Saturday, May 09, 2009

"Mango Grenades"





Last year, for the two or three months of its “bombing season,” our huge overhanging mango tree inconsiderately and inopportunely dropped its load of hundreds of plump juicy fruit, one at a time, on the corrugated roofing of our bedroom. The thin metal makeup of the roof would reverberate each fallen mango into a jolting explosion. The irony is that we moved back here in the first place mostly for the peace and quiet.

The best way to simulate the explosive disturbance made by the “mango-grenades” would be to squat under an overturned metal trashcan and then have an angry baseball player whack it hard as hard as he can with a big old baseball bat. “Whammm!”

Now, imagine its 2 a.m. and you’re sound asleep under that trashcan, when “Mr. Homerun” smacks that can with all his steroidal might with his major league size 35/35 Louisville slugger . Bashhhh! Because THAT is what happened to us last year, night after night, week after week, for almost three months.

A few months ago, watching daily the mangos form in their massive drooping bunches in the branches above my bedroom; I realized that this year’s fruity bombing crop would be far worse than anything earlier experienced. Compared to last season, not only was there way more fruit, they were visibly plumper and heavier looking too. The reason? Probably the new septic tank we put in last February. Obviously, the tree had found and was making good use of all that extra underground “irrigation” from my own personal sewage plant. Not only was there more water available, as far as the tree was concerned, this new source of water was “supplemented” with “extra sewery nutritiousness!”

Once again, when in a situation that takes a combination of engineer and building contractor, I went to Eddy for help. I asked him, “Can we put a net of some kind under the tree Eddy? I don’t think I can take another mango season without doing something.”

As always, it was Eddy to the rescue. He answered without pause, “Of course. No problem!”

I had envisioned some slapdash concoction of poles and nets, but slapdash is not Eddy’s style. In just under two days, he and two of his boys put up what I have come to call “the blessed mango catcher.” It’s tidy, it’s aesthetic and it works.

Thanks to Eddy’s brilliant resolution, me and the mango tree are no longer “at war;” and if it WAS a war, until Eddy's net, I lost every battle. To fight back, all I had was a few choice epithets, but I don’t think Mr. Mango Tree heard me. But these days, that's all water under the bridge, for now, as far as "man versus mango goes," we are at peace.
And there is a tasty bonus to having Eddy’s mango catcher out there snagging mangos before they can crash onto my bedroom roof—mango shakes. A bruised mango goes rotten pretty quickly and birds and bugs soon add to their almost instant inedibility, at least as far as human consumption goes. Eddy was responsible for saving countless fruit when his net safely cradled each fallen fruit for the day or two it took for one of the nephews to go up there and collect them. And I DO so LOVE ripe lusciously succulent mangos!

Ahhh, but apart from the eating (gorging?), what a truly great semi-relief is that blessed-mango-catching-net. Even as fitful as my slumber is, at least for the 90 or so days of the fruiting season, which is pretty much over now, not a single mango-grenade went off and so, thankfully, did NOT rouse me. I describe it as semi-relief as I still woke up every couple hours or so, just not due to exploding mangos. Thus, I have Eddy to thank for the sleep I got that WASN’T lost; and if you woke up every night as much as I do, you too would cherish every slumbering second you could get.

Everyone should have an Eddy in their life.

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2 Comments:

At 12:27 PM, Anonymous Kat Argonza | Tough Girl 101 said...

I miss the Filipino Mango, we can't seem to get anything even close over here. It's still my favorite fruit.

 
At 4:18 PM, Blogger Amadeo said...

Phil:

Remember the old cliché, you get mango grenades, make mango ice-cream.

 

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