THE THREE DAY RULE
Let me start by saying, I like most people. Some I admire more than others. If I turn the coin over, I’ll bet some people like me, and some, not so much. So, what about this “Three Day Rule?” Where am I going with this? Yes, I have a “Rule.” And anyone who knows me knows my “Three Day Rule.”
In the year 1998, after two failed marriages I found myself a footloose and fancy-free and, of course, a guilt-ridden man. I decided to magnify my despicable reputation and do what I was never able to do when I was married! Buy a motorcycle.
So, I did! I even joined a motorcycle gang. I bought lots of leather for my body and became an outlaw. They encouraged me to rape, pillage, and plunder, just like them, all across America. Well, maybe we didn’t really loot or pillage. And I guess we didn’t rape anyone, either. After all, I had a full-time job and could only ride on the weekend. In truth, the outlaws were a bunch of middle-aged men trying to recapture their youth. Something about sowing our “wild oats” on the back of a handcrafted leather motorcycle seat. $495.00 Please.
What I didn’t realize in joining the gang was they liked to ride as a group to a mom and pop restaurant 50 miles from home. They manspread their legs, pillaged and plundered a hot meal. When our bellies were full, we got back on motorcycles and rode 50 miles back home. That was it! I was part of a “Gang.” I was gaining weight, too.
I liked most of the guys. Every once in a while, one of them would irritate me the way they rode their bike, or one person might have a general “know it all attitude.” I kept away from them as much as possible. When I arrived home, I was free of their condescending “Attitude.”
The 50-mile dinner trips morphed into more extended trips. Daytona, Key West, Texas, and Colorado. Now, I was on the road with men I didn’t know and committed for 7-10 days at a time. Cue the music to “Deliverance.” In a few days, I realized there were people on the trip I didn’t like at all.
This was when I discovered I could ride a motorcycle with almost anyone for a short period of time. Longer than three days with some men were annoying and unpleasant. I said to myself, I’m not doing this again, with him! Three days of my vacation with “him” is barely tolerable. More than three days put me on the couch with my psychiatrist. I can’t do it longer than three days.
I currently live in Southwest Florida in a gated community, Magnolia Landing. I received a monthly News Letter from Terri Gile and glanced through the nine pages of Magnolia Landing information. She had a tidbit of information about a Pineapple. I had to laugh. Now, hang on, there is an entertaining story here.
In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue. On his second trip in 1493, he dropped anchor on a deserted Caribbean island we now call Guadeloupe. He and his men went in ready to fight, rape, pillage, and plunder. Sound familiar? I guess “making nice” was not what you did back then. What they found in the middle of the bush was a settlement of sorts with human body parts in large pots. One assumes this is nourishment. Or so the story goes, as written in Columbus’s diary. Tough crowd, Aye? There were all kinds of vegetables and fruits laying around. Thus, the Captian and his manly men decided to enjoy a meal. They opened up this thorny acorn looking thing and found it sweet and very tasty inside. By the way, this prickly acorn looking thing was what we call a Pineapple today.
So, Columbus decided to take a bunch of Pineapples back to the Mother Country and show the people with money what he found. The Pineapple was an instant hit. It was like nothing anyone had ever tasted. Sweet tasting things were hard to come by back then. Sugar refined from cane was a rare commodity imported at significant cost from the middle east and the Orient. This sweet tasting Pineapple fruit was just the ticket for a dinner dessert. The problem on the return trip was the Pineapple rotted in the ships hot and humid cargo hole. Very few Pineapples made it to Europe. There was a very short supply of this new fruit, and everyone wanted a Pineapple. Short supply, significant demand, the price goes up, right?
So, picture this. You’re giving a dinner party and want to buy a Pineapple for the middle of your dining room table. A Pineapple in the center of the dining room table is considered very fashionable. It demonstrates great wealth. Which, by the way, is what you want to do. Show off! Footnote here. It took the European gardeners almost 200 years to figure out how to grow a Pineapple in the Dutchess of Cleveland’s hothouses.
Fast forward 200 years to Colonial America. Now, we have faster ships. With good weather, a vessel can deliver whole ripe Pineapples to the confectionery shops in Boston, Philadelphia, and Williamsburg.
Let’s say you are planning on having a critical dinner event, and need to put on the dog? The “Hostess with the Mostess” needs and wants the status symbol of a Pineapple in the middle of her dining room table. This, of course, demonstrates to the guests the event is, indeed, an exceptional occasion. The street trade in Pineapple was brisk and ruthless. The confectioners were hard pressed to supply all of the requests. So, what to do? Let’s make a deal. Why not rent a Pineapple to the lady of the house? Require her to return the Pineapple back to the shop the next day, at a reasonable rental rate, of course. The next day the store sells the Pineapple to a larger well-to-do house that can afford to eat a Pineapple. Visitors seeing the Pineapple sitting on top of the dinner table felt honored by the host and hostess who apparently spared no expense to ensure their guests dining pleasure.
The image of the Pineapple in the middle of the dining room table became a symbol of hospitality. Why this sounds positively lovely, doesn’t it? I want to attend one of these extravagant dinner parties. I, however, wasn’t invited.
The next wave of Pineapple money makers were the architects, artisans, and craftsmen. They began to incorporate large copper and brass Pineapples in the weather vanes of their most important public buildings. They sculpted Pineapples into door lintels; stenciled pineapples on walls and canvas mats; wove pineapples into tablecloths, napkins, carpets, and draperies; and cast Pineapples into metal plates. There were Pineapples carved of wood; Pineapples engineered in the most beautiful china and silverware, Pineapples painted onto the backs of chairs and tops of chests. Why, even today, Mariah Carey continues the tradition by displaying her pineapples.
So, let’s cut to the chase here. Let’s say you arrive at the plantation manor house in your horse-drawn carriage with your steamer trunks in tow. It was acceptable to stay for an extended period, say three months. And so, you are invited for a visit. You would find a Pineapple at the head of your bed. “Welcome” and “We are glad you are here.”
However, if for some reason, you became a pain in the derriere or overextended your welcome, you might find a Pineapple at the foot of your bed the next morning. That Pineapple at the foot of the bed was a message the host and hostess were sending to you. It is a gracious and civilized way of saying, “Get the hell out, leave now.”
So prevalent was the problem. The carpenters of bedroom furniture started making the four poster bed with a detachable Pineapple. The Pineapple could be moved from the head bedposts to the bedposts at the foot of the bed. Again, our way of saying in the most delicate way, “Don’t let the doorknob hit you in the butt on your way out.”
So, I now realize my “Three Day Rule” isn’t so unique. Don’t plan on a three-month visit with your steamer trunk. In this house, it’s not going to happen. A week is pushing your visit. But, as I have said before, and I will repeat the three-day rule again, “Fish laying on the kitchen counter, friends or family coming to visit at holiday, and motorcycle buddies on a long road trip start stinking after three days.”