It’s cherry season here in Belmont, California.
This, of course, means I’m eating cherries every chance I get. Grapes, strawberries and melons all have to take a backseat to cherries through the rest of the month.
Turns out I’m not the only person in my family who appreciates cherries. My 10-year-old son is also a big fan of the red fruit.
He’s such a big fan that the other day he walked up to me and asked, “Wanna see how far I can spit a cherry pit?”
“Yeah,” I said.
Within moments the two of us were in the backyard. I watched as he put a juicy cherry in his mouth. A moment later he flashed a big smile. He had eaten the cherry and the pit rested on his tongue.
“Are you ready to spit the pit?” I asked.
He shook his head up and down.
I watched as the pit shot out of his mouth and sailed through the air, landing all of 3 feet from him.
“What do you think?” he asked.
Most parents, especially those with lots of class and refinement, might have thanked their son for the pit-spitting demonstration, smiled, and then returned to the house in an effort not to encourage their child in such a vulgar activity.
I, however, lack such social graces and so I looked at that cherry pit resting a few feet from my son and shook my head. I took a deep breath and then let out a sigh.
“I think with a little practice, you could spit cherry pits a lot farther than that.”
So I went into the house to get the cherries and returned with a big bowl in hand. It was now time to teach my son the fine art of cherry-pit spitting.
I sat the bowl on the ground and asked, “Wanna see how I do?”
“Okay,” my son said.
Before I go any further, I just want to say that I’m not trying to present myself as some sort of expert in the art and science of cherry pit spitting.
I do, however, know enough to teach my son. And it was this knowledge that I hoped to pass to my kid.
I took a cherry and put it in my mouth. I smiled because it was delicious. I got these cherries at the big .
I spit out the pit and it sailed through the air and landed more than 20 feet away. It was enough to impress my kid.
“Want me to show you how to spit cherry pits really far?” I asked my son.
“Sure,” he said.
So like a father teaching his son how to throw a baseball properly, I taught my son how to fill his lungs full of air, how to curl his tongue, the correct angle to tilt his head, and the rapid expulsion of air as the pit travels along the tongue before it is launched into the air.
After a little coaching, we were two cherry-pit-spitting fools. We spent most of the morning spitting cherry pits, stopping only because we ran out of cherries.
My neighbors, if they happened to catch this Kodak moment, probably would have thought something along the lines of, Hey, with a Dad like that, no wonder those Ware kids are so classy.
I understand some people having reservations about a father and son spending time spitting pits in the backyard, but we are in an age where eating food (yeah, I’m talking about Major League Eating) can elevate a person to the status of athlete.
So who knows, one day my kid could be in the cherry-pit-spitting Olympics.
I’m happy to report that by the end of the day, my son was able to spit a cherry pit upwards of 12 feet. Not bad for a kid, but he obviously has a ways to go before giving me a run for my money.
With only a few more weeks before California cherry season is over, we have a lot of cherry-pit-spitting practice to do.
I encourage you to have some fun in what could very well become America’s next pastime.