Off Campus

12 May 2006

The Hunt For The Perfect Orange

As spring springs and fall falls, we at Off Campus would like to present another in our ongoing series of consumer awareness and education missives, in an effort to make YOU the reader (singular...we hope to have more some day) a savvier shopper, armed with the wisdom that only we can muster, gathered from various sources that we just don't care to name at this time.

Orange-buying Tips:
When selecting the perfect orange, the following criteria should be met and/or exceeded:

Criteria #1: The orange should be round.

Although square oranges have been experimented with in a controlled lab setting (Knif Labs, 1975), they thus far have yet to hit the market. One doesn't know if the public would accept a four-sided variation on a long-standing spherical favorite, though they certainly would stack well and be less inclinded to roll off your desk, down the hall, onto an escalator, out the revolving door, and into a cab headed for Detroit. Square oranges would also pose a greater risk of eye injury, though their use as a temporary and fragrant paper weight might outweigh the eye-patch conundrum.

One should always verify an orange's sphericicity by holding both arms rigid in front of oneself at a 45-degree angle toward the floor, and having a grocer's assistant place it under one's chin. Once in place, the chin should be raised so that the orange travels freely down the citrus slope, into the waiting palms below. If the orange travels freely and with great speed, it is indeed spherical and Criteria # 1 has been met. If the orange veers off its path, it is clearly defective and should be sold at a greatly discounted rate. If the orange is crushed under the weight of one's chin before it is released, one is in need of some wet-wipes.

Criteria #2: The orange should be orange.

Is an orange that is not orange an orange? Is an orange named after the color, or the color named after the orange? Philosophers have asked themselves questions like this for centuries, but rarely shared them with the public. This criteria is more about the principal of the thing than any rigid dietary requirement. A blue orange is just not right. A green orange is not done yet, and a red orange is angry at you. A black or brown orange is something to be feared and not smelled.

Criteria #3: Its external texture should feel like a piece of sports equipment.

A good orange should have a tough, pocky exterior skin, much like Edward James Olmos. Smooth or squishy oranges are likely the result of tampering with forces Man is not meant to tamper with, and should be given dirty looks and mocked forcefully, like Pepsi Clear and reality shows. A proper orange should do damage when thrown, and cause pain and dizziness if dropped on one's foot, whether by accient or out of curiousity. One should be able to slap the orange around a bit, getting out the agressions of the day, and maintain is shape and color until consumed. If the orange bruises or blushes after such treatment, it is not worthy and shold be lobbed out of a moving car into a cemetery. In a pinch, and orange should be able to be used in a game of softball, but only for bunting.

Criteria #4 : Its internal texture should look like the picture on a Minute Maid carton.

If one cuts an orange in half and sees the image of a koala bear, something is amiss, and the orange in question should be cleaned and burned. Likewise, any visible text ("Kill", "Dingle", "Quiet Riot RULES!") should be a clear sign that the orange in question is of questionable nutritional value, and should be sold to the nearest sideshow.

Criteria #5: An orange should make no audible sound when left alone.

If an orange emits a low-decibel hum or murmuring sound, it is not recommended that it be cut open or eaten. The orange in question may actually be an incendiary device, or severly mutated hedgehog. Back away slowly and seek shelter.

We at Off Campus, in association with no accredited federal organization (we tried, but they kept saying something about a lack of "scientific evidence"), hope that these simple rules and guidelines will help to make you a more wizened citrus shopper, filled with vitamin C (C for "smarts") and a firm sense of ennui.