Watermelon seeds [30/100]

Once upon a time, store-bought watermelon all had seeds. A ton of seeds! You had to eat around them, picking them out as you went, or chewing carefully to nudge the seeds to one side of your mouth.

My cousins and my brother and I would stick out our rolled-up tongues and expel the seeds, seeing who could spit them the farthest from the deck in the back of our house. By the way, I just learned that tongue-rolling is not a purely genetic trait.

We also dried out a few seeds and planted them. After much waiting, we were very excited that one whole watermelon had grown to a decent size. In my excitement, I dropped it on the brick step while carrying it in the house, and it shattered. My brother reminded me of that for many years.

I liked to help pick out watermelon — it seemed like everyone had a different approach. My waipo (maternal grandma) preferred to overlap her index and middle finger, pushing them against each other, and then use that tension to snap the index finger against the melon rind — a loud hollow sound meant it was a good one. A dull thud meant it wasn’t ripe yet.

My dad’s method was to slap the melons and listen for that same hollow noise. Once he came home from Costco looking a bit happier than usual — apparently a much younger woman had asked him for his help and expertise to help her pick out a melon. And she had commented that it was so big and she didn’t know how she could finish it by herself. We all had a good chuckle, and then I told him that next time, I would run up and say “grandpa! let me help you!”

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