From saucy Biblical tales to companies who name their overpriced tat after them, apples are the world's number one berry. Globally we eat over 60 million tonnes of them every year, making them a much more popular foodstuff than rhubarb or turnips. So why are apples such a well-liked fruit?
The secret lies with the Apple Regulation Society of Earth, founded hundreds of years ago as a secret society whose main aim was to force everyone to eat apples. It is suggested that Jesus Christ himself was a fan of apples, and founded ARSE to promote their sale in Judea some time around 10BC. This was not a popular move with the ruling Romans (who preferred a nice pear), and they would have crucified him had they found out. Luckily they never did, and Jesus was actually crucified for completely different reasons.
The society flourished underground throughout the centuries, and historically many famous people were said to be members, including Michelangelo. He wanted to make his sculpture of David with apples included in the design, but feared that would blow ARSE's cover. They were still being persecuted in those days, so he had to make do instead with completing his sculpture with a nice set of plums.
I visited the headquarters of the organisation in Rome, and was handed some very lovely ARSE biscuits in the shape of apples. These days the world's apple trade is controlled by ARSE wholly. I was also surprised to learn that ARSE hold a licence for growing apples in every country on Earth. Anyone found growing them who is not affiliated will be severely punished - ARSE whipped a hefty fine on one law-breaker this year. Such ARSE bandits are not allowed to eat apples ever again.
But why are they so crazy about apples? The secret, perhaps unsurprisingly, lies in a painting by Leonardo Da Vinci. Although he is most famous for painting the face of the Mona Lisa, he also painted her derriere and bosoms. The breast painting was burned in the 17th century, because of fears by ARSE over tits, which were considered too offensive to draw. However, the derriere of the Mona Lisa lives in a vault up the ARSE tower.
ARSE achingly preserved this painting, and knowledge of it has spread widely throughout ARSE and its affiliates. These days ARSE wish to open up more to outsiders, so for the first time I was allowed to have a look.
The painting was quite breath taking, and I pondered how hard ARSE must have worked to keep this hidden. Clearly the Mona Lisa buttocks can be seen to be apple shaped. This, ARSE member Colin Inspection tells me, is the very same apple which Jesus so admired, because it reminded him of his girlfriend's arse as he was shagging her from behind.
There is of course, a clue to this in the organisation's name. In French, ARSE is the Commitee d'Une Legume, which of course is abbreviated as CUL (the French word for arse).
Although it appears that the beans have been spilled on ARSE's hidden secrets, there may be deeper secrets not yet discovered. One rumour which I could not confirm is that apples are actually an alien foodstuff introduced to Earth by beings from the planet Mars.
I am not sure I believe it, but as any well-read astronomer will tell you, the name MARS actually stands for Martian Apple Regulation Society!
What a bunch of ARSE's finest fruit I received as I left.