Fruits of Anaesthesia

Fruit and veg available for purchase in Irish supermarkets can be divided into two predominant groups:

  • The stuff that rots before you get home
  • The stuff that stays ‘fresh’ for eerily long periods.

Among the former is peaches, apples, strawberries, kiwis, plums, but also beansprouts, parsnips and lettuce (not iceberg). Among the latter are tomatoes, bananas and carrots. You can also get avocadoes that double up as a rudimentary murder weapon. I don’t know why this is, but it makes eating boring.

All these things taste like nothing. You know that quotation about what we find words for is already dead in our hearts? Something similar happens when you bite into an apple or a banana these days. You aren’t eating an apple at all, but into your memory of an apple. The tasteless round thing (or banana-shaped thing, in the case of a banana) you are incorporating is just a souvenir of the time when food tasted of something.

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2 Responses to “Fruits of Anaesthesia”


  1. 1 Seán Báite June 11, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    Er, sorry to be a bit finicky but is that word beginning with an ‘a’ and ending in ‘ia’ not supposed to be ‘amnesia’ ?
    My advice to you Mr. Green on this point :
    1/ Leave that rain-sodden, referendum-riddled wee country up there (I think you’ve already managed this bit)
    2/ get yourself some in-laws with a sizeable vegetable plot somewhere well south of the Loire
    This 2 step plan has managed to get me re-acquainted with fruit and veg with a taste…

  2. 2 Hugh Green June 11, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    Not finicky at all: amnesia would be an even more appropriate title but I had forgotten about it. I could go into an etymological explanation for why I chose anaesthesia, but it would sound terribly pretentious.

    Step 1 is a possibility in that I’ve managed before but regrettably had a relapse, and step 2 is, in fact, already accomplished. Only problem is, the plot is the subject of a generations-long ownership saga which means, he said melodramatically, that the fruit it bears presently is bitter indeed.


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