The Dubious Dozen (#11-#12: Palermo Red & Desert King)

Palermo Red fig looks like a naked eyeball. Do you enjoy eating naked eyeballs? If your answer to this question is, Yes, then you need psychiatric help or you may already be beyond the scope of professional care. Yes, with Palermo Red, that’s what you are eating. That’s what they look like. Eyeballs. Delicious! Yummy! Maroon eyeballs that bore into your mind as you devour, that stare straight into your skull as you attempt to slip them through your teeth. Palermo Red looks deep into your being and judges you accordingly as you munch on the squishy orb with each adroit pluck, chew, and swallow. For some ghoulish, macabre, Halloween-level reason, this maroon sugar fig is supposedly enjoyed by many for both its first and second crop. You may have already consumed any number of naked eyeballs, since Palermo Red goes by many names such as Malta Purple Red, Sal’s Corleone, Aldo’s fig, Brooklyn Dark, and on and on. Go ahead, eat the naked eyeballs of Palermo Red, then please seek out the help that you desperately need.

Desert King fig is a fraud. Rich, isn’t it? The King fig. On what planet? What kind of fruit variety, let alone fig, gets to be called King? Of a desert? What King lords over a desert? That’s like calling yourself King of the Tundra. King of the Barrens. King of the Moon! Better by far to be called Dessert King. But no. Desert King is not clever enough by half to have picked such a name for itself. Furthermore, if Desert King truly is King of the desert, then why does it dominate and flourish in the temperate rain forest climate of the US Pacific Northwest? Desert King is a fraud! Would-be emperor, it wears no clothes, which anyone can see by the hundreds if not thousands walking beneath bright ripe green Desert King figs growing in the big trees near the rainy Pacific coast where Desert King could not be farther removed from an empty desert and scorching hot dusty conditions. So Desert King is a total fraud, fake to its own name, however tasty of golden honey jam wrapped in a chewy green jacket. What kind of honey is produced in a desert? Scorpion juice? Snake syrup? Lizard liqueur? No one should touch any such frightening flavors no matter how tempting the fruit that exists only in the deluded wasteland of some long forgotten figster’s mind. Desert King fig is unreal! An impostor grows among us. Pluck wisely, and be safe this season, and every season. Take care to fear the figs.

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