the mighty Mangifera indica

Mango season is in full swing, and I have been indulging myself like a little piggy… in well,  mango!

However, I never cease to marvel at the design faults of the mango. A mango can’t even be peeled without releasing sticky mango juice all over your hands and down your arms.

Long ago, Mr FD introduced me to the correct way of eating a mango, which is to slice either side of the stone and to cut a cube pattern into the flesh and pop the skin backwards to expose the flesh to either eat from the skin, or more easily slice off the skin.


I think he thought my mother’s way of allowing us to eat mango by placing us in the bathtub, was not the done style for a grown woman. Our guests also thought it a little odd when I excused myself from the luncheon table to sit in the tub, even though I invited them to join me as my siblings and cousins had done in childhood. It is also impossible to find a tub in any restaurant, and the dish washer gets annoyed any time I try to find room in the kitchen sink, oddly enough!

So, the niceties of actually getting the mango to my mouth in some semi civilised manner somewhat achieved, the next design fault that is encountered is the irritating way the mango flesh shreds and wraps itself around any rough surface, such as broken teeth, fillings, or just the small gaps between teeth; places a tongue can’t politely clean.

The threads of mango cling to every nook and cranny like the deck chair sorters on the Titanic. There is no way they are going to release their position without at least a civil war encounter with a crowbar and a water power spray.

Mr FD has this signal when my behaviour becomes to outrageous, such as when I place a finger into the back of my mouth to try and pry out mango threads. He tolerates one finger, but when my hand disappears into my mouth he signals enough – by leaving the room.

This signal works both ways. If he is annoying me, boring me, or I just want to play with his mind, all I merely need to do is stick my hand into my mouth and he leaves me to my peace and quiet. It is nice to know that after so many years of marriage that we still communicate so well…

The third mango design fault is having to wipe a sticky mouth afterwards. Paper napkins tend to stick to one’s face and particularly one’s lips. Hard to flash a smile with mango flesh visibly clinging to one’s teeth and paper serviette glued to one’s lips… and as we know if anyone could carry it off, I would be your woman, but one glimpse in the handbag compact mirror soon told me some things are even beyond a goddess with pearls.

My mother always tied a tea towel around our necks, like a cowboy’s bandana, and this was meant to spare our clothes and to be used as a ready face wiper when required. Not a tradition that one can carry over into adulthood, unless one is home alone, or at least home with only one’s nearest and dearest who are somewhat immune to one’s vagrancies. For their own sanity and survival they have learned to ignore most of my actions I have realised, so I can use my tea towel with wild abandon. Mr FD does object however to the tea towel being returned to the towel rack for future dish duties. Obviously, he has never realised that I spit into every meal I prepare for him! He also thinks I am joking about the ground glass in his coffee…

Some people develop rashes from contact with mango flesh and juice. This has never been a issue for me, my flawless skin remains as soft and unblemished as a newborn’s. I believe Mr FD may have encountered this issue as a child, but as he has sported a beard for most of his adult life he can get away with the raised red  rash now. It is only when he starts scratching his beard hair vigorously that  the facial expressions of his companions show their fear of potential flea and lice contamination.

I can always fall back on adding a mango to the menu if Mr FD asks guests I don’t particularly like and wish to hurry home. Once his scratching routine commences they down their coffee and invent reasons to rush home and defrost the freezer, or wash hair and I can take a nap after being forced to be nice.

So, now that I think of it, despite its many design flaws the mango does have it positives, especially in giving me freedom from Mr FD and pesky guests. And what is a little mango flesh between the teeth, when the teeth are stained by tea anyway? No, all said and done, the mango is a divine fruit, worthy of a goddess.

Bring me my tea towel for the bathtub is free – We shall eat mango!


11 thoughts on “the mighty Mangifera indica

  1. Superb entertainment FD. I look forward to mango season every year, partially because it coincides with lychee and grape seasons, but mango is #1 by a country mile. And because you have to go to all that peeling trouble, god invented the R2E2 giant variety so you have to peel less often. Ornery sized mangos still $2 each up here…I refuse to buy them at that price.


  2. I’m relieved to read that someone as graceful as yourself also has trouble eating a mango neatly. The last time I tried to peel a mango, the thing exploded juice all over my face, hands, and the front of my blouse. It also got stuck in my teeth, though I ran to the bathroom and dealt with the strands with plenty of dental floss. After watching my mother clean her teeth with her fingers, I decided I didn’t want to look like her (though that seems inevitable, unfortunately).

    You could try making mango lassi. The Indian mother-in-law showed me how to make it in a blender, and it was a nice way to have your mango without dealing with the mess.


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