Friday, September 30, 2011

Still Life with Robin: A Peach in Time

by Peggy Robin

It's the wrong season for this observation, I know; I meant to ruminate on the subject during
Prime Peach Season (PPS), but I missed the window in time.

The window in time. There you have the Peach Problem (PP) in a nutshell (okay, more like a peach pit). Here's how it goes: You go to the grocery store and see a perfectly inviting pile of peaches. Eagerly, you pick one up and pinch it. Too hard. You pinch another, and another. They're all the same. All right, you think, let them ripen at home. So you pick up a bagful and plan to be patient.

The next day, you check: Still rock-hard. Day two, check again. Not a sign of softening. You start checking back more frequently. Somehow between one of these interim checks and the final check, the flow of time has been thrown off. A little ripple has occurred that has not interrupted the normal development of anything else around you but the condition of those peaches...which are now all soft and mushy to the touch. You don't even want to taste-test them because you know they'll feel soggy and mealy at the same time.

The Perfect Peach Window (PPW) has come and gone, or more likely, it never was there at all.

This conundrum has already sent me on visits to several Peach Problem Solving Websites (PPSWs). I've read numerous ways to force peaches to ripen. I've put them in closed paper bags, put them in sunny windows, put them in open bags, with or without other peaches. I've added ripe apples to the bag. This last tip did not come with a reason, so I'm guessing it's that the ripe apples have some Extra-Fruit Perception (EFP) to sense when the peaches will be ripe. But my problem is that I'm not getting any signals from the apples, either.

No matter what I try, I'm always missing the peach's Point of Optimum Enjoyment (POE). Maybe it's not a simple Problem of Timing (POT) but a more cosmic Problem of Space-Time (POST). That is, at my particular Point in the Universe (PITU), in my kitchen in here Washington, DC, there's a peach ripeness hole in the cosmos, and so no peach will ever, in all of time, ripen to its full potential in this particular location.

I know that's not true of peaches elsewhere, because I have tasted phenomenal peaches in other parts of the country, and in other parts of the world. I've even had great peaches a few front porches away from my own house. That's a mystery that I can't come up with a way to sum up in an abbreviation, so let me just end with this STOP (for Sad Tale of Peaches).

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