Today’s Thoughts on Fake Fruit

We all have to do it.

We see a basket filled with “fruit” and we immediately ask the people around us, “Hey, is this fake fruit or real fruit?”. No, we don’t ask it of fruit we find in fridges, of course. But I would guarantee you that 8 out of 10 people who walk past a basket or bowl of fruit will ask this question within two minutes of coming in contact with a bowl of fruit.

It’s a problem, I think, that has a much deeper meaning.

Before I get into the real meaning of the faux-bowl of fruit, let me first break down how people observe and determine whether or not they’re going to ask the ultimate question as previously typewritten above. In order for an everyday American (I can’t vouch for Europeans or Pierce) to decide to vocalize such a question, a bowl of fruit must contain the following items:

  1. At least two apples
  2. A pear
  3. Grapes (dark or light green)
  4. A lemon
  5. And two bananas (still attached) and laid on top at an angle

If the basket in question contains the above items, you can expect someone will start gearing up for THE ULTIMATE QUESTION. But include a kiwi or an orange or some dates or something obscure with spiky spikes in there and the question will never be asked (so be aware of this fact if you enjoy the practice of forcing others to ask THE QUESTION out of some mean-spirited goal).

Almost always, of course, before the “is that real fruit?” question is thrown out to you, the potential-askers-in-question will often feel the fruit. Most people will go for the grapes first because as everyone knows there are two very big differences between real grapes and faux grapes… Real grapes juice when you squeeze them. Fake grapes let out smelly faux-fruit shots of air.

But a lot of people don’t want to be “that girl or guy” who goes up and squeezes fake grapes just based on the fact that it immediately reveals them as being someone who isn’t sure whether or not the fruit is fake. This, of course, can make one look bad in the eyes of others. And sometimes, there ARE NO grapes. What then?

Sometimes, people will pick up the apples or the pears and sniff them. They’ll do that up/down shaking thing with their hand to test the weight of said potentially-faux fruit. Everyone’s got a test they perform so they don’t have to ask the question. They’ll pretend they’re sniffing the fruit and while it’s pressed up against their mouth at an angle where you can’t see their mouth, they’ll push their two front teeth into the fruit just to see if juice comes out.

Sometimes all they get is a waxy build-up and THE QUESTION will never have to be asked. But other times, the illusion of fruity-moisture fills their nostrils and the confusion just builds.

“Is this real or fake fruit?” they’ll finally ask you.

The thing is — for what reason does anyone need to have fake fruit on their table? On their countertop? In their living room? I mean, really — what is the internal monologue we have with ourselves that helps us make the decision to include a fake bowl of fruit in our lives?

“Hey, internal self! You know, I was thinking… People love fruit. And if people see that I love fruit, maybe they’ll love me too. And if people who love fruit, see that I love fruit too, maybe they’ll love me just as much as they love fruit. And if people who love fruit see that I love fruit and love me more because of the fact that they love fruit, then they’ll probably do me tons of favors and help me out. And if they help me out, my life will be better. And if my life is better, I’ll be happier. And if I’m happier, I’ll have no problems. And if I have no problems, well, I’ll finally be able to tell that annoying guy at work that on “The Happy Scale” of 1 to 10 — I am finally a 10. And if all it takes to reach a 10 on the Happy Scale of Life is me getting a basket of fruit into my house, then I will do it. But if I don’t want that 10 to be short lived, then I should have fruit in my house all the time. And fruit goes bad, so… So I have to have fake fruit. Fake fruit is the way to be happy. Yeah, that’s the ticket.”

I think you’ll agree that there’s no real reason to have fake fruit. If you really need fruit in your house and you really want people to see the fruit in the house (why else do you put it in a room-temperature bowl or basket) then put real fruit out. Yes, the fruit will eventually go bad — and that’s when you…wait for it…it’s coming…

Buy fresh fruit.

The only people who have fake fruit in their house are painters (and I’m not a fan of painters who use fake fruit as the subjects in their work), people who are too cheap to buy real fruit and those who like to make you look stupid by forcing you to have to ask THE QUESTION because they have no grapes in their faux-fruit basket in an attempt to force you to do the one thing you vowed from the day of your high school graduation that you would never do.

Ask the question.

So, the next time you go into someone’s house and you see the basket ‘o fruit and you have no idea whether it’s real fruit of faux fruit, do what I always do instead of asking the question and looking stupid in the process:

Knock it on the floor.

Usually, if it’s real, some juice will spray out. And if it’s not, no worries because faux-fruit doesn’t bruise.

37 comments on “Today’s Thoughts on Fake Fruit

  1. Dave2 - December 22, 2005 at 8:14 am -

    I actually like the idea of fake fruit. It implies that you live a healthy lifestyle, but you never have to actually eat the crap… just dust it once in a while.

  2. Pauly D - December 22, 2005 at 8:14 am -

    Dave – Well, look. I’m fine if you have the fake fruit to portray your active lifestyle…but just don’t dust it EVER, so people don’t have to wonder what the deal is. Cool? Cool.

  3. annabel lee - December 22, 2005 at 8:18 am -

    I feel like there’s a joke in here about serving fake fruit to your fake friends…but I’m not clever enough to make it funny. Sorry.

  4. nic - December 22, 2005 at 8:22 am -

    Of all the “real fruits” – you are my favorite.

  5. kristine - December 22, 2005 at 8:22 am -

    today, i have several things:

    1. paul, guess what?
    (i have real fruit in a stainless steel bowl at my place.)

    2. you know who has fake fruit? i totally heard TOM CRUISE does.

    3. and, i love the idea of someone actually resorting to biting the fake fruit as a means to assess its eat-ability (?).

    4. oh, AND, “that’s the ticket” and fake fruit people are SO perfect befellows. i’m so glad you added that to your characterization.

    12. i just ate chocolate. you never see fake chocolate these days.

  6. Hilary - December 22, 2005 at 8:30 am -

    This totally reminds me of one of the recent Arrested Development eps. The end.

  7. the swede - December 22, 2005 at 8:57 am -

    My mom used to have a bowl of fake lemons on her living room table and my oldest nephew did the taste test on one of the “lemons” when he was a toddler. Those little teeth marks sure added character to that faux fruit display.

    (I’m not a fan of fake fruit, fake plants, or generally fake anything, btw. But to each their own, I suppose…)

  8. Fun Joel - December 22, 2005 at 9:08 am -

    I never ask. I just bite right in. And if it is fake, I swallow anyway, in order to “save face” and make it seem like “I meant to do that.”

  9. nic - December 22, 2005 at 9:20 am -

    I do very well with fake plants. I have a plastic thumb.
    Fun Joel – Tell me you don’t.

  10. Keith - December 22, 2005 at 9:22 am -

    Hilary, watching Charlize Theron eat fake fruit was definitely a turn-off, and she is completely yummy.

    Paul, what the hell is that spiky yellow fruit/fake fruit thing in the middle of the basket?

  11. Flower Girl - December 22, 2005 at 9:24 am -

    I hate fake fruit – it’s tacky and pointless. Mom had a candle ring thing with green grapes on it when I was a kid and we’d torture those fake grapes, poking pins in them and drawing on their rubbery skin with ball point pens. Kind of like what I did with my Barbie Dolls…

    I have a bowl of real fruit on my kitchen counter – bananas. There is also a nice tomato in there. But its purely functional since those things can’t go in the fridge.

  12. nic - December 22, 2005 at 9:33 am -

    Real fruit is much more attractive than fake because it aquires lovely brownish spots and those adorable little fruit flies.

  13. Tamara - December 22, 2005 at 10:03 am -

    I think fake fruit should be scented…that way…it’s even MORE confusing.

    By the way, to celebrate being on my blog, duck and cover….it might not necessarily be a great thing. Glad you stopped by though. 🙂

  14. sandra - December 22, 2005 at 10:08 am -

    The real problem with fake fruit? It doesn’t prevent scurvy. Oh, and it’s just weird.

    My real issue lies with people who have fake plants or flowers. Or perhaps the issue is mine…but in any case, I can’t seem to stop myself from covertly glancing around the room and then feeling up the leaves or flower petals to sort out whether they’re alive or plastic.

  15. Pierce - December 22, 2005 at 10:15 am -

    I have seen fake fruit, but only once or twice in my lifetime. And it was always in an office setting. Why would someone have fake fruit in their house?

    Fake plants are way more common.

    But seriously, right, if there’s fake fruit, why isn’t there fake vegtables? Wouldn’t that go a long way towards convincing people you had a healthy kitchen/cooking thing going on? A nice big head of fake broccoli next to a bundle or rustic looking fake carrots. Maybe some fake meat as well. A couple of fake hams hanging from the ceiling beside a nice flank of fake venison.

  16. the swede - December 22, 2005 at 10:24 am -

    “A nice big head of fake broccoli next to a bundle or rustic looking fake carrots. Maybe some fake meat as well. A couple of fake hams hanging from the ceiling beside a nice flank of fake venison.”

    For some reason, this makes me think about the 70s… oh, wait, I remember: Our neighbors actually had a display of plastic garlic and vegetables hanging from their kitchen ceiling! I wish I was kidding, but I’m not. Now I feel… queasy…

  17. jodi - December 22, 2005 at 10:46 am -

    you know who else has fake fruit in their house, besides painters? grandmas.

  18. nic - December 22, 2005 at 10:51 am -

    Why stop there?!
    Fake hor d’ouevres and fake chocolates (ala Kristine) set out at a party … that would be so funny!

    Fake bones set out by Pauly D. for us to bite on.

  19. Wendi - December 22, 2005 at 11:05 am -

    so people go through all that to tell if it’s real or fake and still have to ask? hm..

  20. nic - December 22, 2005 at 11:14 am -

    *munch* Is this basket real? *munch*

  21. monkeyinabox - December 22, 2005 at 11:52 am -

    Fake fruit tastes good with fake teeth, especially when it has artificial flavor added. It goes well with the fake plants and the fake plastic trees, you know, the Christmas kind. I like to bake up real cookies, but with fake sugar, fake butter, and fake chocolate. It’s all nice and all, but nothing compares to the fake turkey that we zap in the microwave.

  22. nic - December 22, 2005 at 11:58 am -

    You are such a phony monkey!

  23. nic - December 22, 2005 at 12:02 pm -

    That’s not even a real box you’re in, is it? You should look outside of the fake box and get real tail.

  24. Sara J. - December 22, 2005 at 12:26 pm -

    Don’t forget the seasonal favorite: fake fruit-cake.

  25. nic - December 22, 2005 at 12:28 pm -

    Of course!

  26. meme - December 22, 2005 at 12:43 pm -

    what the f….?

    i keep a basket of fake fruit around all the time.

    well, it’s actually not fruit but one banana, and it’s actually not in a basket but under my pillow.

  27. Pierce - December 22, 2005 at 12:48 pm -

    I was going to open up that whole can of worms in my “fake meat” comment meme, but just though it was too obvious.

  28. Alissa - December 22, 2005 at 1:07 pm -

    I think fake fruit that actually looks fake is worse. I grew up with a bunch of wooden fruits and vegetables (I believe there were carrots) as part of the decor. See, those aren’t even proper decoys, so what is the point?

  29. Kathleen - December 22, 2005 at 1:08 pm -

    my house had the big wooden spoon and fork on the wall. ahh, memories.

  30. Jacquie - December 22, 2005 at 1:13 pm -

    The only person I have ever known to have fake fruit was my grandmother. I never gave it this much thought but now that you mention it, it is pretty fruitless… ha ha… get it????

    But I have never seen fake fruit that actually looked real. Does such a thing actually exist?

  31. Rachel - December 22, 2005 at 2:56 pm -

    I lived in a furnished apartment in New York a while ago and a picture on the wall had a bowl that was painted with 3-D fruit in it, not only that the fruit was fuzzy – like velvet. Fake, velvet fruit. Nice. Had to look at that for two years because it was bolted to the wall.

  32. Pearl - December 22, 2005 at 3:53 pm -

    A lemon? A lemon is mandatory in a bowl of fruit? Since when do people keep lemons in a bowl of fruit?
    Oh ya, guess they always need lemons around…just in case they want to make some lemonade. So maybe the saying should instead be “If life hands you a FRUIT bowl of lemons, make some lemonade.”

  33. Pauly D - December 22, 2005 at 8:13 pm -

    Keith – No idea what that spike-like fruit is, but if you saw that in a bowl you’d know it was real. There ain’t no warehouse in Taiwan putting out plastic versions of these babies!

    Tamara – You obviously never read my post on shampoo, lotion or food. The last thing we need are more non-food items smelling like food unless we are supposed to be eating them. Ya hear?

    Flower Girl – What’s the tomato for?

    Sara J. – I love fruit cake. Although I suspect the fake stuff doesn’t taste nearly as good as the real stuff.

    Rachel – This sounds like hell to me. You should be able to take everything down in an apartment. I would have made it my goal, like Michael Keaton in Pacific Heights to destroy that secured 3-D artwork or else!

    Everyone Else – Hahahahahaha!

  34. Lexie - December 22, 2005 at 9:46 pm -

    do you think there’s a market for fake fruit that sprays out a little juice when you squeeze it? i really don’t know if there would be any purpose for that, except to further confuse people like you on this matter…

  35. mel - December 22, 2005 at 10:20 pm -

    I never ask. I tap it with my fingernail instead to see if it sounds funny, lol.

  36. Pierce - December 23, 2005 at 2:06 am -

    Lexie – There’s this thing you can buy here which is Lemon Juice in a lemon-shaped plastic bottle thing. I don’t think anyone’s supposed to think that it’s real, it’s just a novelty.

    It’s mostly for use with pancakes and stuff.

    It’s called Jif Lemon.

    So there you go.

  37. jo(e) - December 23, 2005 at 4:45 am -

    When I was a kid, the fake fruit display was very popular. You could usually tell it was fake from the layer of dust gathered on it.

    You can always tell that the bowl of fruit on my counter is real because we get these annoying little fruit flies.

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