It doesn’t matter what the word is, whether it’s loopy and tangled or flat and awkward. Out of the prompt will come whatever you know is low-hanging fruit. Today it’s cherries. Cherry-red happens on long summer days when the sun is inclined at such an angle that the fruit ripens without making any effort whatsoever. The job of a cherry is to grow plump and firm, shiny without and succulent within. The job of a cherry is to be bitten into by sharp little teeth that pierce its skin to loosen its juice which drips past the teeth and down the chin. The job of a cherry is to glow in its bowl and add colour and happiness to the day.
The job of spaghetti is to be eaten, preferably al dente, with a rich sauce and accompanied by a green salad. Spaghetti may slip onto the plate in a soggy heap, loose and limp and dribbling in an insipid red puddle. Spaghetti defies control and threatens tablecloths and napkins. It is as common as mud.
So why does spaghetti, apart from its inclusion as a minor member of the pasta family, now appear on menus in posh restaurants at a price that might afford the owner a new Ferrari? But look again. This common, down-to-earth food has done a surprising thing. It remains the staple week-day meal of many growing children while appearing in flashy places in the evenings. It is therefore classy and without class, thereby cancelling itself by being two things and neither, all in the same breath.
Here’s to spaghetti. Here’s to cherries. Here’s to Tuesdays.