04 March 2007

This is the pepper which Peter Piper picked a pickled peck of...

We used to have a game we played in our family when I was a kid called "This is the pepper." I cannot find any reference to this game anywhere on the Internet, so we must have been somewhat unusual. But I'm quite certain we didn't make it up. Anyone else ever heard of this game? You play it seated around the dinner table. Someone starts by taking the pepper shaker and passing it to the next person, saying "This is the pepper." The person receiving it asks, "The what?" The passer replies, "The pepper." The response is "Oh, the pepper!" Then person 2 passes it on to person 3 in the same manner. However, by the time person 3 asks "The what?" person 2 has already "forgotten" what it is and has to turn back to person 1 with "The what?" The answer is passed back around the table ("The pepper...The pepper.") to person 3. And so it continues around and around the table for as long as you can stand it. The heads turn back and forth rhythmically to face the people being addressed, making the whole thing a rather dance-like routine. To add extra fun and complication, you can get another pepper going around in the opposite direction, and see if you can keep from getting confused when it's time to pass the pepper to one person while also saying "The what?" to him about the other pepper he just passed to you. You can actually play the game with any object you want, but it's always "the pepper" no matter what you're passing. Very silly indeed. And somewhat of a tongue-twister, or brain-twister. As if our brains weren't twisted enough already to have played a game like that for entertainment...

Now what does all this have to do with today's photograph? Oh, the pepper! I'm no Edward Weston, for sure. But I love the colors and shapes of bell peppers. The red, yellow, and green ones always make me want to buy one of each (they actually come in a traffic-light trio package at my grocery store). I guess it must be because I like traffic lights. But also, their shapes conjure up all kinds of fun creatures in the imagination: elephants, etc. I'm glad they leave the big schnozzes on in the grocery store. They are lovely to look at, not to mention the fact that they make great handles.

Piles of produce in the market are always inviting to photograph, but particularly peppers. It's hard to get the resulting images to look as appetizing as the originals. I mostly like to play with the reptitions of shapes, and come in close. Here is another photographer's take on the theme, at topleftpixel.

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