If he says “my nuts” one more time, I will lose it. Seriously, I might burst with laughter so loud that I lose all self-respect.
I need to focus on something sad, like the passing of my grandparents. I was so close to them … argh, it’s not working. I still want to laugh.
It’s 2012 and I’m in Fresno County, California to tour a pistachio orchard with two older (early 60s), male associates. This type of visit isn’t new to them — they’ve been working in agriculture for their entire careers. But it’s new to me.
I sit nervously in the back of the truck’s cab praying we don’t crash. The farmer, who’s spent over 30 years farming, is driving us around his land. It’s like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and I’m white-knuckling it the entire time. Each bump, dip and sharp turn propels me higher and higher in the air. I’m thrown around like a rag doll.
We arrive for dinner and though I’m a bit frazzled, I regain my composure. After all, I’m a professional from the city.
I’m eager to get to know more about the farmer and his pistachios. This visit, especially the dinner, is my opportunity. I have my questions ready. “How long have you been farming?” “Why pistachios?” Etc. etc.
Our drinks arrive, and before I can utter a word, the farmer starts in on his nuts (referring to his pistachios, of course). With great seriousness, he talks about how big they are this year and how not getting enough chill hours can impact their quality. He praises their distinct flavor after being roasted.
My associates are unfazed by where the conversation is going. They are, after all, serious men. They too start talking about nut size and taste. Me? I begin to tear up. I feel the tsunami of laughter about to hit. My body tenses and I try desperately to keep my composure. But when the farmer suggests I try his nuts, I bolt from the table.It’s too much. I run to the restroom and there, in the single stall, I sit and cry with laughter so hard that my stomach aches.
I return to the table — with a new appreciation for nuts — and join the men in their unintentionally salacious conversation.
I do like pistachios after all.