The Trouble with Lemons

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

Okay, I get the point.  Take what you’re given and make the best of it.  Or, take something that could be perceived as a negative and turn it into something positive.  Right?  That’s it, right?

But step back a second, and let’s look at this situation objectively.  Life gives you lemons.  Lemons aren’t dropping out of the sky, so the more realistic statement would be Someone gives you lemons.  That’s neater, no? Now, did you ask for lemons?  In that case, win-win.  You wanted lemons and guess what?  Lemons in hand.  But we don’t know that.  No back story.  This is just one possibility, and honestly, it’s as probable as the idea that you didn’t want lemons.  Right?

Someone gives you lemons.  You wanted limes.  Okay, this seems bad, but really, how hard is it to just say, “No, sir, wrong hand fruit here, let’s have the green ones this time, and maybe it’s time to get them eyes checked, Magoo.”  No?  We don’t live in a society where we can do that?  We have to be so ultra-polite that we can’t just exchange the lemons?  Or hell, if you don’t want to do that, why don’t you pick out your own goddamn fruit next time.  This, again, is just a possibility, and seems entirely likely as well.

Someone gives you lemons.  You wanted batteries.  Now this might be a situation you need to make the best of, because clearly whoever you’re dealing with is an asshole.  You can mistake lemons for limes, I suppose.  There’s the fact that they are similar product, and there’s alliteration to consider as well.  Batteries are pretty far from lemons.  In this case, I’d suggest going to a different store.  You won’t be finding satisfaction with this douche as your main connection to the world of produce.  On the other hand, you now have batteries, and you never know when they’ll come in handy.  I’m not saying this is a total victory – you’re still out lemons, remember – but it certainly could be worse.

Someone gives you lemons.  You didn’t ask anyone for anything.  I thought I’d throw the happiest of all options in now, as things were starting to get angry, and I felt a pick-me-up was required.  This event, more than any other we’ll discuss, is the clearly the best.  Free lemons.  Whether you particularly like lemons or not, they cost you nothing, and can hardly be called a burden.  I mean, free steel belted radials, that’s a problem, particularly if you don’t have a car, or if you have to carry them from wherever they’re handing them out.  But lemons, toss ’em in a bag and you’re home free.  Then you can make lemonade or whatever the hell else you want out of them.  Point being, free and easy to carry virtually always a nice day makes.

Someone gives you lemons.  You asked for prescription medicine.  I don’t know that there is making good of this situation.  You’re unhealthy, and in danger of getting worse, or something continuing to swell, or of something very unpleasant flaring up in the near future.  You know you need drugs, and the doctor agreed in his chicken scratch pig Latin on that slip of paper.  And this snotty nosed punk hands you a bag of lemons.  Even if the citrus is covered by your HMO, this is a huge setback in the course of the day’s events.  Lemons!  Lemons won’t cure shit, no matter what your grandmother tells you.  In this case, making lemonade is a complete waste of time, unless you mix in something flammable and Molotov the hell out of that pharmacy.

I guess what I’m not following in this old saw is why lemons are viewed so badly.  I’m no dummy, I know the only reason they’re using lemons is to get to the punching twist ending involving lemonade, but what’s so great about lemonade for that matter?  Lemons are sour?  That’s the drawback?  Genius, lemonade is sour too!  It’s a little more fun on a hot day, but that’s about it.  So I think the saying is conveniently demonizing lemons just for the sake of it.  I genuinely believe if Puppyade was the greatest concoction known to mankind the saying could definitely have ended up “When life gives you puppies, make Puppyade!”  Hell, if it tasted good, I could almost understand it.  You can’t do anything with a live puppy you can do with a puréed one.  Plus, live puppies could attack you, or sully your carpet.  Puppyade just goes down smooth, especially with a slice of lemon.  Point being, everyone likes puppies, but Puppyade being so great (in this far-fetched, disgusting world I’ve just created) puppies get turned into objectionable hydrant-violators just for the sake of the saying.

So whoever dreamed up this oh-so-brilliant advice did a disservice to lemons through their own irresponsible, unimaginative wordplay.  The hell with them.  I’m not going to make the best out of this situation, let me tell you.  My bitterness over the whole lemon/lemonade jive can’t simply be erased by looking on some fictional bright side.  I’m not having it.  And if anyone ever tells me this hokum about life giving me lemons again, they better be prepared for some patella-to-pubic-bone combat.

What’s more, I don’t even like lemons.

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1 Comment

Filed under Dining, humor, Life

One response to “The Trouble with Lemons

  1. Sarah

    This is brilliant.

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