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Just peachy

"Do I dare to eat a peach?" asked the doleful J. Alfred Prufrock in the old T. S. Eliot poem. This month the answer is a juicy yes, what with record peach crops reported by the Department of Agriculture -- along with records for nectarines, plums, and limes, plus "plentiful" oranges and lemons, too.

Plentiful is the department's word for "more than enough." But can there be more than enough of anything so full of nature's sheer unnecessary kindness to the human species as the fruit of the trees which all may eat?

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"Finish your fruit, it's good for you," says the prototypical hovering mother. But "good for you" is not the point; it is goodness period. The shapes , the colors, the flavors -- they seem designed for the joy of it, not for a spot on a nutrition chart. Take the peach -- please, Mr. Prufrock. when something that is 87 percent water can look like this, smell like this, taste like this, you know something's right with the world

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