This is really a story about two accidental city slickers going apple-picking. However, the following is an actual conversation that occurred during the car ride on the way to the "farm" in the "country." Seemed to fit the theme.
A: I want a new iPhone. And an iPad. And a MacBook Pro.
B: I'm pretty sure you don't actually need any of those things.
(Lengthy, heated debate ensues.)
A: ... So that's why I'm right.
B: What about when they all become obsolete in July and you end up as nothing but another early adopter? I know that's a dirty word to your kind.
A: Whatever, I'm getting them.
Back to the original story...
It's autumn here. Chris and I were about to unpack our sweaters, make some hot chocolate, wear scarves for other than pretentious fashion reasons, and go watch a Pats or CU game (or, in his case, an unholy, detestable Broncos game). We got through the first three things OK, then remembered that football was out and that the Sox season had just started and... well, it kinda went downhill from there. Not cool with the whole opposite-seasons thing, people. I don't care how awesomely delicious it is to watch dozens of sweaty men in short-shorts chase each other around a big field in a seemingly random fashion (and believe me, Aussie Rules Football IS fun) - it simply can't compete with a New England autumn. I've got a fever, and the only cure is...
Ha, I bet you thought I was gonna say cowbell.
Since it's officially fall here, and since we were both feeling a little homesick for fall things (no small feat when all your Northern-Hemisphere friends are getting psyched for summer), I decided that what we absolutely NEEDED to do was go pick apples. At an actual orchard. They taste so much better than the store-bought kind, or even the Prahran-Market kind. Or so I tried to convince Chris. He was very skeptical. I got him to relent by promising to make him a pie. Surely there's a joke in there somewhere about how easily men are swayed by the promise of food...
We don't have a car (oh, how I miss my wonderful, shiny Jeep). So we had to rent a car to get out of the city. Then we had to go to McDonald's (a McDonald's trip is a tacitly understood prerequisite for every road trip involving Person A (referenced above)). But my McDonald's hatred is a subject for another day.
Without further ado, we drove to the orchard. We acquired some buckets. We learned the difference between Pink Lady and Granny Smith (hint: one's green). And then we skipped down the rows of stunted-looking trees, giggling like children, picking apples, taking one bite, throwing the once-bitten apple in the dirt because the first bite is always the best, then picking another apple and repeating the process over and over in a glorious orgy of wasteful consumption and nostalgic fervor and... oh, no. That was just me. Chris stood there with his bucket and looked at me like I was insane and asked, "How do I pick these things?"
Gus was a quick study.
Yep, we went to Payne's Orchard.
High on apples.
So we picked. It took a lot less time to fill up two buckets than I remembered from my sepia-tinted childhood days. We were done in no time at all, and I have to admit I was a little sad about it. To make up for it, we stopped at a strawberry farm on our way back and picked 2 kilos of those bad boys. That made me feel slightly better, since the strawberry picking took much longer than the apple picking. I felt that, combined, the two experiences created the perfect ratio of picking-time to end-result. All in all, it was just extremely satisfying. And a bit pricey (renting a car in Melbourne ain't cheap, kids!). And we made pie. Life was good, despite the conspicuous absence of Halloween and tailgate parties.
One week later, our apple harvest has dwindled to about ten percent of its former glory (Chris has developed an almost unhealthy obsession with "the green ones"). I asked Chris if he wanted to go pick some more next weekend to replenish our precious supply. I even offered to make another pie. His response: "Hell no. Those were the world's most expensive apples."
Huh. Apparently there ARE some things that men like more than food.