Friday, July 24, 2015

Seed Spittin'

A very long time ago, a hundred years now by my reckoning, aging ancient woman that I am, watermelons had seeds.

No kidding. They harbored big black huge seeds, and lots of them.

When an adult split the melon in half, the seeds were everywhere. Melons were bigger back then, too. They were long and too heavy for a kid of 12 to lift, at least not without a lot of grunting.

After the first cut, the melon would be sliced into smiles. The fruit would grin at you with huge black teeth, those seeds just waiting for you to take a bite.

I remember my father would bring one home and he'd haul it down to the springhouse to let it get cold. It was much too large for the refrigerator. And we'd think about that melon for a day or two, waiting for dad to bring it up and take the big knife to it.

Sometimes on a hot summer afternoon, usually a Sunday, I'd sit on the back porch at my grandmother's house where we'd chow down on some glistening red melon. It tasted sweet and the coldness against the heat was like an iceberg making its way through your stomach.

And the seeds? Oh, we spat them out. At each other. Sissy girls like me would wave our hands and squeal if the mood struck, but mostly I spit back. Sometimes we'd put a can in the yard and see who could spit seeds into it. Or see who could spit those seeds the farthest.

But mostly we spit them at one another. Sometimes you'd gather up a great number in your mouth and then try to send them out rapid-fire like, taking your target by surprise. This took some finesse and tongue work, but it was manageable if you did it right.

If you had a front tooth out, then you'd try to spit the seed through the gap. Sometimes that was hard, especially if the seeds were large.

Occasionally you'd end up with a watermelon with soft little white seeds. While the fruit tasted good, the seeds were a disappointment. Not much spitting went on when you ended up with one of those bad melons.

Nowadays, those bad melons - seedless watermelons, they call them - are about all one can purchase in the store. I haven't seen a regular ol' big oblong fat seeded watermelon in years. Whole generations of children have grown up without spittin' a seed at a sibling and watching it stick to his or her cheek.

They don't know what they've missed.


  1. Watermelons had SEEDS! When did that happen?😉

  2. I became near-expert at spitting those seeds. Maybe that is why they all wend seedless. There still have to be seeded watermelons if you think about it so that they can reproduce.

  3. I grew up spitting a seed or two also. Why can't they just leave food alone instead of changing all good things? So sad.


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