Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Melanie eats an orange

Melanie eats an orange in three distinct steps.

Having chosen her orange based on its color, size and symmetry, she pierces the outer rind with her thumbnail near the spot where the stem previously connected the orange to the tree. She peels it in a clockwise manner, careful not to pierce the inner skin of the sections letting the juice escape. She monitors how much rind is removed in each movement so that the entire orange is peeled in only one complete revolution.

Then she separates the sections, one at a time, carefully removing any remaining pith or strings left from the peeling process. She lays each cleaned section in a row, in the order they were separated from the others and moves on to the next section.

With the cleaned and separated sections in a line, she eats them from left to right, beginning with the first section, dabbing away any excess juice from her lips with a napkin before moving on to the next section and again, and again, until she has eaten them all. She positions her teeth so that each bite makes a clean cut and can finish nearly any sized piece in only two bites.

It's important, once she begins the process, that she eats all the sections in one sitting because she doesn't like them once they've had a chance to sit out and become dry. She allows some conversation while she prepares and eats the orange, but not so much that it interferes with the process.

It's possible she enjoys her well-designed method for eating an orange more than its taste or smell. Any deviation from the closely regulated steps might diminish her enjoyment of the fruit considerably.

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