Of watermelons and books

watermelon&books

In the middle of his tea party, the Mad Hatter asks Alice a riddle:

Why is a raven like a writing-desk?

When Alice gives up trying to figure out the answer, she asks the Hatter, who says:

I haven’t the slightest idea.

I’ll do Mr. Carroll and his Hatter one better. Here’s a riddle, the answer to which I not only know, but will divulge (spoiler alert) in this post.

Why is a watermelon like a book?

First, confession time: This isn’t a true riddle, although what constitutes a true riddle (if that isn’t an oxymoron) isn’t 100% clear to me.

You see, I was cutting up and eating a watermelon today (I can never do the former without indulging in the latter) when it occurred to me that there are striking parallels between these two things that are, on the surface, quite different. Here’s my (probably partial) list of similarities:

  1. I love both of these items. I couldn’t imagine life without either one.
  2. Both are often consumed voraciously. I treat a book in the same way as I do the melon. At first I savor every bite/page, but as I approach the end, I down those chunks/pages as if they might disappear before I finish them.
  3. Both have seeds. In the case of the fruit, literal ones. (Yeah, even the “seedless” ones.) With books, they’re seeds of inspiration.
  4. Either one makes a great beach companion on a hot summer day.
  5. You can’t judge either by its cover. Believe me, in the case of watermelons, I’ve tried to figure out how to identify a quality melon by inspecting, tapping, or shaking it. I still end up with clunkers. Which brings me to the next thought:
  6. There are good ones and there are bad ones. Far fewer watermelons could be described as “bad” but I’ve had a few. Books, while I haven’t read them all, probably have more bad than good, especially in this day of self-publishing.
  7. You can grow your own. It’ll be a crap shoot quality-wise, but with time, effort, and enough fertilizer (make of that what you will) you can have yourself one sweet fruit of your labors.

Mind you, there are also major differences between watermelons and books which are hard to ignore.

  1. With few exception, watermelons are much bigger than books. They can be downright unwieldy.
  2. If watermelon juice drips, it becomes very sticky. I honestly can’t think of a book about which I could say the same thing.
  3. No one has yet been able to perfect the eMelon. I pray it never happens.

That’s about all I can think of at the moment. I’m open to your ideas.

Meanwhile, I’m going to grab a book and some watermelon.

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