memoirs, art and fragments by Thomas Milner

An  inspirational book (for my generation at least) was CATCH 22 by Joseph Heller.

Wicked and hilarious this book with brilliant wordplay brings paradox to an inevitable  Zeno-like absurdity. Published in 1957 it dazzled our generations and spread across the Anglophonic world like a wildfire.

(Now, of course, we have spawned a generation which, not only has not read CATCH 22 but also hasn’t read much else either – poor them, so many lost conceits, so much lost irony).

Anyway there is a scene in the book where everyone on the base is issued with a pill to throw away into the bushes.

STILL LIFE WITH FRUIT - PAINTING by THOMAS MILNER

STILL LIFE WITH FRUIT – PAINTING by THOMAS MILNER

So it is in this place. Sometimes we are distributed with green pears so hard and unripe that those of us who still have our own teeth, should we actually attempt to bite into them … but not to worry the pears are not to be eaten but to be put into our pockets or bags and consumed in a couple of days when they are ripe.

That same impulse, the same força de vontade, which is so good for my physical improvement, impels me to be difficult about the pear situation.

I enter the dining room for dinner at 7.00 sharp and notice the small rock-like green projectiles – what’s this, I think, are we going to have a window-breaking contest after dinner or have some of us been distributed with uneatable pears again:

–          Excuse me, I don’t want this fruit because it’s not ripe, is it? I’ll have the fruit pap, please.

–          There is no fruit pap left.

–          No fruit pap left!

–          You have to warn us in advance if you want fruit pap instead of a green pear.

I’m entering The Twilight Zone again.

–          Can’t you just assume that I will prefer fruit pap to unripe fruit …?

Meanwhile someone else has tactfully produced one of the apples that they keep in the kitchen in reserve for difficult cases like mine.

STILL LIFE WITH APPLES - PAINTING by THOMAS MILNER

STILL LIFE WITH APPLES – PAINTING by THOMAS MILNER

Comments on: "The mysterious case of the uneatable pears" (3)

  1. Wonderful Tom!

    Love the way you used the book to introduce your own story, which I thoroughly enjoyed; it put a smile on my “feeling sorry for myself today” face 🙂

    And your paintings are an absolute delight. I wish I could… Oh shut up Chris 🙂

    Xx

    Like

    • Thanks Christine, your comment a smile on MY feeling sorry for myself face.. stormy weather with high winds … TV cut … bit tense … waiting for final date for my surgery… oh well, mustn’t grumble .. worse things happen at sea etc etc

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  2. Awful things can happen at sea; my dad was in the Merchant Navy during the war. I don’t know how he lived to tell the many tales but he did and here I am!! 🙂

    I hope your date arrives soon and all goes well x

    Like

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