No one but no one has been quizzing me on the origin of my handle: Charlie Del Monte.
This is a fascinating tale with vertiginous highs and dizzying lows, full of intrigue, betrayal, lust and fruit. If anyone had asked me when I was a kid what I wanted to be I would have said “gubah, glab glab.” Basically it would have been too early to ask that question. A few years later I would have said “army man.” I don’t recall if I meant soldier or one of the black dudes from the Village People. It’s about 50/50 to be honest.
Once the army’s redunkulous discipline and lack of mirror balls became clear to me, I cast around for more inspiration and out of the abyss strode the person I wanted to be: The Man From Del Monte.
So as a sprog, I didn’t pick up on the whiff of colonial supremacy. But with the white linen suit and panama hat he seemed to be the luckiest food taster in the world. I loved the idea of being choppered into a tropical location to solemnly chomp into a pineapple and with a nod pronounce the harvest acceptable (now that’s due diligence!). Then I get to go back on the helicopter and go home for a Glee marathon presumably. What’s not to like?
So I’m Charlie Del Monte. These days I’m as likely to say yes to a Hob Nob or a comfortable pair of slacks as to a tangerine. But I do so with the same deliberation and authority as the original Man From Del Monte himself.