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Sy Manello: Speaking Of Fruit
It would be too involved to discuss whether a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable. It would be laborious to haggle the nuts-are-fruits argument. Rather, I choose to focus on the fruit salad we make each time we try for comparisons in conversation.
The apple, ever since Eve, has been a mainstay in our language. Have you been accused when framing an argument that your comparison is unfair because you are “comparing apples to oranges”?
Perhaps you have, in bragging about a favored child, stated that the apple never falls far from the tree.
Of course, we all know that one bad or rotten apple can spoil the whole barrel. And we all are aware of the pride in claiming that something is as American as apple pie.
The banana, in addition to providing sight gags, has given us the weak or corrupt country known as a banana republic. The substitute or next-to-top ranking person is often referred to as the second banana. (That actually goes back to vaudeville days.)
If you are enjoying good fortune, you may state that life is just a bowl of cherries. This outlook may change if you purchase a car that turns out to be a lemon. In that instance, however, I do not see the application of “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”
The practiced singer or well-voiced orator may be said to be using pear-shaped tones. If you don’t like what you hear, you may consider blowing a raspberry. That leads me to believe that being a critic may be a plum job. If you are being criticized, however, you may not give a fig or you may feel that what is being said is just sour grapes.
If you know of someone who is just great — kind, thoughtful, respectful — he may be said to be a peach of a person; and his life may be just peaches and cream. How enviable.
Well, I will not leave by defending my “raisin” d’etre as a writer, but I will suggest that you cantaloupe without a girl. (Orange you glad I did not pick a worse pun?)