Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Problem with Pineapple

"Scientific name: Ananas comosus"

For the record, I am not a fan of the 'pineapple'.  

I will admit to eating other different types of 'worked on' fruits such as:  apples (applesauce), blueberries (pancakes, syrup, or pie), cherries (pie or tarts), lemons (used in cooking or in a tasty meringue pie), limes (key lime pie), or pears (Bartlett, stuck in a can, soaked in syrup, and stored for YEARS in your grocer's canned fruit aisle). 

I like my fruit 'worked on'.  I don't know why this is, but I do know that it most certainly IS the case.  Perhaps it is because each of the above fruit products have a healthy injection of sugar or high-fructose corn syrup?  Yes, I guess this could be the reason...  Or, it could be that the majority of the above make their way into PIE?  Who doesn't like pie? 

The other reason that I like them could be because these other fruits are NOT pineapples?  Yes, this could be it also.   

Getting back to my disdain for the Hawaiian-born pineapple:  I have no desire whatsoever to toss bits of these things into my open gob.  And before you go there, no, it has nothing to do with the fact that President Obama is from Hawaii (wink-wink!), it has more to do with the fruit itself - it's very genetic 'design' confounds me. 

Yes, I have several beefs when it comes to pineapples... 

Beef #1:  First, you have this hard, spiky outside which may (or may not) be ripe when you buy it.  How do you know if the thing is ripe or not?  Well, if I knew this, perhaps I wouldn't have a Beef #1 with this Hawaiian super fruit?  My wife told me once that if you pull one of the green industrial-strength leaves out of the top of one of these organic hand-grenades 'easily' that it may be ripe.  If it doesn't come out at all it's not ripe, and if it falls out too easily, it most likely has some kind of tiny mutant spider infestation living in its foliage which you don't notice until they latch onto your fingers, scurry up and burrow into your skin, lay their eggs and then the larva begin to...  Migrate inward.  

Agh, let's just say I don't like pineapples, okay?    

Beef #2:  The inside of the fruit is a happy, sunny-yellow color.  Okay, I'm good with this, but this pineapple thing has a 'steel-like core' running through the middle of it and the outside, as stated above, is covered with hard pricky-things.  So if you want to eat it, you have to cut out the core, cut off the outside, and then hope you end up eating something which is 'not core' or 'not pricky'.  

I'm pretty sure that if you accidentally swallowed the 'bad part' of the pineapple that you would either choke, or if you are lucky enough to get this 'steel-core-pricky-fruit-clot' down your gullet, you'd have to chase it down with something like 52 shots of Orange-Flavored Metamucil and six gallons of water - just to move things along. 

Unfortunately, drinking six gallons of water in an afternoon WILL kill you, but after the 48th Metamucil shooter, you'll want to be dead any way.  

Don't ask me how I know this.  

Beef #3:  Yes, now we come to the one reason that decided it all for me.  The BIG ONE that necessitated that I swear off pineapples for the rest of my life...

But first - a little back-story for you (don't worry, we're getting there): 

Five years ago my middle son asked if he could get a dog of his very own.  "But son, we already have a wonderful dog, we call her, Kelly.  Haven't you met her?  She's the large, fuzzy member of our family who barks at you when you come in from school at the end of every day."

"Yeah, I know Dad, but I want a dog of my own.  A small dog who can sit on my lap, sleep on my bed, and who I can train and take care of.  This dog will be my dog and I will do everything for him / her." he said this last statement with such earnestness I almost believed him.  Of course, having been a teenage boy once myself, I knew better.

"No.  No more dogs, we already have one, and we are a single-dog family.  It's our limit."  I said this and then I walked away - this conversation was over - Dad has spoken the final words on the matter.

Twenty minutes later, in another part of the house as Dad pays bills downstairs... 


"Yes Jon?"

"Can I have a dog of my own?" he asks.

"What kind of dog would you like?" she asks the boy with large eyes and hopeful expression...

"A rescue dog.  A dog that needs a second-chance at life.  A dog who needs a family like ours, and a boy like me to take care of him." he says this without stumbling a single time, he has rehearsed the speech in his head prior to speaking to his Mother.

"Oh, I don't know, have you asked your Father?" she says.

"He said whatever you say is fine!  He thought it would teach me responsibility!" the boy gushes / fibs.

"Well, I don't know..." 

Yes, everyone knows what happens next, Mom cracks and Dad is conned into adopting a two-year old rescue dog found wandering the streets in Ohio.  The dog is 'interesting looking' (in a Star Wars' bar-scene-kind-of-way) having a beagle face, tiger stripes of brown and black, and white socks.  Okay, the dog is cute (once you get passed the initial shock of seeing her for the first 613 times).  But between you and me, I thought she was some kind of laboratory experiment gone terribly wrong for the first couple of years she was here... 

She, Sandy Woo, grew on us and ultimately became part of the family.

Only one problem:  When a dog is starving and has nothing to eat, it will eat whatever it finds laying around.  AND when you're a stray dog, living around other stray dogs, with no major food source to speak of, you find 'things' lying around which you learn to eat.  In this case, small, elongated-roundish things, things which smell 'bad'.

Okay, we learned that our little adopted dog had a knack for 'Recycling' any of our big dog's poop which was left lying around the back yard. 

There, I said it out loud - our little rescue dog was a pooh-eater.

So I did what any responsible poop-eating dog 'Sponsor' would do, I took her to the Veterinarian's office and asked the question, "How do I get the little dog to stop eating her big sister's 'droppings'?"

"Oh, she's one of THOSE dogs, eh?  Well, you could follow Good Dog Kelly around the back yard with a shovel, or..."  the Veterinarian's voice trailed off for a moment as she steeled herself to tell me one of the great secrets of life.  "Have you tried pineapple?" she asks.

"Personally?  No, I don't like pineapple - so much so that I've thought I should write a post about it one day..." I say.

"No, not for you.  For your dogs." the Veterinarian continued.

"Sorry, I don't get it.  Should I give her one of those spiky, nasty pineapples to keep with her in the back yard to play with, or something?  Will that keeping her from eating pooh?"  I ask.

"No, you need to cut up pineapple and put it in both of their bowls when you feed them." she said.

"Can they eat pineapple?  I mean I don't WANT to eat it, and I really like my big dog quite a lot - this little one, well if she got sick my son would be bummed, but she does tend to pee in the house quite a bit and...  Oh, sorry, what good will that do?" I ask, hoping the answer will not be what I thought it would actually turn out to be. 

"When dogs eat pineapple and 'pass it' - it makes the poop taste bad." she says this with a face completely lacking any hint of expression.

"So you're telling me that pineapple makes poop taste worst than excrement NORMALLY does?" I ask, hoping to catch up on the enormity of what I'm hearing. 

"Yes, pineapple makes poop taste bad." she says, her face still devoid of the smirk I was expecting.

"You're serious?  Really?"  I continue to have a hard time grasping this concept.

"You are paying for this exam, why would I lie to you?"

"Yeah, good point." I say in response. 

Really, what more could be said?  I was paying for advice, and here it was.  Time to put the plan into action, a quick stop at the grocery store, several cans of pineapple packed in a 'light syrup' and several days into the 'experiment'...

It works. 

Beef #3 Continued:  I don't eat pineapple because, according to my dogs, it makes poop 'taste bad'. 

And if something makes dog poop taste 'bad', I pretty much want no part of it.

The rest of the story is, of course, that my boy who wanted the rescue dog of his very own is now in the US Navy, stationed in Japan.  His dog is now 'mostly' my dog.  She still follows her twelve-year old big sister around in the yard, not looking to pick up anything which hits the ground, but rather out of a comfortable partnership which one acquires after years of constant exposure. 

They are friends.  We are family.  Our floors have been 'wee' free for years, the house is alive with the sound of clicking paws (not quite as quick as they once were but still at a pretty good clip for a couple of girls both past middle-age) and we are all used to each other.  All is well with the world.   

My son put photos on FaceBook of a dog he just bought in Japan.  His dog is a Japanese breed called a Shiba Inu. 

His name is Sho.


My son tells me that while he is at work 'Sho' relieves himself out the side of his kennel onto the floor in his apartment.

Good Sho. 

Maybe I should send him a couple of cans of pineapple?

Just in case Sho gets bored...

And hungry.

Bon Appetite!

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