Fry ‘Em and They Get Tighter

After taking a season off to republish some of my earlier works, I am returning to post a series of excerpts from my upcoming book, Funny Farm Stories. Here’s the next:

I hadn’t been working at the farm market long when this guy came in, real friendly and nearly toothless. We got a lot of them coming into the stand off-season; they rose up out of the woods. Truthfully—that’s where they lived. We grew the best onion I’ve ever tasted, the Florida Sweet onion. The farm hands pull them out of the ground, wash them, peel off the outer, brown layers, trim the tips of the green tops to resemble a fan and that’s how we sell them. So, this guy comes in, picks out a couple of onions and brings them to the counter to purchase, raving to the other cashier, a Miami native, and me about how good they are. “They’re really good when you fry ‘em and get tighter,” I heard him say. We all laughed and agreed and he left.

“What did he mean, fry them and get tighter?” I asked my co-cashier. “What was he saying?” Being a Florida native, she would understand the accent.

“He said they’re really good when you get some potatoes and fry them together,” she translated.

“Oh, fry ’em with some ‘taters,” I said.

During February the weather was pretty much like that in Southern California, dry, low humidity and moderate temperatures. I liked this. Then March came. The bright sun glared so off the sand and pebble parking lot in front of the stand that I could barely keep my eyes open even when wearing sunglasses. The temperature shot up into the high eighties and so did the humidity.

“Does it get any hotter than this?” I asked my Miami coworker.

“Oh, yes,” she said, “a lot hotter.” Naturally, I could not imagine.

I thought she was kidding—until June. The heat and humidity swarmed around me, encased me, while the sun relentlessly poured molten yellow rays everywhere.

Yet, in the peak of July, at noon, I’d see senior citizens out taking their daily walk. “How do they do it?” I wondered.

–Samantha Mozart
for Carolina Gringo

2 Responses to Fry ‘Em and They Get Tighter

  1. Gwynn Rogers says:

    Boy, when we first moved to California from Washington, we moved out in the desert. Believe me, I felt like those onions and taters, being fried. Now, that I’m back in Washington, the summers have become warmer and more humid, so I plant myself in front of our fan. I’m definitely not a senior who loves walking around in the heat. I need my walk in the early morning at the waterfront when I have a cool breeze. Ahhh! Fun memories.

    • sammozart says:

      Thank you for stopping by my virtual venue on your walk, Gwynn. As always, good to hear from you. Here on the East Coast this summer it’s been frying pan hot, temps to 100 and high humidity. I have to get rides to work. That half mile walk gives me heat exhaustion on those days. Even our store, where I work, is hot. We have a big fan that blows on us when we’re cashiering. It never used to be that hot here, that hot for such an extended period of weeks. Do take care. 🙂