Monday, September 26, 2011

Rotten Fruit

Ethylene gas is produced by fruit as it ripens. Fruit importers learned through various means that when you store a lot of fruit together in a closed area, like a shed or shipping container, "the overall effect is to hasten ripening, aging and eventually spoilage." 

Ethylene gas is the most produced organic compound in the world and it dawned on me that my children are contributing their fair share. If you keep my children in a closed area together I now believe that some kind of off-gassing occurs that incites bad behavior to ripen. My own aging is hastened, and the entire evening is eventually spoiled. 


Trouble's a-brewing
When we were traveling in Ireland recently, the boys were caged together in a smaller version of our own mini-van in dangerous proximity to one another. After a rather long day, one child began to exhibit worrisome signs of fatigue and the need to take it out on the closest brother. The vapors were almost visible rising from his head as he incited his older then his younger brother into physical and verbal arguments. 


Fruit importers developed environmentally controlled shipping containers to control the ethylene pathway and preserve the fruit until right before it arrived in the grocery store. 


I also employ environmental controls to mitigate the spoilage of the fruit of my loins. As the vapors of bad behavior reach unsustainable levels, I attempt to block their receptors by offering snacks, a rotation system of one-on-one time with a parent, or just opening the backdoor and shoving my produce outside. 


Since ethylene is also used as an anesthetic, when things get too wild, I may resort to shutting everyone in a room with ripening bananas. The door won't open until it's all quiet.