So, I may have mentioned, I can’t remember, but I think I mentioned that I live in a veritable bucolic paradise in Prahran. Yes, I do. The lemon trees are still lemoning madly (and aren’t lemons supposed to be a winter fruit?), the avocado tree is growing little avocado bullets, and, woe is me, the fig tree has grown about 200 figs and is busily ripening them. I say woe, because the fig tree inspires a feeling of vague failure. I HAVE A FIG TREE. I should be figging and cooking and making jam and whipping up delicious desserts and breakfasts in an airy yet complacent manner which suggests that I just walked out the back and picked the fruit myself. Which I did. Would, I mean, if I did any of these things. Instead I just glance at the tree out of the corner of my eye and pretend it’s not there. Because … don’t tell anyone … I don’t really like figs. There! I said it! I will eat them, when I remember they are there, and I can drizzle them with honey, and make some half hearted baking attempts, but … there are hundreds of figs on this tree. Literally hundreds. And I just watch the birds eat them all, and I watch Mr. T run over fallen figs with the lawn mower (let me tell you, you only get to see that once, because fig all up inside the lawn mower is not optimal for engine performance) and I sigh for the figgy waste. Last year I collected about 20 figs for myself, total, and gave about another 20 to our next door neighbour (who is in his 80s and is of European descent and told me quite seriously that I should sell the figs by setting up a stall in front of the house). 40 figs off an entire tree. Wasteful. Bad.
But this year is Year of the Fig. (What, you didn’t know?) The figs must be put to good use. But how? Never fear. I had a game plan. First, this morning I collected about a dozen perfectly ripe figs. Then I took them to work. Then, I walked all around our open plan office, innocuously offering figs. Figs for all! Some people looked away, and some said no politely, but others … their eyes lit up and they leaned involuntarily towards the bag. I shook the bag invitingly. (Thereby bruising the figs, probably, but eh.) In my best drug pusher manner, I offered them a fig. Just a taste, I say. This one’s free. Go on, live a little! What could be the harm?
I have them now. They are hooked. They desire my figgy wares. This afternoon I got home and picked 36 more figs, divided evenly into half-dozens. I have 6 people, entirely within my power. The power of the fig. From the managing director down. I have chosen my fig addicts well.
And soon … I will call in my favours. Oh yes.