Apples and Oranges

Being a cultural gadfly can be a lot of fun. I’m about to do something that is almost universally considered impossible. So impossible that it has become a standard for comparison. And yet I won’t tell you anything that you don’t already know. Apples and oranges are both fruits that grow on trees. The apple, however, is not a citrus fruit, like the orange, and the orange does not, like the apple, grow on a deciduous tree. They’re about the same size, although, since size is dependent upon variety and growing conditions, a particular apple might be smaller or larger than a particular orange. Oranges are not distinguished by their color, they are either Valentia or navel, and both are orange. The Valentia has seeds, the navel does not. Apples always have seeds. Apples, however, are distinguished by their color, are either red, green, or golden, and there are a great many kinds of each—

11 February 1986