September 16, 2008

Forbidden Fruit


So many apple seeds have been planted in my front yard as of late that my husband I thought it might be a good idea to show our kids what the seeds would turn into if there weren't any squirrels in Pennsylvania. So...on Saturday, we took the kids apple picking at a nearby "Pick Your Own" orchard.

We were met at the orchard's entrance by a woman named Fran and her life partner Shirley. Both women were wearing overalls and were sitting in a storage shed with the doors removed. Before Fran would give us our buckets and plastic bags, she insisted that we review a list of rules that were printed on a white board that was leaning against Shirley's lawn chair:
1. No climbing trees.
2. Pick only from the trees with white ribbons.
3. No standing on the buckets.
4. No throwing apples.

I could almost guarantee that someone in our family would violate at least one of the rules, but I figured that it would be in our best interest to keep that information to myself.

As we headed into the orchard, I gave each of my children a plastic grocery bag and told them that they could pick 10 apples each.

"We're done!" they shouted in unison thirty seconds later.

After spending five additional minutes taking a self-guided scenic tour of the orchard, which included spectacular views of several barbed-wire fences and numerous "Keep Out!" signs, we returned to Fran and Shirley, who, in our absence, had produced a fruit scale and a small fold-out table.

Fran peered into the kids' plastic bags and smiled. My husband and I grimaced at what she pulled out of them. Apples that weren't the size of golf balls were covered with brown spots or, in the case of one specimen retrieved from Cortlen's bag, a large worm.

I was trying so hard to restrain my excitement over the realization that I was going to get to BUY three bags of rotten apples that I failed to notice that Fran and Shirley were looking at me like I was one.

"What is this?" asked Fran, holding up a greenish apple the size of a plum tomato.
I thought that it was weird that she didn't know.
"An apple," I said.
"It's a Golden Delicious," she spat.
The apple didn't look so delicious to me. It wasn't even close to being ripe.
"You are only allowed to pick Royal Gala and McIntosh apples," Fran barked. "This apple is NOT from a white ribbon tree."

I apologized profusely for our grievous error and told Fran that I had no idea where the apple came from or who had picked it.

"I'm going to have to weigh this apple separate from the rest," Fran huffed.
"Don't strain yourself," said my lovely husband under his breath.

The total charge for 29 rotten apples and 1 illegal one came to $5.75.

I fingered the 50 in my wallet, but my husband shook his head furiously, so I gave Fran a 5 dollar bill and 75 cents in pennies and nickels instead.

9 comments

Karen said...

Dear Pete, I hope you see the HI-larious-ness of this story! I am dying laughing here! Mainly because this SO would've happened to me!

exclamation point count -3

Carrie said...

Sounds like something my three kids would do! And those two ladies sound like real gems! So whatever will you do with $5.75 worth of rotten/illegal apples?!!?

Liz said...

I think you need to go back the second the baby is born.. b/c you need ONE more bag of rotten apples. Can't have the new little one feeling left out!!!

Rachel said...

Fran sounds so charming...a very family friendly establishment to be sure.

FYI-the mannequin does stay up all year...it has a Santa suit, an Easter bunny, and a 'Red Hat Lady' getup.

Emily Heizer said...

AHHH, you commented my blog! YAY! LOL

Thank you so much for the compliments! I totally wish I could photograph your family! I could totally be right up in there photographing the birth of #4, 'a la "Knocked Up" but slightly more artistic. I'll apply some texture actions, change the colors, you won't even be able to tell it's of a baby crowning.

I'm kidding, I'm kidding!

I love your blog, your writing is lovely and I check it at least daily, if not hourly, with my mouse just resting over the "refresh" button.

If ever I am on the East coast, I will most certainly notify you. I have been out there quite a bit the last couple of years, but alas, I am no a poor grad student and travel hasn't been in the cards for me.

Thanks!

Malea said...

At least Laverne, I mean Fran and Shirley refrained from any "apples not falling too far from the tree" remarks. Thanks for the stories! I only recently discovered your blog, and now I've told several members of my family the "kids are drunk" story, they all laughed their heads off.

pamajama said...

Whenever I've spoken with others about doing one of these crazy trips to the orchard, in the back of my mind I've suspected this is how it would turn out. Whenever something sounds like it would be "great for the kids" and educational I can be pretty sure I'll really hate it!

But then I love everything you write. Life sounds so much more interesting on your pages!

Jana said...

Thank you so much for your comments! Welcome new readers! I hope that you have as much fun reading my posts as I do writing them. Thanks for visiting and come back often!

Andrea said...

Sounds like you needed Glenda the Good Witch to come over and tell you to click your ruby shoes.

How could they sell those nasty things to you? So unethical. What did they think you would do with a bunch of rotten apples....hmmmm.

Make an apple pie and return it to them explaining how thankful you were they were so gracious to your family...?...:0) I guess that might be devious. I love your blog and the many laughs tonight. I'll have to frequent more often.