Saturday, July 08, 2006


DREAMS OF THE PLUM PAVILION

Standing on the Plum Pavilion (as I call my deck in plum season) watching my plums ripen is a lot like playing the commodities market, where you keep checking the charts, waiting maybe just another day - or two - to try and get the price at its peak before it plunges 10, 20 percent, maybe more...

Except in the case of plums up here on the mountain, though there is no margin risk, if you don't get out in time the price goes instantly to zero, the agency in this case being not a market decline but a living black hole comprising a deeply experienced and extremely well-organized monkey agency run by God. Or refined to the task by eons of evolution, whichever you prefer. In any case, I was not created, nor have I evolved, to guard plums.

I am excellent, however, at standing on the Plum Pavilion on early summer mornings drinking my tea, eyeing the still-only-yellow plums on my tree and foreseeing how delicious they will be one day soon when they ripen; maybe three or four days from now, I was thinking on Wednesday, though maybe I should take them right now and let them ripen in the kitchen so the monkeys don't get them... no, that wouldn't be nearly as good as fresh picked, the monkeys won't take them either until they're ripe enough and boy was I wrong,

I told you I hadn't evolved to guard plums, because although the monkeys knew as per their appointment books that I would be in the office on Friday while Echo was away for a few days in Nagano to visit her parents, leaving the plum tree as vulnerable as a Fort Knox made out of air, and as the Monkey Plum Committee suggested, even though the plums have not yet reached the fullness of flavor that Brady is so anticipating, Friday will be the optimal time to harvest, otherwise we'll have to do it over the weekend, when the plums will taste better but Brady will be home alone and even more plum-attentive...

So, also perhaps recalling the accuracy of my AMBMs (Anti-Monkey Ballistic Missiles) the Committee opted for the safer course, according to the clear record presently available to me. Thus it was that, while having my tea this morning I familiarly scanned the plum tree where it overgrows the Pavilion and saw at once that my plum commodities had plunged to zero. In their fruity wake was strewn a smattering of broken twigs where a horde of commodity pirates had rampaged in haste to reach the now sufficiently edible goods, leaving one prominent plum maybe to ripen for their next visit, though more likely as a metaphoric thumb to the nose; monkeys are ferally good at insults.

Think maybe I'll switch to copper futures...

7 comments:

Maya's Granny said...

When I was 10 (1952) we lived in Puerto Rico. Had a banana tree in the back yard. My dad was watching the bananas. Then, in the middle of the night, whack, the sound of the machete, and they were gone. That's ok, though, because two days later a young man came and sold them back to us. Maybe if you let the monkeys know that you'd be willing to pay for them?

Maya's Granny said...

Over breakfast this morning, I was telling my friend Christina about the monkeys taking your plums and she told us that this week a clumsy porcupine fell over her fence, flattened some flowers, and then ate almost all of her raspberries!

Robert Brady said...

It's all their banquet anyway, we just come along and insist on changing the menu a little...

Mary Lou said...

ANd have you tasted plum stiffed baked monkey?

Mary Lou said...

uh...that would be STUFFED... ;)

Robert Brady said...

That is quite pleasant to imagine, so long as it's not my plums the plum pirate is stuffed with...

Ronni Bennett said...

I'm so sorry about the loss of your plums, but I still love the monkey stories and like to imagine what fun it would be to have such exotic creatures in my yard...

Although I think a moose walking past my house, as one did a couple of weeks ago, is fairly exotic for such a place as the U.S.A.