The news has been out a couple of days about the avocados. Apparently, some of them are being recalled. In six states.
Now, if this were pumpkins, or potatoes, or onions, I wouldn’t feel so bad.
But the avocado. I mean. C’mmmmoooon.
Sure it is one of the greatest gifts of nature, and responsible for the countless bowls of Guacamole across our Mexican-immigrant-hating country.
But. Here’s the thing. The sadness. If you are an avocado, you only have a small window. Think about it. The moment an avocado is picked, the clock starts ticking.
And let’s face it. They go to the land of mush, pretty darn fast.
That is not the half of it. The history must be told.
First, there has to be an avocado tree. And after a tree is established, it takes about four years before you get any fruit. (For the record. Yes, it is a fruit, and not a vegetable. A single seeded berry. The big pit. Like an apricot, or a peach.) Anyway, it is quite a wait until the thing gives way.
Don’t even talk about growing from seed. THAT can take anywhere from 5 to 13 years before you grow tree is mature enough to set fruit. Then, the tree has to flower. A lot. But no fruit. Mostly likely for another five years or so. Regardless, it is close to two decades.
So, there you are, an avocado on the branch. FINALLY. It has taken a long dang time to get here. Like growing up, wanting to be a movie star, and you finally make it to the stage of the Junior High School Play, and you are standing there in your Little Mermaid Costume, and the curtain finally opens, and….
That is the anticipation rate for the average avocado.
But finally your day has come. The people come around in their gardening gloves, and their hats, and they pluck you from the branch. The tickity-tock starts rolling. Now you have to get to some manufacturing facility somewhere, get processed where they put a sticker on your butt, and finally hop on a truck and go to a grocer. If you get through ALL of that, imagine the joy and jubilation of the avocado — AT LAST — on grocery store shelf, with your craggy purple skin there for all to see. Barcode and all.
And then the unthinkable happens. A recall.
Some zit-faced kid in a white apron comes around with big cardboard boxes, and empties you, and all the other avocados, out of the bins, into the box, and out to the dumpster, where you rot your pit off. In states like Arizona, California, Florida, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Wisconsin. To name six.
You curse the Henry Avocado Corporation. Those Henry people, causing the bunch of us to be recalled due to potential contamination with the bacterium listeria monocytogenes. Curse you!
Even though, there have been no reported illnesses associated with the recall at this time. You sit, in the bottom of the dumpster. Your dreams shattered. Gone.
You don’t care that the people might experience symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion and loss of balance. Or that patients may experience diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms, as well as convulsions. You don’t care one bit.
All of this, you say, by the way, can be treated with antibiotics.
Yes, a sad story, for a bunch of hopeful avocados. That is the way of the world.
It is the pits.
But, at least a priest came around, gave those avocados their last rites, and blessed them.
And now, they are Holy Guacamole.
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
― Dr. Seuss
“You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.”
― Jonathan Safran Foer
“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.”
― Alexander Pope