(3) Pålegg

(Norwegian): Anything and everything you can put on a slice of bread.


High school. That is when I was introduced to the wealth of possibilities as far as avocados are concerned. Its use as a hair product was adversely mentioned. We were obsessed with afros, mainly because it was a subtler form of rebellion. Our principal at the time was quite liberal and always emphasized personal responsibility, despite being a strict disciplinarian. He always told us to make sure that the ‘fro was clean and combed. Those who claimed to be Rastafarians saw it as a launching pad for the growth of dreadlocks. Hair has always been a political statement but that is a story for another time. Others, like me, thought it was cool. Everyone else was doing it and since so was I, was part of the “In Crowd”. I never used it on my hair but I hear those who did reported marked improvements in texture and )…bounciness, which is funny because I never saw anyone openly use it. They must have done it at their homes where there would be no judgement for such wanton waste. Even vanity had its limits. I cringe in near-pain whenever I remember that special daftness peculiar to high-school boys where you think you know everything yet you listen to pretty much no one. I used to think I was the shit (I still do, a biiiiiiiiit). I had an afro! And an afro comb with the Black Power fist! I digress a biiiiiiiiit. Also, as a facial cleanser and moisturiser and, most usefully, as a complement to food, as food! You know this already, but avocados!

The food, as all high-school food in any self-respecting institution is, was horrible. Overly boiled, overly fried, or under boiled or under fried. As a green form one I found it odd that avocado was added to everything, but not for long. I often wonder if we would have met our nutritional requirements had there been no avocados. I gather the school administration knew what it was doing when they let the canteen guy sell them. The occasional oranges and mangos that were provided (read: raw lemons and raw lemons)….. I do not even have to finish that. During school outings, avocados were a must-buy. There was a certain pride in being able to get an especially big one and having people see you carrying it.The plan was to eat a half of it on the night of the outing and the other half the following day. By the time the following day came, the remaining half was rotting and most of it had to be thrown away. It would have made more sense to buy two medium-sized avocados. See, that daftness again.

Up to today, it is possibly my favourite fruit, sharing first place with bananas. I once saw a tweet where the tweep said how well avocados go well with everything so she should try it with an orgasm. This enlightening silliness did not stop me from unfollowing her however. There was also a time when that #MwanaumeNi nonsense, a man is, was going on and I saw something like this: Mwanaume ni ku-fap na avocado: going green and herbal at the same time. And you sit there thinking there is redemption for this human species. Avocados made high-school life bearable and I am sure you know I am not exaggerating when I say this. It is still a core component of a lot of meals, especially bachelors’. My cousin and I are guilty of this. Admit it, so are you. It is the default go-to with bread after those long days where cooking feels like torture. Having said all this, there was a time when there were alarmist beliefs that avocados made you fat. I found this frivolous and I have never bothered to verify the claims. Given it is pretty much the only thing bachelors are guaranteed to regularly eat, why would this be a bad thing if it did turn out to be true? Anyway, avocados. Yeah!



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