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Hello again!

Well the big move is finally over and I know it’s been a while since you heard from me but now that we’re settled in I wanted to catch you up with all the goings-on out here in Jackrabbit Springs. 

And is there ever a lot of Spring in Jackrabbit Springs these days! The Winters here are mild, but Spring is a bit warmer than most places call Summer. What spring really means around here though, is the first harvest of our local heirloom varietal, the knowledgefruit.

This town goes absolutely crazy for knowledgefruit. Folks come from all over. The locals have a saying: “Knowledgefruit season when you know what you did done good and the air is as sweet as a first harvest desert.”

It’s best when it’s fresh, but it has a very short growing season. The big harvest gets gobbled up real fast.

So, the first week of the harvest everyone utterly gorges themselves on fresh knowledgefruit. Knowledgefruit smoothies, knowledgefruit and cream, knowledgefruit salad with fresh mint, solomon poached in fresh knowledgefruit reduction, fresh knowledgefruit pie. It is in everything … for about a week. 

Since the growing season is so short and the demand so high, the bulk of it gets pickled, preserved, jellied, jammed, dried, powdered, and pantried.

Besides that, this is really the only time everyone in town gets together. There are a lot of people here, but the acres and acres of knowledgefruit groves keep everyone pretty spread apart. You could go for days without seeing anybody.

The knowledgefruit groves go on for what seems like forever sometimes. Local legend has it that the founders of the town planted the very first of the trees from some seeds they stole from a former landlord who evicted them for having some kind of exotic pet … or something like that.

Anyway, the harvest festival is our social event of the year. This is great. But it’s also where all the slights and faux pas that have occurred since last harvest become drama-fodder for this year’s harvest parties. Which brings me to this week’s big to-do because as it turns out, Mrs. Rutherfurd had a torrid affair this past winter with Mr. Bonorue, which meant that they both had some explaining to do at the PTA meeting.

You see, Mrs. Rutherfurd teaches Small Business Management at the charter school and the parents became concerned about her lifestyle choices. This resulted in some rather spirited debate. 

On one side, you had the folks who didn’t care what she did in her free time because they think people should mind their own damn business and think she’s a good teacher. On the other side, you have the folk who were concerned about what they perceived as her moral impropriety having an effect on their children.

During all the ruckus someone, though no one really remembers who, in the crowd shouted out “Well what’s wrong with your husband?!”

… At which point Mrs. Rutherfurd proceeded to give a 3-hour lecture on contract law and diminishing marginal utility.

It was like the room stopped.

“There’s nothing wrong with my husband and I love him dearly,” she said.

“But … ok so you know how … let’s say you really want a Snickers bar. So you have one, and it’s so good you decide to have another. That one was still good, but … less good. And eventually after enough Snickers you want a Whatchamacallit? That’s called diminishing marginal utility …” 

For three hours nobody said a word as she explained pricing, and scarcity and, demand-side economics. All in the context of why she slept with a divorced pastor.

A couple people ducked out of the room to make a quick call to the babysitter saying they might be late, but mostly people hung around for the sheer spectacle of business acumen on display. To be fair, most of the people who stayed had older kids and didn’t really have anywhere else to be on a Wednesday night. 

Now of course all this was after … ok first we need to get into a little Jackrabbit Springs history. 

You see, the only church in town for the longest time was Pastor Steve Bonorue’s ‘Light of the World’ Fellowship. It was a nondenominational church, so it had the feel of an airport chapel most of the time. 

Anyway, Pastor Steve went to some sort of preacher convention, if you can believe such a thing, and met a lady preacher there by the name of Sarah Jean. Sarah Jean up and moved to town and they were all lovey-dovey for a while until–and I don’t know what made them think this was going to work but she went and moved her church into town!  Which made them both lovers and each other’s only direct business competition. 

And the funny thing is that it did work for a while. Pastor Steve had his services at 9 and Sarah Jean had hers at 11. It, therefore, became something of a local pastime to speculate on what they fought about during the week based on the content of their sermons and most folk would attend both. In fact, it got so common that people would sneak out of the last 10 minutes of Pastor Steve’s services to get a coffee in-between that folks started calling the practice a “Sunday fuck you” instead of an Irish goodbye. 

By the end it was less two sermons and more like a subway series.

It mostly worked out. Light of the World is back to its boring routine and Sarah Jean is doing very well for herself after leaving Steve and the church behind to instead make a successful line of knowledgefruit medicinal products. She makes tinctures, lip balm, scrubs, supplements, and the like. 

Seems like a waste of fruit to me but people buy it right up.

And as for Mr. Bonorue and Mrs. Rutherford, well at the end of the day no one really sees much of a problem, objectively, with an economics teacher having a little fling with a lonely preacher. Eventually cooler heads prevailed and everybody decided they were being judgmental and agreed to not make a big deal about it.

That’s the news from Jackrabbit Springs. Hope you’re well.

Best wishes,

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FOR INFERNAL USE ONLY Jack Matirko was raised in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, but it didn't take. His projects include The Left Hemispheres Podcast, The Naked Diner Podcast, and An Ongoing and...