Forbidden Fruit

September 04, 2008 By: erik Category: Colindres, Musings, Photos, Religion, Science 719 views

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Forbidden FruitMy lovely wife walks by this apple tree twice every day on her way to work. I’ve walked by it with her during evening walks as well. It’s frustrating because the apples are so ripe and perfect-looking, but we can’t reach them. She could get her hand through the chain link fence, but the apple could not. Personally, I have no moral qualms against taking fruit from someone else’s property as long as the owner isn’t harvesting it. Stealing prickly pears? Fine. Stealing carrots from Mr. McGregor’s garden? Not so fine.

I’m fascinated by the human psychological processes I see happening in both my wife and myself with relation to these apples. That fence makes them so much more frustratingly desirable. The Forbidden Fruit metaphor, which, in this case, isn’t all that metaphoric, perfectly describes this aspect of human psychology. And how telling is it that the metaphor for the universal object of desire is the dietary staple of all primates? I think of the telling and retelling of the Garden of Eden myth for thousands of years, every so often being slightly modified and improved until the concept of desiring the forbidden was perfectly captured. Dawkins really hit the nail on the head claiming direct parallels between gene and meme evolution. Like all revolutionary ideas, it seems so obvious now.

Forbidden Fruit

Some simple fencing was all the Garden of Eden needed.

  • So you’re saying the apple could not get its hand through the chain link fence?

    Keep trying. Just remember, though, Peter Rabbit’s father ended up in a pie.

  • I’m thinking the solution might be to use the reverse-ship-in-a-bottle technique. If we could get two hands and a knife through the fence, an apple could be cut into pieces (on the other side of the fence), and then the pieces could fit through the fence and into my salivating tool-using-primate mouth.

    But then I wouldn’t want to be made into a pie…

    Or I could just take some coins down to the corner fruterí­a.

  • aquariumdrinker

    “…but then we couldn’t get our hands and the severed fingers back through the fence…”

  • Jake

    First, how tall is the fence? If it’s not very tall you have a couple of options. At first thought, you could reach your hand through the fence, pull off the apple, and then toss it backwards to yourself over the fence. Your other option would be to quickly scale the fence, grab your prize(s), and then disappear quickly before being discovered. Don’t let a little fence stand in your way of good nutrition.

  • I considered the wrist-flick option, too, Jake. It would take some pretty good coordination to get the trajectory right. Plus, there’s barbed wire on the top of the fence.

    Surely there’s a better way to keep the doctor away that doesn’t involve using grappling hooks and ski masks.

  • KP

    Do they sell those bad-ass wire cutters in Spain? A few snips and you’re sorted. Just check for CCTV or other pesky Big Brotherings before attempting what is essentially defacing property and stealing. Perhaps not such a good idea after all.