When Life Gives You Oranges

Dad and his boy are sitting at a picnic table by the beach on a sunny afternoon.

“Yuck! This muffin has orange peels in it.”

Dad turns to his son and edifies him.

“But orange peel has limonene and linalool.” Says Dad in a comical voice. “Are you telling me you don’t like limonene and linalool?”

“No, I’m telling you I don’t like orange peels.” Says the feisty little boy.

Dad recoils. “But linalool is a super-cool natural pesticide, as well as a perfume that they stick in soap and shampoo…”

“Maybe that’s why I don’t like it Dad! Do you put fly spray on your pancakes?”

“No, but they do use limonene to flavour foods, as well as making cosmetics more easily absorbed by the skin, it promotes weight loss, treats bronchitis and they say it even cures cancer.”

“But I don’t have cancer Dad!”

“That must be because of all the orange peels you’ve been eating.”

“But I don’t like orange peels.”

“But you do like orange flavoured soft-drink.”

The boy isn’t convinced. Dad finishes the uneaten muffin and the two sit overlooking the waves.

“Ew, there’s fish-and-chip grease all over this table.” Cries the boy.

“Some limonene would fix that. It’s a degreaser.”

“And there are ants everywhere.”

“Linalool will do the job.”

“The mosquitos are coming now that the sun is going down.”

“Linalool again. It’s a mosquito repellent. Are you getting sunburnt little dude?”

“I think so.”

“We’ll have to put some moisturiser on your skin, buddy. And we’d better use some with limonene in it to make sure it’s absorbed by your skin properly. And then, you can go eat some orange skins to prevent the onset of skin cancer!”

Dad loves riling up his little boy who’s frowning as hard as he can to conceal a laugh that’s bubbling deep down. The boy can’t hold it in. Dad can’t help himself. “I’ll tell mum to put some orange peels in your spaghetti tonight, since you love it so much.”

“No, Dad! No!” The boy begins to laugh.

“You love it! You love it!”

“No!” He’s laughing uncontrollably.

The boy snaps out of his daydream to the sight of his chemistry textbook in front of him. The top of the page reads “Limonene and Similar Hydrocarbons.” He never went to the beach with his dad when he was a kid. Now he’s a man, embarking on a scientific career and longing for the relationship with his father that he could have had, but never will.

T.

5 thoughts on “When Life Gives You Oranges

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