Falling fruit, dead dogs & Mexico City

apple
A rare, intact apple from the neighbors’ tree.

THE CURSED fruit has begun its annual fruit-fall.

It started recently with the apples from the neighbors’ tree, the one that hangs over our wall. Next on the list was our pear, then the sour orange, and this morning I found the worst of all, the cursed peach.

All of that stuff has to be picked up by hand, my hands. It’s a nuisance.

I did find one apple this morning that must have just sailed over the Hacienda wall because it had not been gnawed by critters. Maybe I’ll eat it. It’s organic, of course, so I can feel smug in my battle against global warming.

Or something like that.

On a positive note, when January rolls around, that peach is gonna be history. It sits on a section of grassy yard that’s going to be turned into a beautiful patio. Gotta love concrete and stone.

Aside from that apple, all the fruit I scooped up this morning was toted down the street in a bucket and heaved into the customary ravine.

* * * *

A smelly surprise!

That’s when I encountered the surprise, not a pretty one.

I always throw my green garbage at the same spot on the ravine’s edge because it’s the most convenient place to set my feet.

There it was, just over the edge, not down in the ravine at all. A dead dog, and not just any little dead dog, not a chihuahua, not even a terrier or pit bull. It was a German shepherd. He smelled rank. Someone had tossed him there.

I’ll have to heave my green garbage farther up till he decomposes.

* * * *

Bound for the Capital City!

We’re off to Mexico City in a few days because something wonderful has happened.

We’re renting our condo there to a nephew who’s entering the prestigious Instituto Politécnico Nacional. He likely will be there at least five years.

I might be dead in five years.

Our condo is walking distance from the school, plus it’s furnished, even sports Van Gogh prints on the walls. The best part, however, is we won’t have to make periodic trips to the chaotic capital anymore, and we’ll earn a little cash.

We’ll be meeting the student and his parents there next week to hand over the keys. This makes me very happy.

 

Spring cleaning

before

THAT’S MY CHILD bride, in the old, pink, gym pants, leaning against the stone Olmec head, just so you have a sense of perspective, the size of the trash pile. It’s even bigger than it seems.

Every Springtime I have to whack the yard back and, with every passing year, that work becomes more onerous because the serious plants get bigger and bigger, and I get older. This year I did it over a period of about two months, picking away at it, depending on my morning mood.

What you’ve got in there are thick trunks of banana trees, mostly ones that birthed bunches of bananas, the lousy ones we get here on the mountaintop. And there are dead or dying limbs of the fan palm, which have mean-spirited spines. There are swords of a huge maguey, which is also a sourpuss piece of greenery that growls and bites at each opportunity.

An astute observer will note the cardboard box at the right, rear. It’s one of four, the others being just offstage. Those boxes contain paddles of nopal cactus from my towering nopal tree. Every year I cut parts in an effort to keep it growing just upward, not outward. It’s an easy 12 feet high by now, maybe more. You don’t really pal up to a nopal tree just to measure. You steer clear.

The final addition to the pile, around Wednesday or so, are cuttings from the loquat tree. If you don’t count the banana, it’s the only resident of the pile that does not stab. Its distasteful trait, however, is that it’s full of bird crap. Dunno why, but birds love to dump in the loquat tree.

By Wednesday, the deed was all done, and I walked just past the sex motel to ask Abel the deadpan neighbor if he could haul it all away. I told him he’d need to find a pickup truck, something he does not own. He said he’d come Saturday with a truck and clean it up, which he did. I have no idea where he dumps it, and I do not care. It’s all fruit of the Earth anyway.

fini

The locals have a little routine when it comes to being paid by a Gringo. When you ask them how much for whatever they’ve done, they never have a clue, leaving it up to you to decide. They do this because they know we invariably overpay.

Though I have been preaching against this overpayment for years, I often do it myself. The reason one should not do it, and that includes the scandalous overtipping in restaurants, etc., is that it solidifies the locals’ conviction that we’re all filthy rich, stupid with our money and easily duped.

But I’m a soft touch, a dummkopf.

I paid them $300 pesos, which is about $10 each. A bona fide Mexican would have paid less. The boys departed here with smiles on their faces, and I was pleased to have the pile removed for $20.