HARVARD, IL - With the crisp days of autumn approaching quickly, apple orchards are preparing themselves for the onslaught of families ready to fill their baskets with ripe fruit. Apple picking has become more than just a growing trend, and scientists warn that this year's influx of visitors is expected to reach dangerous levels.
"Every year it gets worse," says sociologist Ian Andrews. "And without question, the vast majority of visitors come from white suburbia, something like 98.8%. We're not sure what the draw is, but these folks come out in droves. We're warning orchards everywhere to get stocked up on wagons, wooden cartoon cutouts, and of course apple cider donuts. If these things aren't in place, there's no telling what kind of riots could break out."
Experts note that among their favorite activities, white suburban customers enjoy waiting in long lines, yelling at their tired kids, and pretending to know what the different apple varieties taste like.
Paul Newton, who works at the family-run Oak Royale Orchard in Harvard, Illinois, is no stranger to the horde. "It takes your breath away when you see it for the first time. Minivans and SUVs descend upon us like a swarm of locusts. If you're not ready, it'll eat you alive."
Despite the challenges, orchards are grateful for the business and thankful their customers haven't realized the same apples are available for a lot less hassle in their local grocery stores.