Regarding Your Gift


Dear Matthew and Thomas,

I want to thank you for this year’s subscription to the Fruit of the Month club. Unfortunately, your mother and I are not bearing up well under the pressure of the responsibility such a gift entails. You see, I made the mistake of going to the Harry & David website. I don’t know what they do to justify such prices. I can only assume the fruit is grown on a remote tropical island, serenaded daily by choruses of castrati, watered with the tears of orphans, and hand-picked at the peak of ripeness by virgins. It appears to be the Kopi Luwak of fruit. I just hope it doesn’t pass through the bowels of a civet cat before packaging. Now that we know how much this fruit is costing you, we feel obliged not to let any of it go to waste – a task that is made very difficult depending on which fruit happens to show up each month.

This month’s fruit was the HoneyBell. On the surface, it appears to be an orange. It is not. According to the information card that came in the box, the HoneyBell is a cross between a grapefruit and a tangerine. I don’t know how they managed to get a grapefruit to mate with a tangerine, but somehow it seems an affront to both nature and God. Also enclosed in the box were instructions… instructions for fruit. I have never before received fruit which required a user’s manual. According to said instructions, this graperine is highly unstable and likely to explode at the slightest touch, killing anything within a twenty-foot radius with a deadly hail of juice and peel shrapnel. Accessing one of these citrus grenades requires the use of protective bibs (also enclosed) which I suspect must be made of a very thin Kevlar material.

As soon as I read the directions, I sent your mother out of the house for her own safety while I donned the protective Kevlar lobster bib and a pair of safety goggles from the garage. I then filled the kitchen sink with water, submerged the HoneyBell underneath it (because I had seen someone do that with a bomb once in a movie), and began to peel. Since there was no neighborhood-shattering explosion, I peeled the second HoneyBell on the counter. Nothing. It peeled just like a regular orange.

I then gave your mother the all-clear, and we sat down to enjoy this ridiculous fruit (after she put on the second protective bib, of course). I have to say, the HoneyBell was very good: quite sweet and even juicy, though we did not come out of the experience looking like we had sat in the front row of a Shamu performance as the instructions seemed to indicate we would.

Anyway, while we love and appreciate your thoughtfulness, we just can’t handle this sort of stress on a monthly basis. I can’t imagine the guilt we will both suffer when we are forced to throw away a thirty-dollar pineapple because I was unable to figure out how to cut it open – even with the instructions, safety bib, and the special Harry-&-David-monogrammed meat cleaver I’m sure will come with it. For the love of Pete, please just send us a Red Lobster gift card next year.

All our love,
Mom and Dad


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