Editor’s Note: We’re running competing columns today about the virtues of downtown Ithaca’s Applefest, which begins on Friday.

See the counterpoint, “Applefest is Ithaca’s best ‘fest’,” and vote in the poll below.

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ITHACA, N.Y. — Nearly every Ithacan, it seems, is busy preparing to gorge their faces at Applefest this weekend. I, on the other hand, am seriously dreading its smells, tastes and sounds.

I hate apple season and have already had my first brush with the fruit this season — a reminder that the whole enterprise makes my jaw tighten and my teeth grind.

The other day, my boss Jeff pulled an apple out of his bag and I knew what was coming — the loud, obnoxious sound of the apple skin being pierced, teeth scraping though the flesh of the fruit creating an awful crunch, and the slurp as he pulled his mouth away and munched through the bite.

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Then, an Ithaca Voice intern pulled out an apple and began her own private torture of me.

I could practically see spitty, sticky apple juice flying in every direction as they ate.

And if that wasn’t enough, within minutes of completing the first apple, Jeff pulled out another apple to start all over again.

I’m pretty sure he left the apple cores on the desk for the rest of the week. (The intern, respectfully enough, threw her apple core away.)

Jeff’s overly-hyped claims that Applefest is somehow comparable or even the least bit reminiscent of a scene right out of Harry Potter is, frankly, just uninformed. I want to publicly point out that Jeff hasn’t even seen all the Harry Potter movies. He just doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

His claims that my Texas taste buds are hard to please are completely unfounded.

For instance, “Chilifest” — I can’t wait for it! I want it and need it. Shut up and take my money, Ithacans.

The fact that there is not chili flavored beer or cookies just goes to show that it is an untapped market. I would completely chug spicy beer and would consider chili frosting on cake to be the best thing to ever happen to the Ithaca culinary scene.

I can also eat a bowl of chili without smacking my gums and spewing gross goodness across an entire table. Nobody will ever be able to hear me eat a bowl of chili and, most importantly, I will never have to hear anyone eat a bowl of chili unlike some things….like apples.

I realize my hate for apples is a first world problem — apple candles, apple pie, apple eating, apple displays — but that doesn’t lessen my first-world dread of the situation.

My only reprieve from the madness? Alcoholic apple cider to numb my mind with sticky, nauseating sweetness.

You know what they say? If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em…

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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.