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Vitamin Q: the book!

~ Wednesday, January 22, 2003

20 strawberry-flavoured infowisps from the world of arts and entertainment.

1 I Me My! Strawberry Eggs is a curiously titled Japanese animation series in which a male teacher poses as a woman to expose a school's sexist regime.

2 In Othello, the notorious handkerchief which leads to Othello's downfall is 'spotted with strawberries', a pattern which symbolises fidelity and virginal blood.

3 In the book and film The Caine Mutiny, Queeg's madness is exacerbated by the theft of a quart of frozen strawberries by someone else on the ship.

4 The 1982 LP Strawberries, by pop-punks The Damned, came with a scratch and sniff sleeve which smelled of the eponymous fruit.

5 Over 20 films have name-checked the red berry, including Strawberries and Wine, Strawberry Flavour, Strawberry Spring and The Strawberry Blonde, starring Cagney, de Havilland and Rita Hayworth.

6 'Strawberries', and other favourite love poems by Edwin Morgan were somewhat reassessed when Morgan 'came out' rather late in life. 'Let the storm wash the plates.'

7 In the Bergman film, The Seventh Seal, the characters Flock and Jof discuss the plague while eating a bowl of fresh strawberries - heavily symbolic, no doubt.

8 Sitcom characters Frasier Crane and Private Fraser are both berry-men, the names being derived from a French surname meaning strawberry.

9 Strawberry Studio, in Stockport, was used to record many well-known LPs, including ones by 10CC, The Ramones and Joy Division.

10 Strawberries have appeared in the titles of both Harry Secombe's autobiography and a book about sex by Vanessa Feltz.

11 Ruth Rendell wrote The Strawberry Tree for television. It starred Eleanor Bron and Simon Ward.

12 Strawberries have cropped up (excuse the pun) in LP titles by Pat Benatar, Johnny Cash and Paul Butterfield.

13 Strawberries make regular appearances in children's literature. Favourites include the cutesy Strawberry Shortcake character, Flicka, Dicka, Ricka and the Strawberries, and Strawberry Girl, Lois Lenski's homely classic telling of the struggles of a Florida frontier family.

14 Jessica Stirling, leading author of romances such as The Strawberry Season, is actually an elderly Scotsman named Hugh Rae.

15 In Henry V, 'Shakespeare' notes metaphorically that 'the strawberry grows underneath the nettle'.

16 Wild Strawberries, the Bergman film, is properly known as Smultronstället.

17 The folk song 'Strawberry Fair' slowly morphed into the song 'Scarborough Fair'.

18 The Fragaria fruit has found its way into many band names, including The Strawbs, Strawberry Alarm Clock, Wild Strawberries, Strawberry Minds, Strawberry Switchblade and Strawberry Slaughterhouse.

19 In the Peter Weir thriller Fearless, Jeff Bridges' character believes he is invincible, after surviving a plane crash. To prove it, he eats strawberries, to which he previously had a chronic allergic reaction.

20 Part of New York City's Central Park was renamed Strawberry Fields after the shooting, outside the nearby Dakota Building, of John Lennon.

Source: various. Thanks to Tim Wells for the idea and some of the info.

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