At my first job in Los Angeles, we had a farmer’s market truck that came once a week. It was like any L.A. food truck but also totally not, because instead of prepared food it had a sampling of whatever produce was available. One week, it had dried Blenheim apricots. Now these are the good apricots, not the sugary garbage ones you see sometimes at Trader Joe’s or those awful Turkish ones that taste like poison and are also poison. I bought a big bag of them.
The guy who drives the truck held the bag away from me before he handed it over. “Now, I have to tell you: You can’t eat all of these in one sitting.”
I looked at the brown paper lunchbag full of dried apricots, which would have been more food matter than anyone could eat in a single sitting. “Yeah, I wouldn’t do that,” I said.
“Okay, I have to tell people,” he said.
“Don’t people know that already?”
“You’d be surprised. I had one guy who came out once specifically to yell at me. Big guy. He bought a bag of dried apricots and apparently ate all of them that day, at his desk.”
“Yeah, so he was pretty mad because of what happened.”
“I mean, I guess I might be too,” I said.
“I just figured he knew,” he continued. “But people who live in cities maybe don’t know that.”
“Oh, it’s cool,” I responded. “I grew up in central California.”
And with that, he knew I was good to go, gave me a few extra dried apricots and sent me on my way.
The moral of the story is that the next time you make fun of people from rural communities for not being accustomed to your flashy, urban ways, remember that one of your kind once shat himself in his cubicle because he didn’t understand the power of apricots.