Article Archive

Point / Counterpoint - Apples vs Oranges

Author: Komi Sellathurai and Darryn King
Friday, 17 August 2007
By Johnny Appleseed aka Komi Sellathurai

You bounce out of Fitness First after a great workout. You reach into your bag for a delicious green apple.

One bite.

The juices explode in your mouth, metaphors of youth and vitality.

Now picture yourself bouncing out, except, you find a bench, sit yourself down and start peeling an orange…

An apple a day keeps the doctor away while an orange a day only has you counting the days. Let’s be honest, oranges are an old woman/man’s fruit. Peeling away layer after layer of leathery skin… reminiscent of foregone youth, time slowed down and life shedding away.

Besides the occasional grape fed as foreplay within the pages of the Kama Sutra, the apple is the most popular symbol of sex and temptation. Adam and Eve committed their original sin because they craved the forbidden fruit. Snow White hungered for a poisoned apple from an ugly witch. Even the most irresistible city in the world is called the Big Apple.

Ever seen the promotional video for Desperate Housewives season 2 named “Juicy”- Go check it out right now on You Tube. “Tempting, isn’t it-” While the show is rotten to the core, the advertising blitz that surrounded the show shot the five babes to superstardom. And all they had to do was wrap their collagen-filled lips around a flawless red apple. I wonder if the same would have happened if they were grating zest for an orange cake.

Here’s a lovely little story. There was once a boy who was sitting under a tree and reading a book when suddenly, something hit his head. Eureka! The theory of universal gravitation was devised. The boy was Isaac Newton and that something that inspired his imperative discovery was an apple. Those tricky little bastards seem to get around, don’t they- They tempt the first humans on earth to damnation, choke up in one of their larynx and eventuate into a fond name for a pubescent inconvenience (the Adam’s apple), and play muse to a scientist.

But these busy bad boys didn’t stop there. They have also taken the title as technological style icons in the form of the Apple Mac. Seriously, if you don’t own an iPod or MacBook or some kind of an iProduct, you are more backward than the village idiot sucking on his wrinkled orange.

A few weeks ago, the apple of my eye, my nephew uttered his first word. Appah. Centuries of educationalists, Sesame Street or - God forbid - your mother, could not have been wrong when they start nudging your vocabulary with, “A for Apple”.

So when I was tucking into my warm cinnamon-sprinkled apple crumble the other day and my nephew picked up an orange and said, “Appah”, I chuckled and didn’t correct him. Granny Smith would have been proud of the apple polisher in him.

By Agent Orange aka Darryn King

How do you like them apples- Well, I don’t. Everyone has a story about an apple. If it’s not being shot off a boy’s head with a bow and an arrow, it’s dropping onto the head of a sleeping physicist, or tempting the first man and woman away from God, or sending a fairy tale character into a deep sleep. Then there’s that Rene Magritte painting of the man in the bowler hat… with a huge Granny Smith levitating in front of his face.

Which illustrates my point nicely, actually: apples are in your face, every day. Art galleries, the Bible, Disney movies, computer stores, books of idioms… Everywhere. They’re just so run-of-the-mill. The apple mill. Yep, we’re living in the Cult of the Apple - the apple is the Paris Hilton of fruit.

If you ask me, you’re all barking up the wrong fruit tree. There’s a much finer, more exotic alternative - for the fortunate and educated few with refined tastes, and the confidence to stand out from the crowd.

Knock knock.
Who’s there-
Orange who-
Orange you gonna let me in-

Ah, yes. The orange. No, people don’t talk about having an orange a day - but that’s because having an orange is like having heaven in your mouth, not some tedious ritual to fend off doctors. In the taste stakes, the orange is a much sweeter deal. At its best in the warmest time of year and parts of the world, the orange is the fruit for a balmy afternoon with your lover, or the fruit your mother gave you when you were sick. It’s 75% Vitamin C and 100% awesome.

Go on. Indulge in an orange. You’re in for a sensory-overloading combination of delicate textures, smells and tastes… Not to mention its pleasingly aesthetic roundness (incidentally, what is that bizarre shape of the apple, anyway-).

Some people will complain about having to go to the trouble of peeling the fruit beforehand, the mess, the stickiness. To these people, I say: think of it in sexual terms. Hold the fruit in your hands, firm and ripe. Squeeze it. When you peel it - think of it as undressing it. Taste the insides, fleshy and soft. Suck it a little. Man, I’m getting so hot here. Forget the apple as a symbol of sex - the orange is sex. And, well, it’s only natural that you will end up sticky.

I’m not sorry to upset the apple cart. I’ve found my new love. She’s sweet. She’s tender. She’s orange. (That’s right, ‘orange’ is a noun and an adjective - its name describes itself. Genius.) It’s not just a fruit at all. It’s a way of life.