When Mary-Margaret left Fort Wayne, Indiana for
parts west; well, okay, Phoenix, Arizona,
that her friends, her family, hell, even her
middle school and high school science teachers
had lied to her.
It came with a visit to the local Safeway, when
she cruised down the fresh produce aisle looking
for a mango – for thus she had been taught to call
the bulbous green essential ingredient of Mary-Margaret’s
famous Chef Salad.
She stood engulfed in amazement, confusion,
and holy Midwestern embarrassment as she looked
at the mangoes arranged orange, red, yellow, and
green under a sign advertising BOGO Bell Peppers.
“What can this be? What can this mean?” she asked
the produce flunky stocking the zucchini and summer
squash in the sections appropriately labeled. “Why
do you list them as ‘Bell Peppers?’”
For whatever reason, for whatever insanity, Mary-Margaret
returned to the Summit City. Bearing a grudge, never
to forget the humiliation. She also came home with
a clear image of the tropical fruit… not the freaking
peppers! Mangos! Why, she kept fuming, do they
call them Mangos?!?
Yes, it’s true. We discovered this while living in the northeastern corner of Indiana, and found it also applies to some parts of Ohio as well: Some people – not all – refer to bell peppers as “mangoes.” Why? Dunno. Neither do they. Just thought it deserved a poetic reflection… such as it is.