Thursday, March 20, 2008

What you learn from someone who consumes 9 apples in 9 minutes.

You know when you get an apple, you should "shine" it on your shirt before you eat it to get off the wax and pesticides? And you know how you could shine one on a tuxedo and barely be able to see any residue, let alone cause harm to the suit? Apple shining isn't a destructive process. Also, you know how you can see your wallet corners worn into the pocket on your favorite pair of denim jeans?

I had a chance to meet someone who, get this ... eats so many apples that: not only is one specific part of every shirt he owns worn to denim-like obviousness, they're what you call threadbare.

He tells me every few months his wife has to him seriously stop eating apples for five damned minutes to go to the store and buy a few new shirts. It's not that he's poor or he's lazy--not at all, it's just that all he really does is eat apples. Constantly, in the strictest sense. I don't think he notices the faded patches, I think he just thinks that's the way it goes.

Whatcha doin'? Eatin' apple. Whatcha doin'? Eatin' apple. You can count on it.

So you're thinking it's impossible to eat apples every waking hour, all waking hours. Right, of course. I'd agree with you. Normally. But I cannot stress how much of a science he has it down to: both from a metabolic standpoint and an art form. For example, he never drips a drop of apple juice, even on the really juicy bites. I figure you sit down to eat ten apples in a row and you'd probably figure out how to control the mess too. I could tell he joked it a million times before, "I did drip once, when I met my wife!"

And the sheer quantity of apples! Pack the car up with big bundles-worth in the morning, head to work. Chomp away at them all day. Lay out different flavors throughout the afternoon, organize them in groups, meals, desserts. If he runs out on the ride home, maybe grab 6 or 7 at the market to tide him over... and continue on in to all sorts of apple eating till bedtime, basically.

From what I gather he's also quite the apple connoisseur. Not to mention on the board of some national-agriculture-producers-type--organization--fruit-division. He orders pallets-worths of specialty, expertly cultivated apples and has them shipped in from all over the globe. Rants about great deals too. (In my time on a nine minute tour with him he had to sign for two waybills on fruity-fresh-deco stationary).

His home now has 3 additions, with vast top-calibur specialty apple storage cellars. Think, the most expensive/elaborate wine cellar you'd have if you were a world-renowned wine critic or something (not to mention gushing through bottle after bottle, that would be no good). Parts are even refrigerated and humidified in custom controlled compartments. It's all top-of-the line; he says he can stock about two shipping containers-worth at a time. "If, I'm having a party," he winked.

In the micro-tour he gave me, he was babbling constantly on with horticultural-, specie-, flavor-, nuance-jargon--all not losing a drip. Sort of this constant split-attention to you and the fruit-at-hand, and this always sucking-in when his mouth was open. He was grabbing at all manner of breeds and varieties to show me from bins and storage installations unknown.

He'd take a small bite like a trained professional taster, slow and deliberate. His teeth are bleach-white and anatomically perfect, by the way, which after thinking about it probably makes some sense. Then after the first taste bite he'd take a huge chomp, like a third of the apple plus core, and pass it on to me while describing all sorts of aromas and flavors together in rhythm between chews. He tossed me one after another, "Oh try one of these, oh you'll definitely love this...," he mentioned the name, it was aboriginal or something. Pretty soon I had an armful of foreign, colorful, some half-eaten apples. "You'll probably never see another one of those ever again," pointing at three withering in a plexi-door cold-chamber.

Then it was time to leave, having started just a moment ago. I'm positive I got the abridged version of the tour. Probably everybody leaves there with a peck or two of fruit. So I thanked him, shook his free hand, and said goodbye. But it's great because he's poured all this money and love into his apples but, his shirts are still basically all worn out.

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