This may come as a surprise to you: I dislike surprises.
The idea of surprise is interesting, useful, helpful – even essential – to explore. I will, cautiously and with enough advance notice, make exceptions for well-defined surprises on my birthday, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day. But actual surprises – the undomesticated variant, in their natural habitat – are not my cup of tea. I try to avoid them as much as possible.
This morning I got a surprise. I thought I was getting a melon. Due to the early hour, I confused the two.
The (apparent) melon was a beautiful specimen. Mottled green and dust-colored skin, no bruises or soft spots – so far so good. When I sliced into it I stopped to admire the sight. The melon’s insides were a rich salmon-pink-orange, flickers of yellow and deep green around the edges of the cut. The smell was delicious.
I grabbed a spoon to scoop out bite-sized chunks. The spoon bounced off the inside of the melon.
I stared. The melon stared back. I tried again; same results. The melon was as hard as an apple.
Apple-textured apples are wonderful. Apple-textured melons are a situation I am not prepared to face.
There was a bit of a skirmish. Tupperware, forks, and multiple knives were involved. Currently things have stabilized into a standoff: half the melon is sulking in the fridge, half the melon is safely in a container, and I’ve retreated to the balcony to sulk in retaliation for the melon’s sulking. I retain my position: melons should not go “crunch.”
Melons should melt, drip, overflow, and generally make as much of a sticky summertime splash zone as possible.
In this time of paper towel shortage – at least this melon won’t make a mess. There may be a silver lining after all.
What a surprise.