Tuesday, February 05, 2008

For the Love of Melons

The people who write the best advertising copy are probably fetishists. From the September 1, 1928 issue of The New Yorker, here's an...oddly breathless...story about...melons...
"I WANT melon...cold melon...with some taste to it"...growled the Temperamental Musician...He has played too many concerts in one season...He hates everything from Bach to steamships...He eyes the steward balefully...He wants to complain...The melon comes...He can't....it is cool and beautiful..."Why, it's delicious...so juicy...and what a flavour"...His smile is as sweet as a Beethoven melody..."Quite, Sir," said the steward..."that is English hothouse melon...you can tell it by the bright canary colour of the outside, under a net of white...It's considered a very fine product, sir, one of the best..."
Who wrote this crazy story with its ellipses and Canadian spelling? I bet the writer has got more than a few melons stored in his fridge, and that he spends every day anticipating...the moment...when he can be alone with them.

PS: In case you're wondering, it's an advertisement for the Cunard Line, which is still operating today.


Anonymous said...


Adam Thornton said...


Kimber said...

What have you got against...ellipses?

My husband is mad about watermelons. I mean, he's practically obsessed. I have seen him polish one off on his own in about 10 minutes. As soon as they're ripe in the summer, we buy about two a week! He will not, however, touch the grocery store melons between October - May.

He's actually taken to sharing the rinds with my dog, which I'm not sure is a great idea. But it makes them both happy, so who am I to judge their melon-fetishes?

Adrian said...

This blog post reminds me of a melon-related incident in university.

Quite excited with the prospect of buying my own food at the grocery store (having recently left my parent's home), I went out for my first shopping trip of the new school year.

I got home and put a melon that I had purchased somewhere that seemed to make sense to me at the time.

Occasionally throughout the school year I would think about my melon: Where did it go? Why had I never seen it again? Boy, I wish I had a melon right now! But I had rationalized to myself that the reason I had not seen it again was because my house-mate must have eaten it. I mean, who can blame him, it was a juicy melon!

The school year ends and I start to clean out the pantry, which I never used, since I typically bought enough food to fill the cupboards, but not the pantry. There is my melon, all shrunken, mould-covered and shaped quite like a bowl.

Sadly to this day, I am reminded of this sad melon every time I consider picking one up at the grocery store.

Adam Thornton said...

Kim, I don't think this is a problem until your husband starts spending more time with melons than he does you.

Let's hope it never comes to be!

Adam Thornton said...

A tragic tale, Adrian. I guess now you know where that brief influx of fruit flies came from.

I say this because I did a similar thing a few years ago. I couldn't figure out where an incredible plague of fruit flies were coming from, and I spent days going crazier and crazier. I went so far as to pour ammonia down all the drains and to fill every crack in every wall.

Then I happened to open an out-of-the-way cupboard in the kitchen, and I found the bag of potatoes that my mother had put there several months ago. The bag had dissolved into the squirming, maggoty mush from which the tops of a few last potatoes were peeking. The shelf had been partially eaten away by it all.

Thank goodness for rubber gloves. And when I have a yen for potatoes, I go for frozen or dehydrated now.

Kimber said...

I did the same thing with a wayward banana at work. All my colleagues started complaining about the unexplained fruit-fly infestation in our cubicles, and the funny smell we couldn't trace.

I joined in the complaining...until one day, working late, I happened to nudge a cloth grocery bag that was wedged under my desk and TWO MILLION fruit flies swarmed me.

I disposed of everything quietly in my boss's garbage can, and never spoke of it to anyone.

Adam Thornton said...

There must be a support group for people whose infestation of fruit flies turn out to be their own fault.

The guy in the adjoining cubicle has been "rotting a banana" for several months. I don't know how it all started, but now the banana is a little, black, hard thing.

When I moved to the cubicle he asked me if it was okay for it to remain on top of the adjoining wall...I said no thanks.

Personally, I hate when people eat fruit at work and then just casually toss the remains into their (or even my) garbage can. Before the day is over I begin to smell the fermentation, and lord forbid the can not get emptied that night.

Adrian said...

"I disposed of everything quietly in my boss's garbage can."


Adam Thornton said...

My technique is to just not tell her about the poop under her window.