In between personal, familial and financial failures, Mark Twain took time to see the world and insult the peoples, locales, and histories of the places he visited. It is in this tradition of being annoyingly unsatisfied and too smart for our own good that we present "Not So Innocent Abroad:" a deplorable, ethnocentric, at times hilarious, and always historically unreliable dump on every place we have ever visited.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

the Horror!....THE HORROR!!!!!!! Picking Apples in New England

Applecrest Farm Orchard, Hampton Falls, New Hampshire

You would think that a day which ends with a woman declining to go to Maine with you because she forgot to take her birth control that morning would be ranked in the bottom tier of days, but you would be mistaken. Despite that peculiar--if hilarious--end, my day picking apples with friends in New Hampshire's Applecrest Farm Orchard was quite fun.

Located just across the Massachusetts border in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, Columbus Day weekend at Applecrest was a major event and marked (at least on Saturday) by excellent weather and sunny glory. When you're not gagging on the now superfluous tracker ride around the farm--the aforesaid woman insisted that we sit right behind the tractor spewing fumes in our faces--you can enjoy a superfluous petting zoo! When the ride ended and I regained consciousness, it was time to pick delicious apples, take bites of them and then toss them back into the orchard for slight defects--just like the Spartans used to do with their inferior new-born infants.

Beautiful women stalked the orchard and the adjoining market store, food tents and stands, and bluegrass music pavillion. I spent many moments contemplating stupid things to say to them, but decided that on a lovely day it was better to keep my dignity intact. Not so, Dan Roberts. While we imbibed hot apple cider, one of the local wasps (and here I mean the small flying stinging sort and not the large, white, anglo-saxon sort) landed on Dan's cup quite near the opening. I remarked that Dan was likely to drink the little fellow, but apparently I went unheard as Dan raised the cup to his lips. As you can imagine, what came next was a combination of awful and really really funny as Dan realized there was a wasp on his lip and the wasp realized that it needed to kill the odd thing swatting at him. After the stinging occurred we were really fortunate to have a woman with her portable pharmacy (aka purse) at hand to administer an antihistamine. Dan's lip only swelled a little bit, but he continued to whine like the prissy and pathetic small child that he is.

Slight Dan Roberts lip swelling
Filling a bag with apples when there are tens of other people all over the place is actually mildly harder than it sounds. Boosting Dan Roberts into the upper echelons of the apple trees was only slightly homo-erotic, probably lessened by the presence of a woman. Applecrest is a very user friendly orchard with a Halloween season pumpkin patch attached and a very cordial staff ready to help you make a scarecrow, buy any variety of jelly or jam, cook up burgers or sausages, and hand out delicious cider donuts (for 75 cents). This was my second visit and I had a great time. Dan probably had a less great time, but he still had a lot of fun. Our female friend also seemed to enjoy the day, but who wouldn't when they got the chance to hang out with two really super amazing awesome intelligent guys like us?

On the way home we stopped off at a local seafood place where I had a tasty clam roll, heard the birth control news, laughed, and then proceeded back to a night of mayhem in Maine. If you too would like to pick apples at Applecrest you need to be able to get there, find parking, and then pay $18 for a bag to put your apples into. But, let's face it, the fun isn't so much putting apples in the bag, it's the picking them, judging them, taking a bite, and tossing them. In a world dominated by overbearing tree hugging morons, the act of littering is one of the truly liberating experiences left to us (the other is shooting a gun outside) and Applecrest Farm Orchard is one of the remaining bastions of such freedom.

Get yourself a clam roll!

October 9, 2010

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