Archive for the ‘Fruit’ Category

Apples and Oranges

Here’s one thing I’ve never seen: a person in a grocery store, holding a Braeburn and a navel, one in each hand, muttering, “I can’t. I just…I just can’t. It just can’t be done.” Of course, that’s taking the idiom too literally.

I get the point, even if it also seems a little silly that this saying exists at all. If the idea is that you can’t validly assess Item A and Item B by the same criteria, you’d think the person who thought it up might choose the apple, then turn around and find a vegetable or legume or something. After all, it’s even more ridiculous to compare an apple to celery or walnuts, unless you’re making a Waldorf Salad. [/FawltyTowersnerd]

But then, it’s really pretty easy to dump on the orange, isn’t it?

You can’t simply eat an orange. Unlike pretty much every other standard fruit, you can’t just pick it up and be set. You have to peel it, which can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 10 years. You have to be able to wash your hands. And even after all that, there’s no guarantee you’ll have a tasty, juicy piece of fruit.

You’re on the go? Congrats, now you look like a jackass because you have nowhere to go with your peel shards, and everything you touch is sticky and smells like citrus.

And if you don’t feel like peeling it, you’re left with slicing it into wedges, making the purchase basically fraudulent. It’s like biting into a water balloon — splash! All over your mouth. Trying to grab a napkin before the orange juice runs from the chin all the way down to your neck is a fun race. You might as well bite into the side of a juicebox.

How about PR? What are oranges good for? Preventing scurvy? Sounds appealing! And anyway, green peppers can do the trick just as well. Oranges certainly sell, but mostly as juice, for Chinese restaurant chicken, and as wedges.  It’s a multiple-step fruit. At least bananas have the good sense to perforate their peels and make for useful practical joke props — no, this really does work, as an unfortunate soul learned walking across the dining hall floor during my freshman year in college.

How about the fact that nothing in the OED rhymes with orange? Hundreds and thousands of words…and not a goddamned one. At least purple turned into a people eater as revenge for creating a word that can’t easily fit in a couplet.

And then we’re back at the idiom — It’s like comparing apples to oranges.

It’s like comparing apples…

…of which there are eight million varieties of varying crispness, sweetness and tartness

….which you can eat whole, slice up, don’t have to peel, can turn into sauce or juice.

….which even have a patron saint, Johnny.

It’s like comparing apples, the mighty apple, to…


And who would want one of those?


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