When you encounter a certain thing once, it is considered a novelty. When you come across a similarity later, in a different place, it becomes a running trend and you start to wonder if there is something going on…some under-culture or something that you just don’t know about.
In all my years of beating the pavement around Denver, I never saw Fruit on Fenceposts. Actually, even in the more interesting stretches of town that I passed through daily, I never really saw fruit anywhere in a non-contextual setting. Save, perhaps, for a forlorn and abandoned banana peel that had somehow missed the dumpster upon tossing.
So I have to wonder – is Random Fruit a New Orleans thing? Why, in my recent wanderings over the span of the last six months, have I encountered not one, but two instances of citrus staked to wrought-iron posts, like the heads of the conquered set out as warnings to future invading armies of oranges and limes?
My first encounter with this phenomenon occurred on a cool rainy morning last December. I was walking to the streetcar stop and spied an orange impaled on a fence just up the street from me. I was amused, as that is how my mind works, so I stopped and captured it for some sporadic use someday (aka: today, apparently) and then went about my business.
Later that month, my mind turned back to that poor orange when I was across the street in the (back then) empty lot on a weekend afternoon walking the dog. Although not staked with intention like its wayward cousin, the Drowning Apple did catch my eye. “Hey, look! More random fruit!” I thought to myself. A single photo is one thing, but a second image puts one on the road to having a Set. So once Toby’s business was complete, we ran back inside and I re-emerged solo with the camera. I took a ton of photos of this thing, from every angle. More signs to the neighborhood that I’m totally nuts, I’m sure.
That was it. There I was, with only two Fruit Photos, which doesn’t quite make a collection. Good things come in odd numbers. Thus, life went on and time passed. I filed my two forlorn fruits tidily into the back of my mind for another unknown day.
And then. THEN.
Last week, I had a doc appointment uptown and, not having any need to hurry afterwards, I walked home down St. Charles from Louisiana Ave. It was hot so I slow-ambled, and that afforded me an opportunity to relax and observe some new things.
Walking past the Commodore Apartments, I happened to glance up just in time to see IT. There it was, aloft: A tiny green head on a big iron stake. My third: The Key Lime.
I took a photo and kind of did that happy Snoopy dance down the street for a while, until the heat mandated that I stop acting so gleeful. Truly, I was that delighted. Once the radiating sun slowed me down, I pondered that Key Lime for a while. Someone went to some actual EFFORT to put that lime up there. The fence that surrounds that complex is tall – I had to hold my camera up above my head to get the close-up.
I know the Drowning Apple is an aside in this series. After the Staked Orange, when I decided to keep an eye out for Random Fruit, I had no idea that fenceposts would be the Thing. The apple alone is not an example of the deliberate action of putting a fruit somewhere where it does not belong. But the other two…what is it? Warning examples to the fruit enemy? Some sort of Citrus Mojo Gris Gris Offering? A new trend in Fruit Graffiti? What is it?! WHAT DOES IT MEAN?!?! I have to know. I really do.
It is known that I love a good Mystery. Keep those eyes on the fenceposts, y’all.