The Palisadian-Post presents an homage to Will Rogers’ column, “Will Rogers Says,” with a column by Palisadian Jimmy Dunne—on life in the “greatest town in America.”
Bugs in Fruit
We all know the saying, “Bugs in fruit.”
Comes from the tiny percentage of bug parts the FDA allows for in fruit.
Because bugs are on fruit. That’s never, ever going to change.
But here’s the trick, as we all know.
When we get home, we put the fruit under our faucets—and wash ’em off. Right down the drain they go.
Did we get it all? Nope. But good enough. Who cares.
Bugs in fruit are a lot like jerks.
There are jerks in every town, on every block, in every organization, in every country club, in every business, in every school, church, synagogue—you name it.
There are always going to be jerks laying on their horns at stoplights. Jerks walking dogs and not cleaning up. Selfish jerks.
Whether they say it out loud or not, each sentence starts with, “Let me tell you what’s good for me.”
Jerks are “bugs in fruit.”
So, what do we do about it?
Focus on the fruit. Not the bugs.
Here’s the rub.
The bugs get so much more attention than they deserve.
If we don’t watch out, we’ll forget the fruit’s even there—because we’re too busy thinking about the bugs.
We gotta just wipe ’em off and send ’em right down the garbage disposal—and move on.
Stories about the jerks are all over the national news, the city news, the town news, in the chit-chat on the pickleball court. So much energy, so much bandwidth yapping about the “bugs in fruit.”
The other day, on Nextdoor, a guy wrote about how he was parked at one of our local markets and three “teens” on scooters called him a “Bozo.”
78 people. 78 people wrote comments, mostly under the theme of the “Bye Bye Birdie” song, “What’s the Matter with Kids Today?”
If the worst thing that happened to me today was a couple knucklehead kids called me a “Bozo”—that would be one great day.
I’d tell ’em, “Thanks for the ‘shout out.’ One of my favorite shows growing up.”
On top of that, to them, I am a Bozo.
Think about it. I’m four times their age. To them, I dress like Ben Franklin. And the longest hair on my head isn’t as long as ones sprouting out of their nose.
Please. Tell me something I don’t know.
Bugs in fruit.
Here’s what I do know.
This morning, when I was walking my dog past the same store, a guy riding by on his bike stopped in the street to pick up a random plastic Coke bottle—and put it in a garbage can.
When I was inside the store, Susie, a sweet pea in the bakery department, gave me a little chocolate gift to give my wife.
Whoops. Never made it home.
So what’s the fix? How do we stop focusing on the bugs?
How ’bout this.
Do like Will Ferrell said in that stupid movie where he coached the little girls’ soccer team.
Do the opposite.
Once a day, make a point to do something just wonderful.
One little extra thing that makes the world just a little bit better.
That puts a smile on somebody’s face. Puts a snap in their step.
Maybe in a restaurant, stick your head in the kitchen, look the cooks in their eyes and tell ’em how talented they are.
Maybe go through your old pics. Find one of your brothers or sisters. Or an old pal. Email ’em how it reminded you how lucky you are that they’re in your life.
That kind-of grumpy old lady on the block who lives alone? Always complaining about the gifts your dog leaves on her lawn?
Knock on her door. Hand her one flower from your backyard. In a little vase. Tell her it looks like her.
Stuff like that.
I’ll bet, if you do that, you’re going to find something.
A one-of-a-kind piece of fruit.
The most delicious, beautiful, wondrous fruit in the whole world …
Jimmy Dunne is a modern-day Renaissance Man; a hit songwriter (28 million hit records), screenwriter/producer of hit television series, award-winning author, an entrepreneur—and a Palisadian “Citizen of the Year.” You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or jimmydunne.substack.com.
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.