My grandma, whose tastebuds have been napalmed from a whole life of cigarettes, told me that the peaches she’s been getting in Florida this summer have been really really amazing. I went and believed her, because I like to believe in amazing peaches, and so as soon as I landed in Florida I scurried over to the local supermarket’s produce section to see what I could see. I mean, I’m staying with my grandmother, in a place with cable TV and no internet, so I was expecting to do nothing but eat. And being a peach maven, I should damned well eat some peaches.
Well. These particular peaches did not look enticing at all. Especially after the heavenly peaches I had been gobbling from Morton’s. They were bigger than apples, and I felt them – and while the little sign said TREE RIPE, READY TO EAT they were hard I could tell they’d have about as much taste as peach-flavored water. I brought each peach up to smell them, and they smelled like nothing. But hey, they were on sale. So I bought ten.
Yesterday, two of the peaches seemed ready. But they weren’t. Because these peaches would never be ready. Saying these peaches are ready is like saying you’re ready for a colonoscopy. Sure, it might be time to eat these peaches: but it will never ever be right. The first peach was bad enough. It was mealy without being soft, and tasted almost fermented without being sweet. After I was done the taste – the gassy, sour taste of failure – just would not leave my mouth.
But nothing could prepare me for the next peach.
I felt it, and while the skin had a bit of give, I could tell that the flesh itself wasn’t yet soft. But whatever. I bit into it.
And I was mistaken, for a moment, into thinking that I had bit into a plastic peach. It had no flavor to speak of. It was like chewing plastic. It was like chewing flavorless gum.
Well, when I eat a bad peach, it does something to me, and this morning I woke up and just couldn’t bare the idea of getting out of bed, because I knew I would have to try to eat one of the next eight peaches. And they, too, would probably suck.
There is a lesson in this, that I will expound upon later: ORGANIC FOOD REALLY – for some reason – TATES A LOT BETTER THAN THE CRAP YOU GET IN MOST GROCERY STORES.
You see, I have pity for all of those overly-tanned Floridians who have never eaten a peach better than these monster peaches, who think that peaches are meant to make you want to kill yourself, who have never actually felt the joy of biting into a peach and having all the juices run down your hands an have it be so beautiful you can’t stop smiling. It’s like they haven’t really lived.