April 2007
On the Edge of Common Sense


by Baxter Black, DVM

My friend Steve is in the avocado business, which I think makes him an avocadonist, or an avoco-dinarian. He has many distributors (avocodlers) who count on him to keep them supplied. The freeze that hit southern California this winter wiped out the crop.

I called him after I heard him being interviewed on national radio. When he answered…he was in Chile! Turns out he was down there and in Mexico (home of the guacamole) arranging to import Spanish-speaking avocados to fill the gap for the avocadophiles in the United States of Avocado.

Steve explained that 20O weather kills the fruit and it becomes useless.  I commented that when old bananas turn black the average mother with children will say, "Don’t throw it away, we’ll make banana bread out of it!" So I postulated there must be some way to use old black avocados.

There is a rum drink with pineapples, coconuts and a paper umbrella called a Piña Colada. How ‘bout the Avocolada? Maybe use something dark like prune juice, a coagulant like vitamin K and a miniature Mexican flag!

I also think over-ripe avocados might do well in a sushi bar. To eat raw mollusks and amphibians that crawl on the sea floor, a diner must first get past the unappetizing description of the entree before they can try it for the first time. Black avocados would be an easy next step; the menu special could read:

"Today’s special - choice of pimpled, pockmarked pieces of sea urchin, 4-ply radial abalone or a slimy serving of de-haired octopus pouch, each garnished with Avogooey, a stringy, slightly ‘off’ black mass that sticks to the roof of your mouth like mutton fat.  Only 2500 yen…comes with chopsticks and a latex glove."

There could well be a place for over-the-hill avocados on the airline in-flight menu. Along with your three pretzels and peanut you could get a hermetically sealed foil packet of Avokaka. The discriminating passenger would squeeze a dollop onto the lowered tray where it would adhere. As the aircraft yawed, pitched and rolled, the Avokaka would slide back and forth leaving a mucoid trail like a snail. It would be served with a Q-tip and motion sickness bag!

So many possibilities: an organic graffiti base - Avoscrawl. A non-lethal weapon to use at Green Party protests - The Avogranade.

In place of a Bag Balm to use on chapped udders or for owls with chapped lips called Avahooters.

Actually, it’s hard enough to find uses for deliciously ripe green avocados, much less rotten ones, so the best I can suggest to Steve is to keep contributing to global warming. You’ll have a brief 4 or 5 millennia window between southern California being a frost free zone and eventually becoming a real Sea World. Pick ‘em green, cowboy!

Baxter Black is a former large animal veterinarian who can be followed nationwide through this column, National Public Radio, public appearances, television and also through his books, cds, videos and website, www.baxterblack.com.