Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Hooked on Avacadoes

“It’s home-made of course”, Reg said as he extracted a long, long pole, on the end of which was a neat hook, just like a boathook.

“It’s just like a boathook” he confirmed “Except it’s an avacado hook.”

He was demonstrating how to get some of the hundreds of avacadoes that hung from the top branches of a mature avacado tree. A week earlier, when no one was looking, I sent a couple of 14 year olds up into that tree, with instructions to get us a couple to sample.

10 minutes later, when I returned to see how they were going, I came upon a carpet of avacadoes.

“Too many! How are you going to get them past the estate agent to the car?” The kids looked dismayed. I told them where the guy was & instructed them to skirt around the other way, through the bushes, and to the car. Then I walked in the opposite direction to see where the guy had got to.

He was right where I sent the kids. Figuring they were resourceful, I abandoned them.

Later, we counted the 4 dozen good sized fruit they’d somehow sneaked away with. They’re ripening up nicely.

One week later, we were back, getting a salutary lesson in how to get the fruit down, without climbing the tree.

Reg took up position outside the stables, under the avacado tree.

“On the lawn Reg, on the lawn…” advised his wife. Reg paid no attention.

As Reg reached up with his pole & hook, Mrs Llew asked Mrs Reg “Do you catch them?”

Mrs Reg said “No, I usually do it from the other side on the lawn.”

The hook caught a nice plump fruit, Reg beamed and said “You just give it a sharp yank.”

The avacado came free & headed like a smart bomb for Reg’s forehead. He went down like the proverbial tonne of bricks, his glasses askew.

“Oh shit!” I said.

“Don’t bruise it!” Mrs Llew wanted to say, but managed not to. Looking at M beside us, she added “That’s your job in future.”

M dryly replied, “If you get me a crash helmet.”

Mrs Reg had the final word, “You can tell he doesn’t do this very often.”

Reg straightened his glasses, composed himself & handed the freshly picked avacado to Mrs Llew.

We giggled for ages – later that is - at the time no-one wanted to guffaw in case Reg really was hurt. He wasn’t.