"Fruit, glorious fruit!" as the song goes. We all know what fruit is, but do you ever wonder what it is?
Well, fruit has been around longer than the dinosaurs, as we know from fossilised fruit bowls found in the Gulf of Mexico. A fruit is sort of like a brightly coloured sack of jelly, within which seeds are stored. Animals, such as sparrows, gorillas or children eat the fruit, and discard the seeds or swallow them. The seeds, thrown aside or passed in the sparrow/gorilla/child's digestive waste, will with luck fall on fertile ground and grow into a healthy plant. This is the way many plants choose to propagate themselves, as it is cheaper than having babies.

Some of the more common fruits are:

Apples contain pips, which make a sort of beeping sound. There are hundreds of varieties of apples, including Hitler, Something for the Weekend, Chanel No 5, Motorhead, Bertram's Sigh, and Peeping Turtle.

Bananas are in fact naturally straight, and grow in regimented lines 3 deep. The current curved shape only became popular during the 18th Century when bananas were used as masques and headpieces at society balls. A banana was launched into space in the late 1950s as part of the Russian space programme, as it was thought to be the fruit that most resembles human physiognomy.

The pear can only be harvested in the full moon, otherwise it withers to dust on picking. Pears are particularly useful in cooking; if sliced in half they can be used as paperweights to hold open the pages of the cookbook. 'Pear' is cockney rhyming slang for apple.

Melons are so named because they come from the same plant as honey (mel) is made from. Melons come in all shapes and sizes, from tennis ball to bowling ball, and there is one variety shaped exactly like a duck. As the Elizabethan tongue-twister had it, "My melon's more merry than a mummified mirkin (quack quack)". The melon is the only fruit that can scream.

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