paled and gasped, “Fiend! Fruit disembowelment and vegetable evisceration were both prohibited by International Accord in 2102. How dare you butcher those poor things is such a heathenistic, brutish and brutal manner?”
Always the hostess, Patty had automatically poured her so fresh peach nectar thinking she might have been a bit parched form her 105 year time jump. Upon seeing it “PP” – as I fast came to think of her – lurched backward against another bowl of lychees and a coconut, muttering, disassociated words such as “Barbaric”, “animals”, “primitive” and “animals”.”
Then she saw the granola Patty had made the day before. “Oh Most Righteous Rutabaga,” she cried, “Look at those poor leathery, raison carcasses lying amid the shredded masses of oat children and spent essences of nuts. Did you learn not a whit,” (she talked funny too) “from our early brothers and sisters of PETA?” “How can you conduct yourselves in these primitive and barbaric acts?”
Patty, peach nectar pouring mid flow stood before the open refrigerator. PP peered past her and saw the pieces of succulent jackfruit and cut pieces of celery on which we had earlier filled with fresh made peanut butter for our mid morning Maj Jong game with friends.
“Oh Solicitous Soul of Sweet Potato,” she moaned, “Though I know that they have a genetic bent to become “stalkers” how dare you so maliciously maim and torture them. Can you not get in touch with the essence of the plant’s inner self and relate to its plight?”
Apparently not matured satisfactorily nor properly in “in touch” with my fruit feelings I finally terminated my pineapple top decapitation with the large cleaver which had been held over my head, mid swing, now for several minutes. The pineapple top flew off the chopping block and juicily landed on her foot. She staggered back against the buffet her hand falling squarely in the middle of a beautiful fresh garden salad of torn lettuce leaves, cucumber chunks, avocado and tomato slices, tiny scallions and small radish pieces . . . also for our game playing pals..
Her anguished shriek, I am told, was audible in Las Brisas way over on the other side of town fromwhere we live. She bolted from our kitchen, somehow scaled our twelve foot wrought iron gate and was gone. If you see her tell her I said STUFFIT and go to back to the future, I’m brutalizing oranges in the juicer to go with my late breakfast!
Tommy Clarkson is a bit of a renaissance man. He’s lived and worked in locales as disparate as the 1.2 square mile island of Kwajalein to war-torn Iraq, from aboard he and Patty’s boat berthed out of Sea Bright, NJ to Thailand, Germany, Hawaii and Viet Nam; He’s taught classes and courses on creative writing and mass communications from the elementary grades to graduate level; He’s spoken to a wide array of meetings, conferences and assemblages on topics as varied as Buddhism, strategic marketing and tropical plants; In the latter category he and Patty’s recently book, “The Civilized Jungle” – written for the lay gardener – has been heralded as “the best tropical plant book in the last ten years”; And, according to Trip Advisor, their spectacular tropical creation - Ola Brisa Gardens – is the “Number One Tour destination in Manzanillo”.
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