Fossilised brains in my fruit bowl

AT the bottom of my fruit bowl there are three small, fossilised brains.

They live there. They were there last week, last month and last year.

My wife says they are passionfruit but that’s ridiculous. She might mean that they were passionfruit. Once. Now they have about as much passion as a dog turd.

I believe they have been in my fruit bowl for a thousand years, but my wife says no, these ones have only been there since September. The way she said ‘these ones’ makes me suspect there have been others.

This surprises me because I didn’t think you had to buy them in. I thought a compulsory part of every fruit bowl purchase was three, possibly four, fossilised passionfruit, if that’s what they really are.

Why is it always passionfruit?

Why don’t bananas turn to a yellow slime under a pile of apples and oranges? Why don’t the nectarines languish until they melt noxious juices over the grapes?

Occasionally a pear might develop brown spots, and more frequently an orange will grow a coat of grey fur (always on the underneath where you can’t see it happening), but lift the top layer of fruit in any bowl anywhere in Australia, and you will reveal an assortment of wrinkly little bullets that used to be passionfruit.

I don’t understand it. I like passionfruit. I’d rather eat a passionfruit that an apple, but I never do. I let them rot at the bottom of the bowl.

Maybe it’s because you need a knife to get into them cleanly. You can rip them open, but then you have to clean the stain of your trousers. And ideally you need a spoon too. Most of the other stuff, though, you can eat with hands and teeth.

Except mangoes. You need a knife, a spoon and a swimming pool to eat a mango, but no-one ever puts mangoes in the fruit bowl so they don’t count.

And come to think of it – I don’t let passionfruit rot at the bottom of the bowl. Because you can’t!

The passionfruit is unique among fruit-bowl fruit because it won’t rot. It gradually shrinks and takes on the appearance of someone’s leftover lobotomy, but it remains, essentially, as it was. Whether it still has those tart little seeds in, I wouldn’t know. By the time they’ve gone hard you need a hammer to gain access to the damn things and I’ve never bothered.

There must be a market for dead passionfruit but I’m damned if I know what it is. I suppose you could use them for brain transplants for politicians. They look the same and they probably work better… politicians or line dancers…

What astounds me is why we buy them in the first place. I do not want to earn the wrath of the region’s passionfruit farmers, but maybe they should engage in a little judicious genetic engineering… a passion fruit crossed with a banana would make them easier to get into, and the seeds wouldn’t drip.

On the other hand you might end up with a small, wrinkled and bullet-proof fruit that resembles a dog turd in almost all the important ways but smell. And given the length of the time they hang around in my fruit bowl, possibly even that.