Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Mysterious objects at Gamone

Up until today, my collection of mysterious objects at Gamone has included as star exhibits the following specimens (all of which have been presented on my Antipodes blog, which seeks constantly to stay abreast of avant-garde technology):

[Click to enlarge]

The red machine peels apples (the fruity kind, not the Cupertino models), the spiral prong enables you to roast unpeeled apples over an open fire, and the device at the bottom helps you to blend butter and flour when you're about to prepare an apple pie.

Well, this new mysterious object (purchased this morning in St-Marcellin) has nothing to do with apples... but rather with other Gamone fruit. My new mysterious object is not particularly photogenic, since its principal organ is composed of elliptically-shaped wires, and it's not easy to take a photo of an empty oval space. I warned you: This object is elusive! The following vague photo suggests that it's a kind of wire-framed rugby ball attached to a long stick... which is almost what it is, in fact.

My scientific/literary hero Richard Dawkins indicated recently (I forget where) that he didn't like the idea of swimming in rivers where nasty fluvial creatures (that's an elegant synonym for carnivorous fish) might bite his balls off. Imagine, for a moment, a momentous scenario in the underwater kingdom. A mother fish returns home with a fabulous gastronomical feast for her baby descendants in the wondrous chain of procreation: Dawkins's balls! Then there's that nasty business in Dawkins's autobiography about a schoolmaster who, in the words of the author, "pulled me on his knee and put his hand inside my shorts".

While I hardly imagine that my favorite writer reads Antipodes, I would not wish to evoke dramatic memories. I hesitate therefore before revealing that the mysterious object I purchased this morning is a nut grabber. To be clear, that's the French name. In English, I should specify that it's a walnut grabber... but, as the bishop said to the actress, nuts are nuts. Now, if ever Richard Dawkins were reading this blog post, I would suggest that he shut his eyes while I publish this closeup image of the metallic rugby ball (Dawkins, if I understand correctly, is not of a South African sporting nature) that grabs nuts that happen to be lying around indolently on the ground, as if they'd never heard of Saturday night fever.

In fact, my new toy is an old man's device that enables you to pick up walnuts without bending over. I don't know about you, dear reader, but I'm old enough to appreciate such inventions. But don't get wrong: I've never been particularly accustomed to bending over—neither forwards nor backwards—during my long and fulfilled existence in the domains of science, philosophy, technology, sex and walnuts.

As you will have gathered, there was no prize for guessing the identity of my newly-acquired mysterious object... but I offer you, as a gift for participants, a delightful everyday image—which you can share with my dog Fitzroy (a nutty connoisseur)—of a basket of Gamone walnuts.

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