An envelope and a stamp used to be enough to apply for a job

As I continue to search for a meaningful job in the state of Colorado, I was recently asked by a would-be employer to create something using three objects: a pencil, a lemon and a 1957 Chevy.

Remember the days when all you needed to do was submit your resume through the mail? Times certainly have changed. Anyway, here’s what I came up with.

For decades, life has been compared to that cheerfully yellow citrus fruit people gather in clear jars as centerpieces or dangle on the side of a tall-glass of iced tea. Unfortunately for the lemon, that comparison is void of flatteries for as the saying goes, “when life gives you lemons…make lemonade!”

Automobiles have also used that cheerfully yellow citrus fruit to describe a car that’s a “pile of junk” – with “Lemon Law” an actual legal term for those looking to recoup their investment from a car with repeated problems.

It seems the lemon has somehow garnered a reputation for a series of negative occurrences. Maybe I could understand the connotation better for a fruit as unpleasing to the eye as the exterior of a cantaloupe, but a lemon? Even with its tart interior I find the comparison somewhat unjustified. Let’s face it, life will never perfect. And while that 1957 Chevy you had in high school never really ran right, does calling it “a lemon” really do much besides defacing that cheerfully yellow citrus fruit?

We live in a society that needs to have a name for everything – a comical reference we can use to impress our friends at small gatherings. Maybe the real problem is that society has unrealistic expectations of this world. We assume perfection is achievable, yet far too often forget that the perfect point of a pencil does not last forever. Time will eventually dull what we naively believe will remain unspoiled. That’s not reality but fantasy – a place that’s nice to visit for a while, but no place to make a life.

And so the next time you’re quick to use the word “lemon” in a negative connotation, remember this – it really is just a fruit.


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