Just a satirical little piece I wrote about a conversation with Life.
| Life: “Have a free basketful! The trees in my yard are overfull.”
Me: “You know, some of us dislike lemons, just as a general rule.”
“But they’re free. Everybody likes free stuff!”
“Depends on the stuff. This is why we have farmer’s markets. Go sell them.”
“No, it’s much more fun to just give things away.”
“…Fine, I’ll take them. Wait here a moment.”
“What are you going to do?”
“…Give me thirty minutes and you’ll see.”
“Ooh, I love surprises!”
(Forty-Nine and a Half Minutes Later)
Me: “Here, try some of this. One generous turn deserves another.”
“Ugh! That smell is horrid! What in the world is that?”
“It’s an old family favorite. Baked lemon surprise. I made it for you since you were so kind earlier.”
“…Oh. Um, I hope this isn’t rude to ask, but what exactly is the surprise? Other than the smell...”
“Well, the lemon is pleasantly mixed with three-month old tuna, a dollop or five of durian, cherry pits I found in the neighbor’s trash can, burnt and diced asparagus, expired mayonnaise, a cup of anchovy slime, whole coffee beans, a few drops of red wine vinegar for color, and deep-fried grasshoppers for added crunch. I might have accidentally spilled some squid ink in there but I doubt you’ll notice.”
“Oh, and it has a nice crust of freshly used cat litter, gently fermented hops and twelve-year old potato skins. I drizzled the last of the lemon juice over it just before baking. And don’t worry, I made plenty for you. I’m sure you’ll love it.”
Moral of the story: When Life hands you lemons, zest and squeeze every last drop of usable moisture from those pitiful sour fruits until nothing is left but a pile of sun-colored pulp.
Then dig out that old, dreaded recipe your great-grandma gave you, the one everyone else refuses to even mention during holiday dinners. You know, the one sitting in the very bottom of the drawer, probably wedged in the back, filed under things like “ten-ton fruitcake” and “cherry parsnip salmon casserole.”
Yeah. That one.
Time to roll up those sleeves and go to work, baby. Once you’ve baked and cooked and turned all that lemon stuff into a glorious concoction which violates every olfactory sense in multiple (possibly illegal) ways, smile and serve it all up to Life on a lovely silver platter.
Oh, and don’t forget the parsley.