There are many things in life whose popularity absolutely baffles me. Reality television for one. Uh, I’d rather be undergoing periodontal surgery. Peanut butter? A noxious choking hazard waiting to happen. Philadelphia Eagles’ player (and convicted dog killer) Michael Vick? Serial killer in the making. “Lite” rock music? Cutting my ears off and stuffing the holes with cotton balls would be preferable.
Of course, at the top of my list of popular baffling things is the concept of face painting. What the hell is the appeal of this? Please, somebody tell me. I really don’t know. I see all kinds of events where face painting is advertised with the same gusto as if they were giving away a free pot of gold with the price of admission. Frankly, I think this is merely event planners’ shorthand for “We don’t have any rides to entertain the kids so we’re gonna strap ’em to a chair and paint ladybugs on their cheeks.” Typically done by perky women dressed as clowns (scary enough in and of itself), innocent children are transformed into miniature sugar-crazed lepers. Well, at least they look like lepers after Sparkles the Clown waves her magic paint brush all over them.
One of the most innocent, harmless things I’ve never understood is the watermelon. Aside from ice cream, is there a more iconic summer food than a watermelon? When I was a kid my Grandma Dorothy used to visit us in the summertime for about a month. Because I adored Grandma beyond all reason, I used to try to emulate her in everything she did. Unfortunately, Grandma loved watermelon. She was a genuine watermelon connoisseur. She was so practiced that she could tell a good melon just by looking at it in the grocery store. The concept of the watermelon is a good one—it’s a self-contained food that doesn’t require utensils. AND you can spit the seeds at your unsuspecting dinner guests. But it just tastes like sticking your tongue out the window. No taste whatsoever. Nothing. Nada. Rien. Nichts.
Now, before y’all start to whine, I know that peanut butter and pop music and all the rest are adored by millions of people. It’s not like this stuff is necessarily wrong. It’s just wrong in my world. But just so you know, it’s my world and the rest of you merely live in it. Yet, to prove my planet-sized tolerance (at least to the lowly red and green melon), I bring you…
2 cups chopped seeded watermelon
1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
1 cup chopped onion
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup orange juice
1 tablespoon chopped jalapeño pepper or jerk seasoning (or to taste)
In a large bowl combine ingredients; mix well. Refrigerate, covered, at least 1 hour to blend flavors. Stir before serving. Makes 8 servings.
And for those of you who have REALLY had it with face-painting clowns, try the next recipe. Your outlook on life should improve significantly after a snoot full of this stuff.
1 bottle red wine (preferably Spanish)
½ bottle white zinfandel
½ bottle Beaujolais
¼ cup brandy
¼ cup tequila
1 quart orange juice
½ cup lemon juice
½ cup lime juice
1 cup club soda
1 cup watermelon juice
6 star anise (optional)
Sugar to garnish
Sliced oranges, maraschino cherries
Whisk all the ingredients - wine, brandy, tequila, orange juice, lemon juice, club soda, and watermelon juice. Add sugar, to taste. Garnish with sliced oranges, maraschino cherries.
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