The Lie: Sorry, guys, I forgot to bring the orange slices this week.
The Truth: I didn’t forget – I’m just trying to do my part to combat the unnatural ubiquity of orange slices at soccer games. A perpetual sideline fixture since the days when I used to strap on pint-sized shinguards, and probably well before that, the Tupperware bin of orange slices is a misguided tradition that’s overstayed its welcome, and I intend to hasten its long-overdue demise.
I’m all in favor of our mini Donovans and Wambachs being able to enjoy an energy-packed snack at halftime (or any time during the game, in the case of those kids who spend most of their time on the bench, i.e. both of mine). But why should a messy, sticky, inconvenient fruit occupy that crucial role? What’s wrong with raisins? Or blueberries? If kids are big on the “slices” angle, for some inexplicable reason, then how about sliced peaches? Or sliced apples, which are local and abundant this time of year? Perhaps sliced cucumbers would be an unexpected hit. I’d even be willing to provide dip.
Why, I ask, must we continue to venerate a tropical, non-native fruit that, when sliced, encourages a method of consumption in which the uneaten rind is invariably tossed anyplace convenient – usually the ground – thus necessitating manual clean-up once the re-energized little dynamos are once again making fools of themselves on the field of play? And, more to the point, who’s responsible for picking up all of those random-kid-chomped, disease-ridden sticky orange rinds? The poor sap who brought the orange slices, that’s who. Yeah, no thanks – I’m out. It’s raisins and cucumbers from now on.