Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Did you or did you not receive the figs?

I'm still pretty broken up about the Titans playoff drive finally coming to an end. However, we seem to be relating snippets from our holidays, so here you go.

I called my grandfather yesterday to thank him for the christmas gift he sent me. Not to brag, but I am well-loved by my grandfather, probably his favorite grandchild (he has many). I was prepared for a long conversation, which, in the spirit of the holidays, I was happy to do, even though I was in the middle of the 1987 "Stark Wars" arc of Iron Man and wanted to finish it to see the big moment when the silver centurion armor was put to rest. So I called and he answered and he was, how to put it, not very interested in talking to me. When I told him that I had already started reading the Cormac McCarthy novel he'd given me, he responded with "That is...that's a good thing. Yes." When I asked him if he enjoyed the fig preserves and fig cake (he likes figs) and peppermint brownies we'd sent him, he said, "Oh, of course. I...yes I did." When I said that we had not tried the fig cake ourselves and so we were worried that it might not be very good, he replied, "I'm sure...I'm sure it will be fine when I get it." "Wait, Pawpaw?" I said. "Have you not gotten the package from us yet?"

"What...yes. I mean...are you talking about the figs?"

"Yes, the figs. Did you or did you not receive the figs?"

"The figs are here and they're fine."

That cleared up, I proceeded to ask how his new year was and he said, after a long pause, "What now?" There were three possibilities for what was occurring.

1) My grandfather had turned senile since I saw him at Thanksgiving.
2) My grandfather was drunk.
3) My grandfather did not realize it was me and thought it was one of his other grandsons, Jeff perhaps, who is not so interesting.

I finally gave the phone to my wife and he was polite but cursory with her and then he hung up without talking to me again. My wife informed me that he was in the middle of watching the Tennessee-Penn State game. Apparently, watching a Nittany Lion recover a fumble and run 88 yards for a touchdown was more exciting than talking to me about fig cake (which, no joke, is hard to find). Nevertheless, happy new year, Pawpaw. Next year, Vince Young is getting a fig cake for Christmas.


Pawpaw said...

Are you still talking about those damn figs? I told you, they're fine.

Pawpaw said...

Actually, now that I'm looking around, I don't see the figs. Are you sure you sent them?

pawpaw said...

Did you know that female wasps squeeze inside figs to deposit their eggs. The hole she squeezes through is very small, and so her wings and most of her antennae fall off. The back part of her body often bursts. Undeterred, she deposits her eggs (she also pollenates the fig). Then she dies. As the fig develops, the wasp eggs hatch and develop into larvae. Upon hatching, the male’s first act is to mate with a female. The males of many species lack wings and are unable to survive outside the fig for a sustained period of time. After mating, a male wasp begins to dig out of the fig, creating a tunnel for the females to escape through.
Once out of the fig, the male wasps quickly die. Some die inside the fig.

So figs have a heckuva lot of dead wasps inside them. Sort of like this fig cake that I am currently wearing as a hat.

Cousin Jeff said...

Pawpaw, did you or did you not receive the wasps I sent you?