It’s the little things in life that make it sticky
Sometimes it is the little things in life that will drive you nuts.
Take apples for example. I really enjoy eating apples. My mother had a couple of apple trees in the back yard. One of the nicer times of the year was when the apples were ready to eat. The trees were Harvest apple trees. The kind that are green and perpetually sour. Great apples.
Today, I get my apples at the store. Big Red Delicious apples from Washington State. They are always wonderful and delicious so, true to their name.
The little thing that irritates me about the store apples are those little stickers they put on each apple announcing they are “Red Delicious from Washington State.” The stickers are a pain in the butt.
You have to make sure you find the sticker before you bite into the apple. You have to make sure that when you slice into the apple you don’t cut the sticker in half and end up with two stickers.
The other one appears on each and every banana. I love bananas almost as much as I love apples. I eat bananas nearly every day.
Has anyone else noticed bananas have been 69 cents a pound for the past 10 years? When I worked in Hank Lockman’s Little Store in Iowa in the early 1950s, bananas were 19 cents a pound. Hardly kept up with inflation.
Anyway, I digress. My issue with bananas is the same. Every banana has a sticker on it announcing the grower and the country of origin. Who cares? Does anyone shop considering what country his banana comes from?
It sounds like a George Carlin routine. I looked for special bananas from Colombia, but then could not keep the darn thing lit.
Then, after they announce the name of the grower and the country of origin, they have the gall to sell bananas that are greener than my lawn in spring. Where is the appeal in that? Bananas, by their basic nature, are supposed to be mushy. Who wants a banana that looks like a cucumber?
Last but not least, tomatoes. They do the same thing with tomatoes. Stickers on each one. Who cares?
I remember tomatoes fresh-picked from a backyard. They were sweet and delicious. The tomatoes today taste a lot as I would imagine Styrofoam tastes. I am not sure what that is all about. Tomatoes should be soft and succulent and make you want to eat nothing but the tomato.
I remember washing off a tomato at the water pump in the yard and eating it like an apple. It did not have a label and tasted great.
I am sure there are a couple of generations in America that have never tasted a real tomato. They have had hundreds of hamburgers and salads believing that red stuff was a tomato when, in fact, it is a terrible imposter.
Maybe that is why the growers feel compelled to put labels on our vegetables. It is because they are concerned that people might not know what they are eating.
I think we have carried this label thing too far. Entire groups of people have lived their entire lives wanting to wear fine labels. Why does our food have to have labels too?
A friend has suggested it is a way for the checkout clerks to know how much to charge for each item. Hmmmmm. If that is the case, I would refer to what the late Gilda Radner would say at the end of “Weekend Update” on the old “Saturday Night Live”: “Never mind.”
Gary Lindstrom is a Summit County commissioner and regular columnist for the Summit Daily News.
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