One of his favorite spiels is how marijuana is proof of some form of benevolence in the universe. Not a God necessarily, not even net-sum hospitableness, but at least not total agony for all. Outer space, so far, doesn’t seem all that hospitable to humans. And the social environment and biological burn here on earth drives many to suicide, or worse—long useless lives. But with all the bleakness, marijuana, with weedlike tenacity, reminds us that all is not bad—there is some good. This according to Pudinhand Wilson.
Now he’s saying that citrus fruits might stand the same witness. (Recently Pud’s been drinking low-acid pulp-free Tropicana from my refrigerator.) How could you say that the universe is malevolent when it includes the wonderful flavors of orange, lime, and pineapple?
Then he disappeared. Two days later he returned with bad news about pineapples—they’re not citrus after all.
“They’re goddamn bromeliads,” Pud whined.
“But they still taste good…” (why was I consoling him?)
“And they got this weird number thing going,” he said. “Ever hear of Fibonacci numbers?”
“Do I want to?” I asked.
“No, but you’re gonna. In a series of integers beginning with zero and one, each succeeding Fibonacci number is the sum of the previous two numbers. So the Fibonacci numbers are, after zero and one,
“So what does this have to do with …?”
“In a pineapple you can count the rows of little fruitlets in three directions: up and down, sideways, and diagonally. The numbers of fruitlets in each direction: 8, 13, and 21, are all Fibonacci numbers.”
“Here,” said Pud, “I’ve gone through my whole fucking life. I’ve learned a few things. I know that Charles Frederick Rogers delivered the head shot from the Grassy Knoll. I know that the Kodiak bear is the largest land mammal in North America. I know that the zoo stopped selling marshmallows because I was tossing them to the Kodiak bears and they were catching them in their mouths.
“But all this time I thought that pineapple was a citrus fruit. And I never knew shit about Fibonacci numbers. Is it a fruit-in-general thing, or a bromeliad-thing? Can I possibly afford to go down that path? Nope, no matter how much I ever learn I’ll always be a stupid asshole!”
“Come on, Pud,” I said, “It’s not about you, it’s about citrus fruit and goodness in the universe, and all.”
Pud was disconsolate. “And citrus fruit isn’t nearly as good as marijuana,” he said, defeated.