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Hard avocados and soft stones

Ripened on January 23, 2022.

I realized today that stones are actually soft: They just tense up when we try to touch them. This I realized without even being stoned.

I was sitting watching Perfect Strangers on my balky old-fashioned TV, bathed in X-rays, gorplions, and other exotic particles blasting out of the CRT. In the midst of this, I had that realization. Fortunately, Larry Appleton’s zany antics brought my attention back to the boob tube before my mind wandered too deep into this rocky revelation, so I didn’t hurt myself by thinking too hard. And then I got hungry. I wanted an avocado.

I had recently given up my love affair with the banana. Back in December, I had accidentally stabbed myself with a banana peel, and after an emergency room visit, stitches, and weeks of tetanus and rabies shots, I had had enough. For me, bananas had lost their bananappeal.

I stood up from my Hopeless Slack-Ass® recliner, bellowed yak-like, and mooblesauntered into my kitchen. There on my countertop should have been a large wicker bowl into which I had been placing my avocados after duly purchasing them. Continuing my moobling, I moobled right up the counter’s edge and peered down at the bowl. It was wicker, all right. But it was empty. I made that curious fish-gulping motion with my fish-like mouth. I blinked my equally fish-like eyes. Anxiety threatening to burst into abject horror rose in my belly, surrounded my heart, and tried to strangle the life out of it. I looked again. It was the same bowl indeed—no one had replaced it with a paltry counterfeit bowl—but in place of a wicker bowl full of avocados, I now had a wicker bowl completely bereft of avocados. One little ovoid PLU sticker sadly displaying its “4046” was stuck to the bottom of the bowl, its avocado having abandoned it to die alone.

The empty bowl could mean only one thing. To my horror I realized I was all out of avocados.

Off in the distance, a dog barked and a man started shrieking and babbling in panic. He ran to and fro, wildly waving his arms about his head as if trying to ward off a terrible swarm of killer bees, murder hornets, and stinger-tossing genocide wasps. He ran and ran, first in tight little circles, then strict parallelograms. His voice growing hoarse, he contemplated growing into a horse, but he was simply in too intense a state of hysteria to transform himself into anything other than a man—a horrified, manic, uncontrollably wailing and micturating man. And then his head slammed into the corner of a cabinet that he swore wasn’t there a moment before, and…

Anyroad, back to the matter at hand: My now avocado-less daily life. I appeared to be all out of avocados, and this simply would not do. After picking my skull-fractured self up off the floor, I stared sullenly into the empty, empty avocado bowl for at least 42 seconds (or minutes), but then my caprine face brightened. Always the optimist, I considered the possibility that my avocados had simply misplaced themselves elsewhere around my palatial abode. It is, after all, quite a palatial abode, and there are many places where a wandering avocado could get lost.

And so, I went searching. I looked up. I looked down. I looked in every cabinet, drawer, nook, cranny, crevice, fissure, and crater throughout my house (including the bomb crater on the fourth floor from that fart-bottling accident back in May). I studiously avoided the skeezle-wumpus–ridden cabinet in my kitchen of course, as I was particularly fond of my jugular today. I contemplating tearing off all the wainscoting—after all, if I were an avocado, inside the walls is where I would hide—but thought better of that too: After all, who wants to encourage a sudden and catastrophic gnome infestation inside their home? Best to let sleeping gnomes lie, after all.

After all was said and done, I realized I still had six floors to search, plus my neighbors’ homes. And after I counted all the times I said “after all” in the preceding paragraph, I smirked at the image of my readers slogging through it all, finally making it to this paragraph, and wondering if this most incredible and stupefying verbiage that makes up my docile & perfunctory wob blargh was about to get any worse.

Trust me, dear readers, I shan’t disappoint!

Having broken it down completely in my desperate avocado search, I went about repairing the fourth wall, then resumed my search for my wayward avocados. Floor after floor, room after room, closet after closet, hidey-hole after hidey-hole, I did search, but try as I might, I was unable to find any avocados. I found a picture of an avocado in an old magazine in my fifteenth bedroom’s eighth closet, but that hardly compared to the real thing. It was dry and papery and tasted like cardboard—a paltry substitute for a real avocado if there ever was one.

I reached my attic at last—the last, best hope for finding avocados (or any kind of fruit) anywhere in my house. Find something I did, but avocados it was not: In the middle of my attic was a massive pile of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other edibles. I hooted in surprise when I caught sight of it, but then remembered: My grandpooty had lived through the Great Depression and had gone positively crack-brained as a result; this was the cache of food he amassed throughout the following years so he would never worry about going hungry again.

Alas it had been fresh. In 1940—and maybe still in 1950 or ’60. Fresh it was no more. A mivulating mass of insects, sensing my approach, suddenly swarmed toward me from the decaying pile of erstwhile fruits, vegetables, and animal carcasses. Fruit flies, fungus gnats, vegetable hornets, and meat moths flew at me from every direction. I shrieked, panicking once again, and fled from my attic in a flivaceous fit. Fortunately, such insects are incredibly stupid and were unable to follow me down all my stairs without getting lost and discouraged. They returned to the pile of garbage in the attic without further ado.

At last I returned to my Hopeless Slack-Ass® and antiquated television, forlorn and sans avocados. I had resigned myself at last to this fact. My ass settled at last into the chair, and I picked up the dog chew-toy that served as a remote control for my TV.

Hmm, stones are soft, I remembered just then. Just like avocados when they’re ripe! I decided then and there that I would eat some stones in lieu of more avocados.

Checking out my new, home-made set of teeth in the mirror, I nodded satisfied. Two things were certain: I would not be eating any more stones anytime soon. And secondly, chiseling the enamel off of a bathroom sink is not a good way to fashion oneself a new set of teeth. (But praying to the baleful Owl Gods to drop a dead yak in your back yard, replete with a complete set of teeth, is!)

Facing starvation, or at least insanity if I attempted to survive by eating the foliage from the locoweed and crazybushes growing along the sidewalk, I resolved to take another trip to the Spend-O-Mart in search of this curiously necessary substance we call “food.” Not feeling like having my skin torn off today, I went to the nearest Spend-O-Mart rather’n the one 300 miles away.

The Spend-O-Mart’s Cheez-It shortage continued, and now… nary an avocado was to be had, too. Most of the fresh fruit had been replaced with unconvincing wax models, with a few exceptions. There were pears, but only a single pair of them. There were potatoes—in fact, a plethora of potatoes. And there were bananas—but after my brawl with that rabid banana and its rusty banana peel, I just shuddered and walked right on by those.

The monstrously large store did have one thing in wild abundance: Pepperoni. My pea-struck eyes nearly shot right out of their turrets when I bumbled into the deli aisle and glimpsed the endless heaps and mounds and piles and stacks of sticks of it. Whereas much of the Spend-O-Mart’s supply lines were still bound up in a seemingly unending bout of economic constipation, an entire convoy of pepperoni-laden container trucks had broken through, and this very morning deposited their bundles of greasy, red tubes right here at this Spend-O-Mart. Even though a bottle of milk was $88.99 and a bottle of sardines was rapidly approaching $7.17 (per sardine!), the sudden and explosive arrival of all this pepperoni had caused the price to crash precipitously. Each stick was on sale for 55½¢.

And with that, I decided to begin an entirely pepperoni-based diet for as long as the pepperoni would last.