Yesterday while walking down the sidewalk on my way to work I happened to pass by a guy who was carrying a large plastic shopping bag full of figs. Immediately the thought came to mind to buy some, so I walked over to the market located about 100 feet away from where I was situated and searched for figs. For some reason there weren’t any to be sold in the more obvious places so I had to go off the beaten track to find some toward the rear of the market. I found I guy selling them for about 90 cents a kilo. They were smaller than your standard-sized fig but they looked edible enough and were not splitting open with gooey seed mass oozing everywhere and flies circling above the feast. I like the slime to squirt in my mouth when biting into one, not for it leak all over my hand. He tossed in both black and not-so-ripe green ones as well. Seems they couldn’t wait for all of them to ripen on the tree so they picked them all, ripe or not. I took them to work and washed them, then started digging in. Only a few of black ones were very nice, with the seeds bursting with nutty flavor in contrast with the honey-like sweetness of the fruit. The green ones were not so palatable but I ate them anyway. Their firm, frightening alien centers are light pink and there is not much flavor to most of them. There were a few that had some kind of strange flavor you cannot describe but you know that they had gone bad anyway. Before long while chatting with a friend and munching I realized that I polished off just under a kilo. There were only about 10 left out of the 40 or so that were in the bag.
The troubling thing about figs is their laxative properties. During an 18-hour timeframe I went to the toilet on five occasions. The odor after each experience on the grand throne of relief was intense, with hints of rancid beef and decomposing tomatoes. It’s safe to assume that my intestines were well scrubbed by the delightful figginess of the feeding frenzy. The first bowel movement started about two hours after I had my fill. It had the typical milk chocolate chowder-like consistency that you would expect after a fig binge. There was plenty of gas expelled in those five wondrous dumps, suitably accompanied by the cacophonous gurgles and squeaks. I find that when handy lighting matches is the best way to dispel the gastric gases and stink, a trick I learned in the days when the bouquets of my soils from sustenance began to mature. Those were good times….