THE SONIC BOOMER
Just to show you how worldly I am, I encountered my first avocado yesterday. I mean, I had seen them around — piled up at the grocery store, on a neighboring diner’s plate — but I had never actually touched one.
Never needed to. Never wanted to.
And it wasn’t a healthy craving for greens or even yellows that finally drove me to cut into one, either. Someone in the household had bought some, and they were sitting there on the kitchen counter next to the doomed pumpkin. I thought, “Hey! That avocado looks even easier to carve than that pumpkin! I bet it would make a great shrunken head decoration!”
With me, it’s all about the decorations. I’m like artist Mary Engelbreit, whose husband does all the cooking. She once said, “If my family had to depend on me for food, they would starve to death in a really cute kitchen.” Same here.
So I touched the avocado. Not too scary… until I got inside. Then it was a little slimy. I don’t know if it was going bad, or if that was the avocado’s natural slime, but I immediately lost interest in it. I sliced it up (as I’d seen done) in case it was still good and someone actually wanted to eat it, but then I turned my attention to the pit.
Now here was a likely candidate for carving!
It was larger than a peach pit and had a smooth exterior. It seemed like maybe I was going to get my little “shrunken head” after all. I washed it off and set it out to dry as I ran to get my X-Acto knife out of my pencil holder.
The day I discovered X-Acto knives was a red letter day for me. Enough fooling with scissors. Even when I had a corporate job, I kept an X-Acto knife and a little hammer/screwdriver set in with my pencils. The hammer wasn’t a good one, but you could screw off its handle to reveal a screwdriver concealing ever-smaller screwdrivers inside. People used to make fun of it.
A co-worker named Jerry once came in and said, “You know what that hammer’s good for, Deb? You unscrew the bottom, wrap a dollar bill around the screwdriver, screw it back inside, throw it in the canal and whoever finds it at least has a dollar.”
Ha. Ha. Ha. A week later, he was asking to borrow it. He needed a tiny screwdriver for some project he was working on in the office and didn’t want to go back out to his truck. No. Not after you’ve insulted us.
But to continue the avocado story, I deftly carved some oversized facial features into it, then sat back to wait while the thing dried. This is how we used to do it with apples. The apples would dry, and you’d get a batch of awesome-looking shrunken heads just in time for Halloween.
No such results from the avocado, I am sorry to say. The skin of the pit peeled off in layers, and I was left with more of a mummy than anything else — and not a recognizable mummy, a dilapidated-looking orange mummy.
Now I was cranky and frustrated. So, I did what anyone would do — I took out my hammer and whacked it a few times. Ah, much better.
Just another good reason to have tools at the ready. Instant stress relief!