Questions that only occur to curious minds during the summer:
1. If scientists ever discovered a significant use for dandelions and thistles–biofuel, maybe, or a cure for cancer–which turned them into valuable commercial crops, would they suddenly become hard to grow?
2. Why is it that, no matter when you schedule a summer trip, that week turns out to be the precise time that the tomatoes ripen?
3. Do all those other people in the produce department thumping the melons really know how to tell when a watermelon is ripe, or are they just faking it the same way you are?
4. Isn’t it useful that corn on the cob comes with those little threads of silk? It’s so convenient, while you munch your way down the rows of kernels, to be able to floss your teeth at the same time.
5. And perhaps the most troubling question: Where do fruit flies come from? You have some peaches or plums or bananas on the counter, ripening quickly in the summer heat. Then one day you walk into the kitchen and see a cloud of tiny flies, darting in erratic circles like drunken ultralight pilots, spending their brief lives buzzed on overdoses of fructose.
Obviously, the flies hatched out of eggs. But the question that’s almost as annoying as the flies is, “Where did the eggs come from?” Were they inside the window frames? Had they been hidden for months in miniscule crevices and crannies of your apparently clean counter, until they were awakened by the seductive scent of overripe fruit?
Or, even worse, did they come with the fruit? Maybe they were right there all along, on the skins of the peaches or the peels of the bananas. It’s possible that, over the years, thousands of unknowing vegetarians have been supplementing their diets with secret insect protein they never knew they were eating.
Excuse me for a minute; I need to go wash some plums and peaches. With bleach.