I am a very mild-mannered person who is very able to keep his emotions in check. There’s not a lot in life that gets my goat. Sure, I have been known to shout threats of physical violence to people who say that they “could care less” about something, but aside from general speech related pet peeves, I am usually a happy-go-lucky, carefree individual.
Occasionally, though, something gets me so worked up, I just have to let it out. It builds up inside and has to go somewhere. You can choose your own metaphor to describe it, be it volcano, a geyser, a huge zit, whatever. I am far too irate to pick one.
America, you have gotten lazy. LAZY I SAY!
There was a time in this great land when we were the biggest and best thing to happen to the fruit game. Apples? Everyone loved them. Oranges? Hey other countries, we have a whole bunch. Bet you wish you had some. A bunch of weird shaped melons that don’t usually taste fantastic but are excellent for a fruit salad that also doesn’t taste fantastic? You know we got them.
We grew these and then just set back, coasting on our fruits. We were suffering from a major case of fruit hubris, confident that our fruits were so much better than anyone else’s. While we were wasting our time on other endeavors, namely frying everything that couldn’t outrun us, every other country in the world was hard at work in their fruit laboratory developing the perfect fruit to take away our crown.
Then, this afternoon, I walked into a local Shell gas station. Making my way through the plume of incense that is always burning, I headed towards the refrigerator cases. It was a nice day outside and nothing makes a nice day even nicer than a delightful beverage.
Looking through the drinks, I saw the same old stuff. I passed by Gatorade, soft drinks, chocolate milk, none of which tickled my fancy. Then, in the middle of all of the other beverages, set a drink that sounded so delicious, I couldn’t help but try it.
Yumberry Pomegranate flavored Sobe Life Water.
Now, much like most people, I assumed this was a cute little name meant to sell a few more bottles of Yumberry Pomegranate. Saying pomegranate is not going to send those bottles flying off of the shelves, but if you imply there is a delicious berry in there, drink connoisseurs like myself might be inclined to give it a shot.
I took one drink and was instantly hooked. Why, this berry was yummy. It was truly a yumberry. Nice naming job, Sobe. Curious, though, I looked online.
It turns out the yumberry is a real thing. A very real berry from China.
While we were busy borrowing money from the Chinese, the Chinese had created the perfect berry. A berry so perfect that the only name they could come up with is a sound of delight that people make when they eat things.
My first inclination is to say good for China. It was about time someone perfected the art of berries. Why wouldn’t it be our good friends on the other side of the globe. They have given us Yao Ming, General Tso’s chicken and toothpaste with lead in it. Now they can give us the ultimate fruit.
Quickly, though, this first inclination fades away into pure outrage. Really,America? We couldn’t figure out how to grow the perfect berry? We were the first country to (allegedly) put a man on the moon. We created and perfected the airplane. We invented Viagra. You’re telling me that with all of the scientific minds behind these items, we couldn’t come up with a simple berry?!’
Now, of course China has a bit of an edge. With 1.3 billion people living there, they did have more than four times the manpower we did, but come on! That’s not really an excuse! They have that many more people, yet they still lose to us when the bobsled comes around in the Olympics. If we can beat them at that, why can’t we beat them at growing produce?!
So American botanists, it’s up to you. I put this in your hands. I believe that with a bit of determination and elbow grease, we can create an even better berry. It’s what our forefathers fought for: the chance to have the best fruit in the world.
We choose to grow a better berry. We choose to grow this better berry in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.
Plus, can you imagine a Super-Yumberry Pomegranate Sobe Life Water?
I just got chills thinking about it. Also, a little bit thirsty.