The pumpkin is kicking the apple to the curb and I, for one, am not happy about it.
I never really used to care, but I never really took notice until this year. Has it always been like this, slowly changing? I can’t be sure. Maybe it’s because it’s also the start of another long slog of the presidential campaign season and I’m really only noticing because my radar is up about other changes in the air.
This time of year in New England always used to herald the start of apple season, a grand awakening of autumn and the signal of the changing seasons. Our collective mouths watered across the region as our thoughts turned to the delicious pies and ciders with the unmistakable aroma of apple which would soon be gracing our tables.
Now all of that has changed ever since a group of elementary school kids from Harrisville strong armed the state legislature a few years back into making the pumpkin our state fruit. The apple, once the top banana, was now pushed unfairly into the status of a second class fruit.
It’s hard to even see mention of the apple this time of year. Nowadays it’s all pumpkin beers (yuk!) pumpkin breakfast danishes, pumpkin coffees, pumpkin skin cleansing treatments, etc. Most obvious is the ubiquitous pumpkin festivals which were once a singular blip on the radar of fall but have now not only popped up everywhere but have brought with them feuds between towns on the level of the Hatfields and McCoys. Certainly not the goodtime feeling that we associate with the apple.
As the apple fades from view, let’s not forget its contributions to humankind.
We all know an apple a day keeps the doctor away and with the rising costs of healthcare nowadays, nothing could be more important.
The story of Adam and Eve and the apple was the beginning of what was to be one of the greatest books ever written (even greater than The Art Of The Deal).
Speaking of that, it’s the Adam’s apple that makes it easier for us to tell the difference between men and women.
It could be argued that if it wasn’t for apple, we might not have seen the invention of the ipad and the iphone.
Many of us will talk of comparing apples to oranges when we realize that we are losing an argument.
We all know which pie we would choose, apple or pumpkin, when it comes to dessert. (Still, many of us will go against the wishes of our own hearts when choosing so as not to upset the cultural applecart….see there’s another one and I wasn’t even looking.)
What has the pumpkin given us?
The Great Pumpkin continued to disappoint Linus year after year, sending him home distraught. (That is why I could never understand the reasoning of the kids from Harrisville.)
The movie Pumpkinhead certainly did nothing to enhance our state fruit in anyone’s eyes.
Then there is the aforementioned pumpkin beers. Nothing more needs to be said there.
In fact, there isn’t much more to say about the pumpkin, good or bad. It’s influence in history has been minimal, yet we have decided to hoist it upon or collective shoulders and snub the one fruit that has for decades helped us to absorb the inevitable change of the warm summer to the cold, snowy winter.
I will advocate for the apple, holding peaceful protests outside the too many pumpkin festivals which are about to surround us.
I will loudly ask for an apple danish while those around me queue up for the new trendier pumpkin ones.
I will eat apple pie proudly and watch as those around me struggle, with forced smiles on their faces, to finish their pumpkin pie because they need to fit in.
Of course, it will not even be a stretch at all to not order a pumpkin beer. That’s not even an option.
I know I am putting myself and my reputation at risk by denouncing the current favorite, but I am willing to take that chance.
I think this only a passing fad, a minor bump in the orchard of life. I will let the people have their fun, yet I will be vigilant in my quest to keep the apple in focus so that when the time comes that the people finally realize that the day of the pumpkin is done and they are searching for something new to fill the new void, they will embrace the apple once again as if it is something new and I will be there to help.
It is my core belief.
You can also follow Brendan’s blog at www.foolinnh.com.