Saturday, January 26, 2013

Ugli. Produce of Jamaica.

In Canada it's mid-winter. Wild berry season is faint memory. Nothing succulent will bear on bush or tree for months to come. For those of us raised on the perpetual bounty of the tropics, finding familiar fruity favorites can feel like a Survivor quest.

Just as the spice trade of yore seduced European tastes, so too does NAFTA's econo-facilitation of exotic imports, from unfrozen parts, keep mouths drooling when farms and farmers freeze up north.

Enterprising brokerage, serving Canadian multi-cult reality, augments produce shelves in supermarkets. The ubiquity of Jerk condiments simply isn't the whole food story, so I, for one, choose to head for the fruit displays. My new Bodum juicer has been working overtime since Christmas, and it's kept me in a citrus frame of mind.

I target various types of Orange, Grapefruit, Honey Tangerines, even Tangelos. This time the scavenger hunt yielded Ugli.

No surprise, this fruit is named for its appearance. The somewhat scrotal crumple of the external rind may be visually unbecoming, but it's an easy peel, and, nectar within is touted as being more sweet than tangy.

Ugli is a unique hybrid of Grapefruit, Orange and Tangerine. I'm told it's now grown Down Under, but this is another of those Jamaican originations the world has taken to, and a Jamaican company remains the primary patented producer.

Clearly I'm not one to ignore analogy. I find it difficult to resist extrapolation - beyond reproductive innuendo, into the realm of cultural association itself. As Jamaican in metaphor as it is in genesis, perhaps there is philosophy bred into this fruit.

Out Of Many, One People is Jamaica's motto, mirroring the composite chromosomal makeup of Ugli. Similarly, aspects of Jamaica's socio-schizoid geneology can give one impression while being something else entirely.

Fortunately, stripping away superficial layers ultimately reveals a thing of beauty. The smaller of my two fruit, suitably splayed to expose a suggestion of proto-labial fecundity, cried out to be instagrammed atop Uncle Rick's hand-crafted cake-stand. The larger one I juiced and guzzled, despite finding it not quite as sweet as propaganda promised.

Citrus lends itself easily to grafting, to wit, it's not unusual to pick Oranges and Lemons from the same tree. Come to think of it, this does beg comparison to certain complexities of the contemporary Jamaican zeitgeist.

The good. The bad. And ... the Ugli.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

It's Apophis. Did You Miss Me?

Ackeelover Chronicles boasts more than a passing fraternity with the mind behind the campy malevolence of the larger-than-life figurehead Apophis. Fans of Stargate SG-1 know this.

It's a-propos therefore, that this is the established bulletin-board for his intergalactic communications whenever he's in da 'hood, or just feeling the need to talk, as Gods sometimes do.

I read the news today. Oh boy. There it was in black and white. Potentially Dangerous Asteroid - Apophis Bigger Than Thought. But then, I could have told you that. Try nuh miss the memo.

Apophis writes ...

"Nok tel Tau'ri ... it's no secret, having appeared in your global press, that I'm preparing my 2036 assault on your planet. At the moment this involves careful reconnaissance consisting of a series of orbital fly-bys, starting with the one today, should you care to look. Now showing in select skies near you.

My plan is a work-in-progress. Tactics have been altered a bit, since Americans always seem to be able to figure things out. I'm aware that proximity of my orbit has set Australia ablaze yet again, a consequence of having to dodge a careening North Korean satellite. Some people shouldn't be allowed to drive.

It amuses me no end to see the enduring fascination you have with the stars. Star Wars sequels and Star Trek icons Kirk, Spock, Sulu and Uhura. Of course there's Stargate too, what with tweeting O'Neills, an undead Daniel Jackson, pin-up Samantha Carter and that Dark Knight shol'va, Teal'c.

So, prepare for some Goa'uld revenge. The right to carry semi-automatic assault rifles can't avert this strike. Apophis is not scared of Bruce Willis ... and as an unrelated sidenote, since Kanye West has implanted his symbiote in Kim Kardashian, another suitable vessel is needed for my dynasty to continue.

Kree, hol shek ... Apophis (on twitter @actualApophis)

Every effort has been made to preserve veracity in translation. No liability accepted on the part of Ackeelover Chronicles. Any resemblance to persons living or dead purely coincidental.

Don't shoot the messenger.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Year, 2013 Style.

"(If you) don't know your past, y'don't know your future, ..."

That light-but-heavy hook-line from Tomorrow People by The Melody Makers, along with New Year's Day, the soaring rock standard by U2, always feature high on my January playlist.

Time didn't stop last year. We're all still here, with apologies to Syria, Cote d'Ivoire and Sandy Hook. I'm home, with my customary Ackee and Saltfish, while America stares down a rapid-fire succession of fiscal cliffs, and Canada sees past, future and protest in Theresa Spence.

2012 turned out to be The Year of The Gangnam. A Psy tsunami soaked the planet in a smile, and Canada came good again; leave it to Bieber - and Mark Carney. It's a good thing predictions are speculative 'cos what comes next could be even sillier than my reggaefied Gangnam to di dollarstore, Party-Castanet Riddim.

Yes, I've seen the signs. An overdressed monkey roams Ikea in Toronto. Siri usurps social intercourse, and "Christianmingle" could become a recognized English verb, via tele-advertising.

Dictionary: "to Christianmingle" - the act, or sound, of religion and social-networks merging with the-urge-to-merge.

My parents met in New York at a New Year's Eve party in 1953. It could be said this represents my earliest genesis, and each year with a 3 since has proved prosperous, with Positive Vibration. Kismet. Numerology. Superstition. Obeah. Callitwhatchawill ...
Today, 2013 already has me feeling like a sweepstake-winner.