It's Friday, the day I traditionally have to play catch-up with all the work I didn't get done during the week but I get to do it while attired in casual garb - short sleeve shirts of bright solid colors with the occasional stripe, the blue cords, the comfortable but stylish brown shoes with the yellow stripe. Yes, it's Friday. This leads us to another Friday tradition, now a full week old - the Friday List, in which I fill screen space with an easy-to-write, quick-to-post list and then get back to the work for which I'm actually paid. Today's list is a Top 14, in honor of Friday the 13th and the fact that many 13th floors in large buildings are labeled 14th floors, an interesting example of wayward belief systems infiltrating the workplace.
The Top 14 Fruits
14. The Texas Grapefruit. In the dead of winter, when there's nothing else in season, a juicy red Texas will do. Sometimes it will even satisfy. A last resort fruit, like listening to Badly Drawn Boy on the car stereo because the other CDs are at home, but like BDB, it makes the list.
13. The Tangelo. The closest thing to an orange that will ever make my top fruit list.
12. The Strawberry. The U2 of fruits. Been around forever. Always gives a solid effort. Shows up every year ready to face the world. Wide-ranging commercial success. Not going anywhere soon. Puts out a good product that satisfies if not exactly inspires.
11. The Blueberry. Like Tim Finn, it works better with others than alone. Like Matt Wilson, it sometimes has to work alone because of its ego, singular vision, and odd seasonality.
10. The Kiwi. See number 8.
9. The Lime. Not really something I eat on its own. But as a squeezable garnish fruit, it's in a league of its own, like Snoop Dogg on the radio in the spring of '94.
8. The Pomegranate. If only there were a machine that makes it easier to eat.
7. The Asian Pear. An inconsistent fruit, yes. But when it's good, it's sweeter than a Joanna Newsom harp sweep.
6. The Nectarine. Its prime season only lasts a month or two. Its prime ripeness only lasts an hour or two. But it's the most cereal-friendly fruit on the list. And its smoothness is reassuring, like a Kevin Garnett turnaround jumper.
5. The Blackberry. The Ben Stiller to the raspberry's Owen Wilson. Not quite as talented, more prone to a bad batch, but a solid comedic actor of a fruit nonetheless.
4. The Peach. Its fuzziness is reassuring. Its color is pretty. The peach is solid - the Amanda Peet of edible-skin fruit.
3. The Watermelon. The perfect dessert fruit. The cafeteria in the 29-story-that's-really-only-28-because-there's-no-13th-building where I often work sells fresh cut watermelon in little plastic containers for $1.89. It's a little overpriced but there's nothing more refreshing after my long post-lunch walk uphill across the high bridges of my city.
2. The Raspberry. In an everlasting battle with the top fruit on my list. The Belle and Sebastian of fruit - tender, small but flavor-packed, life-affirming, innocent but prepared to bite back if necessary, fiber-packed, and surprisingly filling. It's also the # 1 yogurt-friendly fruit, which is like winning the Golden Globe when you really want the Oscar. But you take your victories where they come, my friend the raspberry. Maybe next year.
1. Mango. My mother says mango tastes like soap. She's wrong. Sweet, delicious, transcendent. My early memories of resting under mango trees have largely been displaced with memories of carefully square-cut mangoes in pressure-sealed Tupperware-style containers. Either way, a ripe mango is like an unforced smile - the kind of thing that makes the world spin around the sun.