I was on the outs with the in-laws. Thanksgiving had added lesson number 816 to my little black book of lessons I should have been born with. You know that kind of book—we all keep one. It starts with simple stuff like “look both ways before tightrope walking,” grows into “imaginary friends cannot drive your father’s car,” and matures later with “don’t stare at cats while wearing a helmet made of tuna.” Number 816 will forever live, along with the taste of dry turkey, in the record books of my life as: “Gravy boats can’t actually float.”
So when I got the call from the office that a Big Shot from downtown was upstairs and he was adding lessons to the company black book, I knew I might have something to offer. When I got to the reception desk, Todd was wearing a headset. “Where are the heavy rotary phones?” I asked. “The new guy said that was rule number 1: headsets for everyone. Look I can move my neck now!” This guy was good.
I walked into the kitchen where the Big Shot was talking about The FruitGuys crate. Someone had stacked the satsumas in a pile and was going to throw them out. “They look like wrinkled Shar-Peis of citrus,” Susan cried. “Their skin is soft and bumpy and—it—makes me—feel—overwhelmed—” Someone handed Jack a paper bag. “He hyperventilates over tap water,” I whispered to the Big Shot.
“Guys,” the Big Shot began, “it’s easier than this.” He walked around and smiled at us. “We don’t need too many rules. Take satsumas, for example. They are wonderful mandarins that peel extremely easily—that’s why the skin is wrinkled and has an ‘airy’ feeling. It doesn’t mean they’re bad.” The Big Shot put his hand on Jack’s shoulder. “It’s going to be OK.” Jack put down the paper bag. “Good,” the Big Shot continued. “Look here, the best way to peel a satsuma is to put your thumb in the bottom, pop the skin, and peel it away from the fruit. Try it.” I sat back and watched. Satsuma peeling was rule number 345 for me. Maybe this guy wasn’t so bad after all. “Susan, why don’t you check out The FruitGuys website at www.fruitguys.com,” the Big Shot said. “It’s been recently changed. To go to the Mix Pages—click on your region to see what kind of fruit is in your mix—and where it comes from! The FruitGuys buys great stuff from local and regional growers whenever possible.”
I walked over to this Big Shot and handed him a Twin Girls Farm orange from The FruitGuys crate. He looked at the thick rulebook in my hand. “You’ve been putting down rules for a long time,” he said. “Mind if I read it?” I smirked and handed him the book. He opened it and looked up, confused. “It’s blank,” he said. “Rule number 1—always write with invisible ink,” I said.
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