People Will Eat Anything

Averil and I returned to see Mrs Honiball for a third time. I could see she wondered why we had come, what we expected from her. She immediately set about putting us straight with regards to any fruit movement we may be planning. She insisted vehemently "I am out of it", and I don't blame her because at 89 - of course!

One runs out of energy for these things, and there are more types of energy than just the plain old food fuel one puts in at the top. But more than this, it is all spelled out in her most recent and final book, how after achieving scientific recognition she attempted to return to normal life but found the fruit diet far preferable and so carried on with it. 

The fruit diet was and is preferable because one never gets ill, has physical and spiritual lightness, it tastes far better than the cooked diet, no cooking or washing pots, grows on trees for free and is the solution to all of man's problems. In a nutshell.

Nevertheless because of social pressures Essie did end up walking a compromise diet while lecturing on fruit and she felt terrible about the dichotomy. She ended up with a duodenal ulcer and had to have surgery, cutting off her ability to ever be Fruitarian again - or so she was told. My own sister had a similar experience, after two weeks on grapes she went back to her old, mouldy diet which infected her colon and she got an ulcer. She blamed the grapes and not the mouldy food which had got a grip on the new clean body. This is the ultimate lesson of the fruit diet - the body becomes accustomed to clean living and is ill prepared for an onslaught of gunk. Essie calls it God's wrath.

So here we were with Mrs Honiball very firmly not going on fruit, and not being wheeled out for events etc.  We chatted for a long time, and got to iron out more of her life story and put a fine point on the definitions of Fruitarianism. I had brought along a jar of my jar of lemon & chilli tonic. "People will eat anything" she said, looking at it. 

People will indeed eat anything.

Yes, according to the old ways a lemon was probably not a fruit. Definitely not ginger, nor turmeric, and we can only wonder about the chilli. Here I was with my lean and ascetic ways, rejected out of hand. These old definitions of what is fruit and what is vegetable clearly made Mrs Honiball's path even harder - imagine a life without tomatoes, a summer without watermelon.

Before we left I managed to secure the details of the Bloemfontein Hokaaiers. Unnecessarily because they are printed in ink in the final lines of Essie's final book, A Fruit Eater is Born.

Soon I will write to Mrs Loubser and introduce the new Hermanus Hokaaiers. But not right now, the time must be right.