Point of View: Limehouse Blues

“Is the Lime an Endangered Species?”

    Mary, unlike me, who because I’m a journalist knows better, immerses herself in the depressing news that Henry dutifully brings to our door every morning.

    Immediately, I reach for the sports, which are to be found within the business section, whose contradictory reports on the economy often can be found on facing pages: The economy, according to the latest jobs report, looks as if it’s on the upswing . . . Yellen Mutters, Market Tanks. . . . That kind of thing. So you buy and hold . . . on for dear life.

    The same old, same old hatreds wear on one after a while, but what Mary read to me from this Sunday’s Sunday Review really had me agonizing: “Is the Lime an Endangered Species?” was the headline, and, friends (those of you anyway who are partial to margaritas, a recipe for which I’ve perfected), this bit of news was dire indeed.

    “A sudden and unprecedented shortage of limes has sent nationwide wholesale prices soaring from around $25 for a 40-pound carton in early February to more than $100 today. . . .”

    Squeezing the Mexican lime market, it said, were severe rains in November and December that knocked blossoms off the trees, a spreading bacterial disease, and even drug cartels cashing in on the spiking prices.

    That last presents me with an ethical problem. Are the margaritas I make (not to mention the guacamole) lining the laundered pockets of the Knights Templar? Long ago, I vowed not to touch marijuana because of the link between this indulgence and the severing of heads, though it was a rather easy decision given the fact that my addictions have long lain elsewhere.

    But now it’s not so black and white. Morality can be a slippery slope. Do I, whose blood orange margaritas have been widely praised, want blood on my hands? Of course, I could say, I suppose, that the old virtues no longer hold, that it is quaint in today’s ruthless and unprincipled world even to presume to entertain high-minded thoughts.

    Has “Breaking Bad” led me to this pass? Okay, where’s the blender?