One of the more interesting things about having a blog partner is that when one of you gets a hare-brained scheme, you have a partner you can rope into going along with you. Case in point: Valerie got it into her head (that must be the hare brain Jean refers to above, notes Valerie) that she wanted to use as props some of the exotic fruits she'd spied in carts of Chinatown street vendors. Although we started in search of one particularly gorgeous fruit (which will remain unnamed, since we might very well go back for it), the bright red little rambutans were in season. Covered with stiff hair-like bristles, the red outside protects a delicately flavored white lychee-like fruit inside. Since those would go out of season first, we went with the rambutans. And how could we say no, anyway, given their other-worldly look?
Those of you who are already saying "Whuuuuttttt????" - not so fast! Many women before us have labored in praise of fruit. A prime example: Josephine Baker. Click here for a brief video of her doing her world famous thing in the 1920s.
By now, some of you are saying out loud "Yes, and what about Carmen Miranda?" Another prime example.
And for those of us who asked ourselves "Do I dare?" and, "Do I dare?"*, there were (and are) smaller, less outrageous ways to participate in the passion for fruit.
So now that we have you on our wavelength (perhaps... a little bit...) without further ado, here's what we did with the rambutans:
Jean says: As a child of the '50s, I grew up on black and white sci-fi movies about space aliens and mutant creatures resulting from nuclear testing (like "The Blob"). This has obviously tainted my world view and warped my psyche, but has also provided the background for my tale:
I was minding my own business one Saturday afternoon, daydreaming about nothing in particular when my reveries were so rudely interrupted by an invasion of small, hairy space creatures hell bent on devouring me. And to add to my predicament, my legs were paralyzed. I could not move and was trapped right in their path. The horror!
My first reaction? Shrieking uncontrollably, of course. My cries grew more frantic by the second. My heart was beating so rapidly, I thought it would burst.
Unfortunately, screaming didn't scare them away. It only served to agitate the little creatures. They never broke ranks and started wriggling their little hairy spines at me. Now what? Frozen in fear, unable to run or even crawl away, as a last resort, I then tried to throw myself on their mercy.
Unfortunately, that also appeared to have little effect. Aha, I thought. Perhaps the little critters are hard of hearing. So, I tried shouting my pleas for mercy.
Again, they ignored my desperate pleas. When all else fails, what does one do but resort to violence, right? Driven mad by fear, I decided to try to smack the little buggers into submission with my bare hands.
The rest, as they say, is history!
And now, back to our regularly scheduled program. I went for the practical in my rambutans. They were round and red and perfectly sized, with soft little spikes for a bit of edgy drama. How would I not want to wear them? Don't they make the perfect accessory? The little spikes were actually a bit velcro-like, helping them stay together. Making a necklace was a bit of a challenge. (Actually, an insurmountable challenge.) We had no needle or thread and, velcro-like characteristics notwithstanding, there was still the force of gravity to deal with.
A close-up of the merch. For the fun of it, I photoshopped in some red nail polish.
What can be more tempting to eat than a red fruit? Mind you, you are supposed to peel the rambutan first, but that's a minor detail. Ever see ads for beer, in which the name of the beer is prominently visible in the hand of the person advertising it? Just try holding a beer that way and see how uncomfortable and unnatural it is. Here, I'm holding a tasty, beautiful rambutan as if I'm about to eat it. I'm quite comfortable, but no one can see the gorgeous product. So if we had been under contract to the Board for the Promotion of Rambutans, we would have had to do this shoot all over again.
The red of the fruit matched up really well with the red of the dress, so they seemed made for each other, but the dress could only be decorated while lying down, and I had to lie still, and it really wasn't working. So without our realizing it, it morphed into a surrealist art project.
Here is Magritte's well known Son of Man:
So I guess this could be called, with apologies, Daughter of Woman.
See? We told you yesterday it wasn't a walk in the park.
* With apologies to T. S. Eliot for his poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, which we all studied in high school.