Fruit Loopy

The Araxes is said by some to be bigger than the Danube, by others to be not so big. It is also said to have a number of islands in it as large as Lesbos, where men live during summer on various kinds of roots which they dig up, and for their winter supplies pick as it ripens and put into store any sort of tree-fruit which they have found to be suitable for food. They have also discovered another tree whose fruit has a very odd property: for when they have parties and sit round a fire, they throw some of it into the flames, and as it burns it smokes like incense, and the smell of it makes them drunk just as wine does us; and they get more and more intoxicated as more fruit is thrown on until they jump up and start dancing and singing. Such at least are the reports on how these people live.

—Herodotus, The Histories

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11 Responses to “Fruit Loopy”


  1. 1 sally April 24, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Oh, sounds lots like the old Greek coal miners who sat around our dining room table, eating and drinking and always ending up loudly singing. Like Herodotus and his pals, they did the wine thing. I don’t know if they had magic roots and such in the thirties and forties in the bleak coal mining camps of Wyoming? xoxox

  2. 3 possum April 25, 2012 at 3:30 am

    In Germany as a young man we sat around big tables sloshing mugs of liquid. No smoke needed to get very drunk in those days. It is amazing how humankind has the ability to find those ways to escape the world at least in our mind.

    • 4 bluenred April 25, 2012 at 8:23 am

      It is said that the primary drive of humans is to get jiggy with it; life’s way of making new humans. And the secondary drive of humans is to alter consciousness; life’s way of searching for possible avenues to moving onwards and upwards. Of course, most often the latter finds humans flat on their asses. The former, too, come to think of it. ; 0

      • 5 possum April 25, 2012 at 8:47 am

        That humans are searching for an upward avenue is a fine justification for imbibing. New one on me. Maybe peyote or other smokes but not so much alcohol. I guess we all need some way to justify our escaping the common venue sometimes. In Possum Valley we are high enough on life to avoid the chemicals of all sorts. Makes life good around here and we get the benefit of remembering when and where we were. :)

        • 6 bluenred April 25, 2012 at 9:02 am

          Shamans in all cultures have for millennia sought out consciousness-altering substances to better acquaint themselves with What’s Out There. A high-school kid guzzling Boone’s Farm is after the same thing, though s/he doesn’t know it.

          • 7 possum April 25, 2012 at 9:38 am

            And here my teen years were spent looking to escape our world without seeking anything more. Guess there was something missed in there. Maybe seeking should have been on the agenda instead of escaping.

            • 8 bluenred April 25, 2012 at 2:32 pm

              There is a German word, that I can’t recall at the moment, that roughly translates to “an escape forward.” ; /

              • 9 possum April 26, 2012 at 1:45 am

                Escape forward sounds like the sort of time travel my teen mind sought. At least the forward in time did arrive at last but the escape was never quite right. Life stood around waiting for my arrival. :)

  3. 10 Comrade Red April 26, 2012 at 10:06 am

    These days reading Herodotus is a good way to remind one’s self of the nature of things, and of the way rulers and their policies are made, and unmade; thus finding comfort in the fact that times change.

    • 11 bluenred April 26, 2012 at 3:58 pm

      I can finally now make it through Herodotus, cover to cover. Always before I had been stopped, because basically it is a chronicle of men killing men. But now I know we are beyond that, now. All appearances to the contrary. And so I can at last approach it, as it was originally intended, as “histories.”


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