Prickly Pineapple Predicament

Submitted into Contest #45 in response to: Write a story about change.... view prompt

8 comments

General

I believe there are, fundamentally, only two kinds of people in the world; those who like pineapple on their pizza and those who don’t. There are subversive forces out there, attempting to project kiwis, mangoes, and even guavas to the forefront of the debate, on what divides humanity. It is despicable really, because anyone with the slightest scriptural insight knows that it was the prickly fruit from the loins of civilization that tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden. This was indeed the primordial story of Change, involving a spineless snake and a pineapple. 


Those were simpler times, when the earth was flat and men of honour roamed it. Mandarins in the corridors of papal power had squashed all opposition to the pineapple. However, as soon as the book of Jobs was written, the spin doctors of Silicon Valley hacked into the Vatican and amended the source code. Thus began the rise of Apple. Until then, we all rightly believed that a pineapple a day would keep the doctor away. 


Now, there is an Apple in every hand and truth has been canned. Be careful. Careful research conducted by reputable scientists sporting thick glasses, bad teeth and white overalls has shown convincingly that people will believe anything asserted by people in white overalls. These scientists have now unpeeled evidence that points to the true import of pineapple, at the sacred intersection of Science and Theology. The answer apparently, is Bromelain, a wonder enzyme. It rhymes with cocaine but pairs better with champagne.


A statistically significant correlation has been found between the preference for pineapple and the ability of the human body to digest this enzyme, Bromelain. As is widely known to those who don’t watch Oprah, pineapple is the only source of Bromelain on the planet. It is found in all parts of the pineapple fruit but the richest concentration stems from the stem. Bromelain is the critical enzyme that breaks down protein into a fetid goo that can be easily absorbed by the body. I don’t want to perplex you with acronyms or bamboozle you with scientific terms, because I do realize that I am writing for a lay audience. But you would be pleased to note that I have written a fuller treatise on the subject, in a scientific journal, for a lamer audience. 


The answer to life’s greatest questions are hidden within Bromelain. Either your body gravitates towards it, craving for it even as you sleep or it develops a pathological allergy, at the prenatal stage. Luckily the proclivity towards pineapple is not genetically transmitted or at least this is what we still believe. The White House has commissioned further research into this fascinating field. We are lucky to have secured that crucial funding, having narrowly beaten the competing contenders who inexplicably were seeking to develop a vaccine for coronavirus. They did not realize that 90% of the battle for research funds is mental and the other half is trumping your fears. 


Now, it is commonly accepted that man has descended from apes, although there is a certain country which continues to promote the belief that pandas are our real ancestors. Those of you who know anything about the reproduction abilities of pandas will recognize a hilarious hoax there. But some regimes are known to reject the truth even if it is served up on a fine china platter. Anyhow, let’s leap back to the apes and the change. 


As is widely recognized, chimpanzees, humans and bonobos share 99% common genetic material. However, things get really interesting when we plunge into that remaining 1%. All our major differences like the thickness of armpit hair, pH value of navel lint or even preference for window or aisle seat, is shrouded in that 1% of DNA. And of that 1%, the largest blob of chromosomal material is devoted to determining our propensity to digest protein. 


A pineapple doesn't fall far from the tree but over millennia it can roll quite some distance. About two million years ago, the ape species splintered to create two distinct genera (that is the plural of genus, genius!) Chimpanzees and Bonobos. It was around that time, our precocious colleague, Jane Goodall started befriending them. So everything I have written here is based upon solid research from Wikipedia and National Geographic documentaries.


As it happened, through a process of natural selection and a minor interest in topless beaches, a group of apes migrated to South America, to study Charles Darwin. It was there that change surreptitiously crept up on the species, on a lazy Tuesday afternoon at the Copacabana beach. Pineapples and apes were exposed to each other for the first time. Attraction was instant and they were consumed, with longing. This juicy fruit became the pineapple of their eye.


This pineapple infusion changed these latino apes in subtle ways. For example, their pee turned sweet causing the marking of territories to become a sticky issue. On the flip side, their love life funnelled fluidly into previously unexplored, unusual areas. In fact Darwin’s friend, Gregor Mendel, named a specific legume as Sweet Pea, to mark this momentous milestone in genetic growth. Within a few generations, Bromelain had accelerated the protein absorption sufficiently, to give the apes, incredibly advanced mental and motor skills. They learnt how to flip the middle finger before they could peel a banana. This group eventually developed into the Bonobos. Some of them later emigrated to Canada. Through trial and error, they gave the world its first ever electron microscope, Wonderbra and Hawaiian pizza. 


The apes which had sought refuge in regions alpine, were pitiably pineapple-less and took considerably longer to reach any level of dexterity. Fostered on a diet of pine nuts, by the time they could spell Pina Colada, the Bonobos had already sent a fellow to the moon. These alpine apes eventually mutated into chimpanzees. Once travel bans were lifted, chimpanzees and bonobos began to freely intermingle. They even started using dating apps meant for the other genus. Consequently within a few generations, they created a whole raft of chimpanbo and bonozee variations. Those in the know, know that Bono’s song ‘I still haven’t found what I’m looking for,' is a tribute to this seminal bifurcation of species. 


As a result, till today, those of us who carry a dominant bonobo gene tend to like pineapples and Hawaiian pizzas. The rest don’t seem to like topless beaches either.



June 12, 2020 07:03

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

8 comments

Roshna Rusiniya
09:00 Jun 12, 2020

Very well researched piece of work. Great descriptions also. Good job! I belong to pineapple on the pizza category! Ha ha.

Reply

Praveen Jagwani
13:05 Jun 12, 2020

Thank you Roshna. This was my attempt at silly wordplay and absurd humour.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Kathleen March
03:54 Jun 20, 2020

Still laughing at this free association piece. It moves quickly and (non)sensically through until the end. There is a playfulness that nevertheless does not get lost with the ‘scientific’ elements. And yes, I am still laughing.

Reply

Praveen Jagwani
04:10 Jun 20, 2020

That is the best reward. Thank you Kathleen:) This is my escape from real life.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Jubilee Forbess
14:44 Jun 12, 2020

Haha, very good! I love pineapple on pizza; I'm allergic to it otherwise.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Elle Clark
12:49 Jun 22, 2020

The first few lines grabbed me and I do not regret it! This is completely absurd and frivolous and brilliant. What brilliantly nonsensical writing- you should do this style again. Fun fact: I once ate a whole fresh pineapple in one sitting and dissolved the top layer of my tongue. I found out about bromelian acid when researching why I had no more taste buds and everything felt like burning. Simpler times.

Reply

Praveen Jagwani
15:33 Jun 22, 2020

Laura ! Thank you for that effusive review :)) It is so gratifying to make others smile.

Reply

Elle Clark
16:49 Jun 22, 2020

You’re welcome! Also, you were right - that story wasn’t right for the prompt. I’ve deleted it and will save it for a rainy day and replaced it with something that will hopefully fit better.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply

Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in the Reedsy Book Editor. 100% free.