FRUITS AND NUTS
But a warm brandy is medicinal after an enervating day. Especially one in which the fog rolls in early and obscures the edifying sight of Alcatraz, where people who richly deserved that fate spend the rest of their lives thinking over what they have done, the crimes that brought them to that place.
These two tourists had unwisely saved the wharf and the splendid view of our most notorious jail for last.
Wicked San Francisco weather robbed them, and it was cold!
He was a lay-preacher from Missouri. She was his mother. Together they were visiting San Francisco for the first time, to see badness up close.
Or at least that's what I got out of his grumbled responses. He was not happy to be here. So from my point of view, given his radiant disapproval of everything good and bright, his vacation was a resounding success.
I wished them both a truly splendid time in San Francisco, knowing that it would make them miserable.
Apparently, one of our many grievous mistakes is not only tolerating heterodox cuisines, but encouraging them. Civilized people might indulge in Spaghetti Bolognese on a night when the stove was out, but several of our favourites here are so exotic and inhuman as to be depraved. As examples, he mentioned Chinese food, Thai food, and Japanese. Totally inedible! He was despondent about us and our decadence.
See, strong flavours excite the passions and inflame the membranes, and make our juices thicken.
Unlike food in Missouri, I guess. Which probably leaves one cold and limp.
I took issue with his assertion that Chinese food inflamed membranes, and bought him another Brandy to co-opt him into continuing the conversation. His mother looked grim at this point, so I excited her passions with some more of the bar's fine coffee.
She remarked that she NEVER drank coffee in the evening, it kept her up.
You're in San Francisco, ma'am. Live a little.
Spices, he asserted, as well as overly rich meats, and strong seafoods, all worked on the hormones and the endocrines - too much was sure to bring illness and depravity. Especially seafood! The proof was all around us, why, San Francisco was FILLED with homosexuals and bestialists!
I will admit that I am fond of the word 'bestialist', because it sounds so close to 'pastoralist' - undoubtedly in the more hinterland portions of the country there is a close overlap - and, as do many urbanites, I fantasize about a return to gentler simpler times, when we all baled hay, ate meatloaf, and lived in Missouri.
I told him so, while helpfully pointing out that there were hardly any beasts in San Francisco, ergo precious few bestialists.
That, it turns out, is where homosexuals come in. Homosexual behaviours are a substitute for bestial practices, and he blamed it ALL on the food.
Chinese cuisine, Thai cuisine, and Japanese cuisine - all overloaded with rich seafoods. That's why San Francisco was sick, it was the Asians and their food, and you could tell it by their squinting eyes. They were just loaded with all kinds of foreign perversions, homosexuals and bestialists all!
When I pointed out that the huge number of Asian American children in the city rather indicated that non-standard sexual practices might not be as common among the fish-eaters as he thought, he muttered something about 'adoption' and life-style choices.
Things are not always what they seem.
He knew. I didn't.
For clean sober living, nothing beat fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts. All the vitamins a man needed were in those three. Beef, pork, eggs, and dairy provided necessary energy and protein.
But one shouldn't overdo it.
Seafood, especially, was an effete and dangerous source of animal fibre.
I beckoned the flamingly gay bartender over and indicated that we were dry as he said this, and without missing a beat or even noticing that he was now on his third brandy, mister Missouri continued his 'instruction'. His mother was entranced by her son's brilliant eloquence, and on her second cup of coffee - she too was unaware of the refill.
While he wasn't entirely on board with fruits and nuts, he stated that despite their excessive and concentrated taste, they packed a lot of nutrition - again he mentioned 'endocrines' - and unlike slimy suggestive fish, fruits and nuts were totally innocent.
"Fruits and nuts, innocent? I beg to differ!"
He asked why - fruits and nuts spoke of childhood joys and clean-living!
"Exactly! There is nothing so self-indulgent and sexual as a fruit!"
He blanched, and took a gulp of his brandy. What one earth was I on about, he demanded to know, surely I was barking mad?
I pointed out that fruits are intensely pleasurable, and the mouth is the most sexualized, nay, sinful of organs. Seduction and lust issue forth from the oral cavity; the mouth itself is warmly symbolic of passion and temptation.
"Just imagine moist ruby lips enfolding a fruit, savouring the juices! Firm apples, sinfully explicit - have another brandy - pears, like fresh firm...... and more coffee over here! - ripe mangoes even more so, and plumply erotic besides. Peaches! Fresh, fragrant peaches! With their downy feminine skin!"
He and his mother looked distressed. This was not how the lecture was supposed to go. Clearly, the well-practiced rhetorical routine had gone amiss.
"Guavas, frankly erotic, to be eaten and savoured! Papaya, just soft enough to remind the fertile mind of tactile things, graspy longing!"
Was there no limit to the lust I saw in fruit?
"None. All fruits are reminders of sex, they resemble reproductive organs and erogenous zones, and the essential props exaggerate it all!"
"Damask tablecloths, the veritable bedsheets of sensuous eating! Stiffly starched napkins, to wipe juices off your flushed face. Fruit knives, to open and spread the inviting flesh!
Polished table legs, curvaceous and feely. Oh hot mouth, stroke!"
And worst of all, warm golden pastries enfolding them, with creams and sauces. Imagine firm purple plums, fully ripe with taught skins, in a nest of fresh-baked warmth, the crumbs rich and buttery - your crimson lips open to receive the naughty fruit, sucking the skin off and licking its silky sweet flesh, that glistens wetly... so tempting, so tempting.....
At this point both of them hurriedly finished their drinks and got up. The conversation, they made clear, was over. Why heavens look at the time!
Thank you good bye.
I pursued them out the door, wailing about sweet gooey custard sauce erupting from my flaky fruit pocket, my warm cream for dipping strawberries, vanilla ice cream melting over my juicy poached pears - floods and waves of sweetness, melting, melting, melting....
"And you're sucking it all down on a high speed train, shooting through the wet wet night like the banana of god!"
I don't know why I said that last bit, it made absolutely NO sense.
It added energy and panic to their exit.
When the cold night air hit them, I could tell that the four stiff brandies suddenly took their full effect. He could barely walk straight.
Perhaps he shouldn't have tried running.
He might not have smacked into the brick wall.
Or the cement.
I'm sure he and his mom will remember San Francisco.
Given how much coffee the old lady drank, she's going to be up all night.
Maybe she'll finally be asleep by the time his hangover kicks in.
That will be good, won't it?
I like spreading happiness and joy, I really do.
Just think of what they can tell the folks back home about our fair city!
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