I constantly dream of leaving work early.
My normal work hours are 10-6:30 p.m., and just the thought of leaving work at 3 or 4 in the afternoon is a bit of a running fantasy with me.
So last week, on the day of the debate, I asked my boss if I could leave early. I wanted to go peruse around the farmer's market while it was still daylight. Heck, I wanted to get home before night time.
"Yes, you can leave," she said. "Bring me back something exotic from the farmer's market."
My eyes widened at the possibility of leaving early. The fantasy was in full swing, live and in technicolor.
I was going to leave early!
Alas... it was only a fantasy. I left at my usual time.
I did peruse the exotic fruits section at the farmer's market.
I was going to bring the boss back something exotic.
Hence... I came across a mamey.
I slowed my buggie, and looked at the strange fruit. "Mamey," I said aloud.
I immediately thought of the old black house slave maids of the confederate and dixie eras of our countries.
I'm sure it's not pronounced the same. Who knows...
I thought it'd be a fine exotic thing to bring back to the boss.
Now, I make it a point to try new vegetables and fruits on a regular basis, as that is mostly what I eat anyway. So this fruit (or vegetable, i don't know what it was), would do just fine for the boss.
I gave it to her and we discussed it. We were not pleased that the fruit is pretty much the same color as we are. The whole negative mamey context came into play.
My boss took the strange piece of fruit and walked back to her office. We continued to discuss this out in the cubicle area. My coworker Lieutenant By took it upon himself to look up the mamey on the internet. We listened quite passively as he read the characteristics of the mamey.
He said that it was a tropical fruit found in the Caribbean. He also said that the seed was poisonous and should not be eaten.
"That's not good. Gotta make sure to tell the boss that."
"Or maybe not," someone said. This was followed by much laugther.
"The seed is poisonous," Lieutenant By continued. "And if you touch the seed, your arm will fall off."
A strong chorus of wails erupted from the cubicle area. I raced to Lieutenant By's side. I looked over his shoulder to see if he was reading that right.
"I'm just playing," he said.
Thank goodness for that. I wanted to slap him out the chair for that one. He had us all O_O for a moment there.
And I imagined myself running into my boss' office, diving over her desk, and tackling her to the floor as she was just about to take a bite of the mamey.
The next day, the boss came into the cubicle area with the peeled and opened mamey splayed ever so lovingly on a paper towel.
We all stared at it. It was not the most attractive piece of fruit I'd laid my eyes upon, even though the flesh was a pretty color. And oh yes... that poisonous seed looked... rather poisonous.
I looked at my boss, who was staring down at the fruit. "Well, did you taste it?" I asked.
"No," she said, still staring down at it.
"I'll taste it," I hollered.
I grabbed a plastic knife out of the cabinet next to my desk. She held it so I could cut a piece.
I placed it in my mouth and chewed it. My face immediately scrunched up into a fist.
"Look at her face," CowgirlCre said. "Must not be good."
My boss got the notion to taste it. (Which is odd, since I was having issues with it. You'd think that she would've gotten the hint). She too had that strange look on her face... like she'd just placed something in her mouth that was not meant for eating.
I looked down at the fresh cut mamey then back at her. "Yo, I wouldn't eat that if I were you. That doesn't taste too good." I walked off.
I don't think she ate it. She went back to her office.
Maybe she just wanted to eat it in peace.
It was quite nasty. I wouldn't eat it if I was her.
Let's see... what does it taste like.
It tastes like raw pumpkin. The problem is that I don't like raw pumpkin. I don't like cooked pumpkin either. I just don't like pumpkin.
But it was more severe than that.
Imagine that you just cut open a nice pumpkin and scooped a little into a bowl for yourself.
Then you get the notion to add a little vanilla just to give it a little spark. Just a little. You figure a drop of vanilla will do.
You open the vanilla, and tip it just so, so that a drop will come out.
But oh no... you, with your clumsy self, dump the whole 12 ounce bottle of vanilla over in there. The whole bottle. You decide to just stir it all up and eat it.
That's what it taste like. Pumpkin, with this overwhelming vanilla flavor.
I will assume it wasn't ripe enough. Or too ripe. Something.
When me and my boss were standing there, I said "By did say that it tasted like pumpkin and vanilla. But dog! This is too much going on."
It mighta been alright if you took the mamey and added some sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutneg.
(I like the word "nutneg". That's how my grandfather sometimes said it. He had a strange way of pronouncing words.)
I suppose it would make a fine pie. But I would want that pie made by an expert, by someone who had been making mamey pies for 40 or 50 years.
But I will never know. At $1.99 a pound, it's too expensive for me.
I will have to stick with my beloved sweet potato. That makes for a good pie, or a good potato fry.
And I know one thing for sure:
My boss will never ask me to bring her anything exotic ever again.