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This post is part of my 2022 Word Project. You can read what that’s about here.

Saturday, August 5, 2023

There are, believe it or not, a few things in life that are better than buttered biscuits.

The new s’mores bomb at Cork & Cow is one of them. Watermelon is another.

There has got to be something about watermelon that will kill you, because it’s too good to be a healthy fruit. They say it’s 90% water, which I believe because eating it before bed is a huge mistake. Still, it doesn’t stop me.

I went to the farmers market today with the primary purpose of getting a watermelon. They’re in season now, and I must acquire them. Blueberries are gone. Peaches are done. Watermelons are the last bastion of summer produce and they are not to be missed.

You can’t just go to the farmers market all willy-nilly and get a watermelon on any random day. It’s a process. You have to start early and get the first watermelons of the season because you haven’t had one in nearly a year so it’s going to be good no matter what. Then you have to go every week and get another because they get sweeter and redder and better as the summer wanes, so you get an escalating amount of deliciousness over time. You really have to savor it that way.

I was going to weigh the one I got today but I was afraid I’d throw my back out trying to lug it into the bathroom. It was hard enough to get it into the refrigerator. I was pretty sure it would crack the shelf.

To alleviate that concern, I ate a quarter of it.

Now I’m pretty sure I’m going to crack the frame on my couch.

Based on the one we weighed last year, I’m guessing it’s every bit of 30 pounds.

My monstrosity from last year. They aren’t quite that big yet this year, but they will be!

Watermelon is divine. It’s like a bowl of candy that you don’t have to feel guilty for eating.

Watermelon is the last of the summer boons. After this it’s just greens and zucchini out the wazoo. But for a few weeks it’s sweet bliss.

There are two kinds of watermelons at the farmers market. The usual oval kind with the light and dark green stripes, and round, solid dark green ones. The big regular ones have the big black watermelon seeds. The little round ones are “seedless”.

Seedless with seeds, because instead of big black seeds they have about a billion tiny white ones. I never understood that.

You can eat them because they’re so tiny but that completely ruins the texture and experience.

You’re supposed to dig out the black seeds and spit them into your plate or on the grass. That’s how watermelon works.

Seedless watermelons are an abomination.

Honestly, I have no real watermelon story, I just wanted to take a minute to worship the greatness that is a farm fresh summer watermelon a day out of the field and right off the truck. It is a sacrifice I’m making for you because I had to stop eating it long enough to type this. You can’t really have it dripping up and down your elbows as you work on a laptop.

All I can tell you other than that is we sang the watermelon song as kids for no apparent reason. I was trying to remember if it was even a jumping rope song, but I don’t think so. To my knowledge there are no songs about apples or pears or zucchini. Strawberries get a nod in the strawberry shortcake song, but that’s only fair because they are almost as deliciously addictive. But nobody jumps rope to songs about kiwis or nectarines.

There is period in every kid’s life that they believe you’ll grow a watermelon in your stomach if you swallow a seed. I didn’t quite believe it, but I didn’t eat them anyway, just in case. It’s wise not to eat seeds or step on sidewalk cracks unless you really want to test the universe’s motives.

There isn’t a whole lot of interesting trivia about watermelons. They don’t show up in myths and stories like apples or pomegranates do. They were never carried around at parties like pineapples and I’ve never seen one carved into a bedpost.

You can’t turn it into a pie like you can with pretty much any other fruit, and it tastes pretty awful as a flavor in bubblegum or cocktails.

It’s just one of those things that is perfect the way it is, no alterations needed.

Like crack, if crack was healthy and tasted delicious.

Look at that beauteous thing!

As a result of my love affair with summer fruit in general, and now watermelon in particular, fruit flies have taken up permanent residence in my house. They emerge in a cloud every time I open the lid to the garbage can and are perfectly fine with being refrigerated. We’ve come to an agreement: they can live there, as long as they stay out of my mouth.

I suspect they aren’t keeping up their end of the bargain, but it’s the price you pay for watermelon.

Apparently national watermelon day was two days ago. I had no watermelon then, so it doesn’t count. But I do now and it’s been about three minutes since I’ve eaten any, so… bye now!

Photo: today’s haul.