I live in fear. I roam the city’s parks and gardens with the desperation of a marked man. Each day brings with it new terrors, new clues, new uncertainties. Any day now, any day, it could happen: it could be the last T-shirt day of the year. So I must capitalize, live each day like it’s my last! Today I hopped on a Velib bike and went up to Park Monceau, the family park. Here in the evening, before the warmth of the sun loses out to chilliness in the air, dads jog away the stress from the day, moms push strollers down gravelly paths, and West African nannies gather in groups to gossip while their little white quaffed charges ruin their perfect corduroy outfits in the mud or attempt with zero regard for landing place and the potential deadliness of their projectiles to knock chestnuts out of trees with toys and sticks.
Which brings me to my main point: am I the last person to realize how AWESOME chestnuts are??!!
First, the way they’re delivered. You’ll be sitting on a park bench minding your own business when all of a sudden a little breeze comes up and weird little green balls with sharp spikes come flying down from the tree above your head making this deliciously satisfying and juicy THWICK-THWICK noise which I liken to the sound a greased pigeon would make if struck solidly with a baseball bat. These little balls contain the seed, and they are moist inside like fruit is moist, but not tasty like fruit is tasty (I’ve learned).
And then. Then as you crack one of these guys open, splitting the rough, green spiky ball with pulpy flesh, you catch a glimpse of the seed: the rich brown, the beautiful, glossy, marbled texture of the chestnut inside: the motherlode. One just isn't enough...you need more. And more.
At first while I watched the kids in the park use any means possible to bring these suckers down, I wondered what all the hype was. By the end I was using my height to my advantage and surreptitiously grabbing branches and shaking them with the urgency of an addict. These chestnuts were in high demand. Couples were picking them up and putting them in their pockets, kids were using them as currency to trade for string cheese and water guns, I tried juggling a few when no one was looking, then I just started hording. In order to support my habit, I’m thinking of starting a business—I think I could make a killing selling these wholesale to the ten-year olds, who could then distribute them retail. Never underestimate a motivated buyer: I bet I could clean up if I sold these by the dozen on the corner.
To move real weight, though, I may have to look into getting shipments from the source: word on the street's that you can get some really good quality stuff for dirt cheap in Columbia.