Monday, June 20, 2011

Mutant Cherries (Japan)

When I was a kid I grew up on Marvel Comics from the '60s (sourced from my older step brother's horde) and the '70s, and via The X-Men - as well as the 1970 movie Beneath the Planet of the Apes, starring James Franciscus and Charlton Heston - I learned early that radiation causes mutation.

In the case of The X-Men the process granted them some pretty nifty powers; in Beneath the Planet of the Apes the mutants might've been able to read minds, but it seemed to me at the time that they were also bludgeoned with the ugly stick several times over.

Being a Cold War kid meant you seriously expected the end of the world to come from nuclear warfare (since there were something like seven missiles aimed at every major city in the world) and/or the radioactive aftermath.

Mother Nature was another matter entirely.

I grew up being wary of bushfire risks in Australia, and we once caught a Greyhound bus south from the Gold Coast with flames on either side of the highway, but I'm too young to remember it and my mum paints her own memory vivid.

And yet while the earthquake and tsunami here were scary tastes of nature at its most volatile, nothing really prepares you for big business gone incompetent.

These are two cherries we got in a batch as a gift yesterday from a friend.

They're sourced from the prefecture next to Fukushima, where the nuclear plant is still spewing radioactive stuff while the inept owners (TEPCO) blunder on and refuse to give clear details about very much at all - including accurate reading updates regarding the levels of caesium-137 et al that are slipping out and across the country.

The cherries are seriously deformed; it's like those three cherries on top of the TEPCO logo were sent back to DNA design school but dropped out too early.

I went cherry picking when I was 18 back in Australia and in a week of plucking the buggers I never came across anything like these. The Siamese ones are particularly striking, but my daughter says the other one, with a poking out appendage, has an eye.

Speaking of eyes, it all reminds me of the three-eyed fish from The Simpsons.

Worrisome? Hmmm. I'll get back to you on that.

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