I suspect I have been immersed in the popular culture for much too long. My imagination has become the functional equivalent of prune-wrinkled hands after staying in the bath longer than one intended. One symptom of this is that I no longer seem to be able to regard a harmless orange without being reminded how the orange is Francis Ford Coppola’s symbol of death or impending doom in the Godfather saga. I mean, check it out for yourself. Each time a character is snuffed, there are the bloody oranges. Here’s just a partial list – Don Vito is gunned down while buying oranges. At the commission meeting of the Five Families, bowls of oranges are in front of Tattaglia and Barzini. There's a bowl of oranges in front of Woltz before the horse loses its head. Vito has orange peel in his mouth moments before he dies. Fanucci picks up an orange from a fruit cart before he’s shot dead by De Niro. Johnny Ola gives Michael an orange as a gift from Roth, and oranges are in front of the guests at the crucial Havana meeting. Finally, at the very end of the trilogy, an orange drops from Michael's hand as he dies. And why all the contemplation of symbolism and mortality on this particular Sunday? I guess it’s because I had a birthday a few days ago and, at my current age, one starts to wonder how many more might be lined up. But don’t worry. I quickly turned away from such morbidity. I have too much to do and too much that needs to see the light of day to be mulling over the prospect of my demise.
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