APFwebs: Letters from the Editor

Lost in space

Remember the Flintstones?

Maybe not. Then, soon came the Jetsons, with their robot Rosie. Like our vacuum Herbert and house-protector Bertha, but maybe better.

After that came Lost in Space, then Star Trek, which was cancelled the year of the first footsteps on the Moon. Fifty years ago: I remember them all; shows my age.

If the Earth were a pea, Uranus might be a grape, Jupiter a lime, the Sun a watermelon, and the Moon a peppercorn; or thereabouts. One giant leap for plantkind, with us far less than a grain of sand.

Some fewer years ago, I recall one giant leap for one sort of plants: grapes. A blind tasting gave “Two-buck Chuck” (from Trader Joe’s) as high a preference as some much pricier wines, and gave high marks to Australian wines. France, Italy, and Napa: take heed!

As for grapes, so for chilés. Governors (and residents) of New Mexico and Colorado have now made a hot (¡!) fight over whose chilés are best. New Mexico’s Hatch chilés long reigned as the unquestioned King, with California’s generic Anaheims a reasonable second. Colorado entered the fray with Pueblo “chilis”. The best, they said. New Mexicans were of course taken aback. Grrr…

I propose another blind tasting. Let there be participants, with the only stipulation being that each is a long-time resident of their two states: New Mexico and Colorado. Place them in rooms away from the snorts and influence of crowds.

Let them taste chilé samples from at least three places—say, New Mexico, Colorado, and California. Maybe more, as a surprise. Let them decide two things. One will be, which chilé is from where. The other is, which chilé is best. Let us be surprised. A giant leap for chilékind?

And while we’re at it, let’s play with another plant: potatoes. Remember Mr. Potatohead? Maybe not. Just saying. As for grapes and chilés, so for potatoes.

Let there be a blind reading. Let there be participants, with the only stipulation being that each is a long-time resident of their two countries: the US and Russia. Place them in rooms away from the snorts and influence of crowds.

Let them read quotes from at least three leaders (skillfully translated into the participants’ language, of course)—say, Putin, Trump, and Kim. Maybe more, as a surprise. Let them decide two things. One will be, which words are from whom. The other is, whose words are best. Let us be surprised. A giant leap for potatoheads?

I remember JFK, RFK, and MLK (then LBJ and…er…RMN); shows my age. Like sands through the hourglass…

Lost in space.