It has come to the attention of The Party Pony that some of my recent posts have been a touch, shall we say, mean-spirited? Perhaps a bit dark, obsessive, and madly brooding on ways in which to drive my enemies weeping and naked into the nearest body of water? Mayhap a titch too drenched in ire and ill-humor, and lacking that G-rated buoyancy which has at times--in the quite distant past--been my trademark?
Yes, all of these accusations and more are true. The Party Pony has been in a foul humor, but how can I possibly be blamed, besieged as I am by the malignant and stoopid Proletariat of the world? How I can I be even one iota at fault when, in fact, my sunny disposition has been marred by the existence of a lumplike creature who, when apple-picking, tosses a receipt, an empty Gatorade bottle, and a woman's flip-flop 'neath the tree? You would gnash your teeth, too.
We did go apple-picking today, and it was lovely (despite the disgusting record-breaking heat). The boys couldn't reach a single apple, but they loaded up the bag like champs. We got a whole 1/2 peck of apples or something in that vicinity. I have no idea how to eat all these apples, but what I really want to discuss is the deep, inner compulsion that drives someone to litter wantonly while picking apples in a serene, pastoral setting. I try to think of the best of humanity: Yes, when they were reaching high to pluck apples, some refuse just "spilled" out of their pockets onto the ground below! Or maybe, they were picking apples on their way to the dump and, attacked by an errant bird of prey, fled in terror with their garbage cascading out across the hillside as they went! An even more remote, yet possible theory: the garbage fell out of a small Cessna passing overhead, and scattered in small, neat pockets under each apple tree.
Sadly, after several experiments and much stealthy observation, I have determined that none of these possiblities can be true. I don't care HOW unedumacated you may be, there is simply no excuse for this type of nonsense. If I catch you at it, I'm going to pull out all the stops from Level 1 of my Self-Help course in Human Loathing. You will be beaten with plastic offal, besides.
All that aside, wasn't it a fine Sunday? (Yes, little one upstairs, there is no need to weep over the fact that your sippy cup has tilted over and that the sticker you stuck on it has unstuck itself and furled up.) The sky was blue, and there was a lithe wind over the apple downs. The smell of hot, roasting turkey legs drifted up from the parking lot of Outhouse Orchards (named after its founder, Johnny M. Outhouse), and crowds of happy harvesters clambered astride pumpkins. Doughnuts dropped into burbling, hot grease. Bees swarmed over fallen, trompled apples, and children shrieked and swung their arms to ward off the insects. The cars came onward, in a steady stream of insatiable pickers and hay-riders, all grinding gravel and kicking up clouds of dust.
Don't tell anyone, but I broke the rules today and climbed an apple tree. Climbing trees is the best darned kind of fun you can have. I didn't stay up long, just enough to feel that slippery, hand-scratching, unsurefootedness and then the drop down atop a pile of ankle-turning windfall apples. Next time, I will go higher.