So my neighbor Luis stopped by to ask if he could borrow the picker to grab some avocados from his tree. More specifically, could he borrow me to use the picker to get them, in exchange for free avocados? I said sure, why not. I’d never picked avocados before. Sounded like fun. It’s not. It’s work! Hot, sweaty work. There had to be a couple hundred avocados up in that tree. Really high up in that tree. Some could be reached from the ground but most required climbing better suited to kids. Or spider monkeys. Or spider kids. Using a 15 foot pole with my right arm to pull down stubborn fruit while clutching the tree tightly with my left gave me time to reflect on unappreciated agricultural workers, unappreciated poles, and the tenuous nature of my own existence.
Did I mention the ants? Yeah, I had company up there. Fire ants. And an iguana. The iguana was cool, but you really don’t want to be sharing limited branch space with fire ants. They are terrible sharers.
Fortunately, the harvest concluded without incident and the only thing making an uncontrolled descent from the tree were a few fumbled avocados. OK, maybe more than a few. Look, what do you expect when you contract free non-union labor? You are gonna get some breakage. But at the end of the day, Luis was happy and I had my “free” avocados, along with a whole new respect for the effort that goes into guacamole dip.