“I say violence is necessary. Violence is a part of America’s culture. It is as American as cherry pie.”
-H. Rap Brown
You know those scenes in Breaking Bad where the really bad guys have the not-as-bad-guy Jesse chained up in a giant lab cooking meth 24/7?
I realize it’s dangerous to start a story by asking a question involving a show that not everyone has seen, but if there is one thing you’ll come to know about me it’s that I’m dangerous. Probably sitting somewhere between Jesse and the really-bad guys in Breaking Bad.
There. I did it again.
Are you starting to see what I’m talking about?
Good. Now that we have that out of the way, let me tell you why I asked the question in the first place.
If I had the kind of money that the really-bad guys in Breaking Bad had, I would probably do something very similar. Except it wouldn’t be Jesse I had chained up, it would be my mother. And it wouldn’t be meth she would be cranking out, it would be cherry pies.
I love her cherry pie. And the funny thing is, I’m not even a fan of your typical cherry pie. But somehow there is some magic that happens when she makes one.
I don’t hate my mother, I need to be very clear about that. I love her dearly.
But I really love her cherry pie.
Despite novelist Nick Harkaway’s observation that they, cherry pies, are ephemeral. “From the moment it emerges from the oven it begins a steep decline: from too hot to edible to cold to stale to moldy, and finally to a post-pie state where only history can tell you that it was once considered food. The pie is a parable of human life.”
Maybe that’s why I have this vision in the first place. And just maybe that’s why it involves the person who brought me into this world. Hard to say.
But either way, I see crates of cherries. Crates and crates of them. Barrels of filling and almond extract. Boxes of sugar and cornstarch stacked to the ceiling.
And my mom, shackled and lovingly loading pie after pie into the many ovens running up and down the facility. Ovens that will keep the facility warm in the winter and cause it to be oppressively hot in the summer. My mother in and out of consciousness due to the sweltering heat. It would be during one of these bouts of delirium that she’d come up with the idea of tripling the size of both the gas tank opening and the nozzle and hose so motorists need only spend a third of the time fueling their cars. A great time-saver.
“Great idea mom, but speaking of time, those pies aren’t going to make themselves.”
I’d let her do a weekly baking podcast as a kind gesture. An outlet. It would end up working out well, as the man that would hear her encoded SOS and come to her rescue could keep her company. Don’t get me wrong, I’m nowhere near a professional taxidermist, but I‘m sure I could do a bang-up job.
He would have cherry-red marbles for eyes.
I’m pretty sure she’d stick to baking tips after that.
Like I said, I love my mom’s cherry pie.
Apologies again to those of you unfamiliar with Breaking Bad.
And those who didn’t know what ephemeral meant.
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