# "Bag of oranges"

#### GeoffP

##### Caput gerat lupinum
Valued Senior Member
The wife just informed that she helped the kid get to sleep the night before, and that it was "no bag of oranges, let me tell you".

Has anyone heard this expression before or should I be looking into forcible confinement at a mental-health institute?

Never heard it that context before...however a bag of oranges is a good way to put a beating on someone without leaving bruises.

Your wife was making the point that getting the child to sleep was a challenge, unlike the bag of oranges being a universally understood reference of measure.

Measuring and Counting

Wright BD. … 8:3 p.371

Every morning I squeeze the orange juice * two glassfuls * one for Claire * one for me. Oranges are very much themselves, each orange an individual in size, color, fragrance, softness. I can count oranges. How many shall I get out of the icebox to fill the two glasses? The trouble is that there is no constant number of oranges that makes a glassful. Sometimes it's only three. Other times it can take six. How on earth can I regularize this procedure?

Well, as I am sure you've already guessed, the solution is embarrassingly simple. The store sells oranges in 4 pound bags. No matter how many oranges it takes, the bag always weighs 4 pounds. Now "a pint's a pound the world around" and an orange is about half juice, by weight. By experiment and/or calculation I establish that 2 pounds of oranges make two glassfuls * no more no less. This is always so, no matter how few or how many oranges it takes to weigh the 2 pounds.

The result of this abstract science is that I have a simple, fool-proof, infinitely reproducible, inferentially stable rule: "Take one 4 pound bag of oranges out of the icebox and squeeze half of whatever number of oranges happen to be in it." Two glassfuls are always produced - no matter how many or how few the oranges.

Weighing oranges is vastly superior to counting them * perhaps not for art or even literature, but certainly for routinely obtaining a glassful of orange juice. But counting each orange is so immediate, so fulsome, so personal, so individually appreciative, so richly qualitative. While weighing bags of oranges is so impersonal, so meagerly singular, so general, so unappreciative of the true unique, individual nature of each orange, so niggardly quantitative. How dare I reduce the lovely, charming, richly multidimensional orange to a mere cold, stingy weight in lifeless, uncaring pounds * what a travesty of nature!

But what a triumph for obtaining a glassful of orange juice every time. You might decry my reduction of the gorgeous orange to such a brutal simplicity as its weight. But you have to admit that for routinizing the production of glassfuls of orange juice you will never in a million years invent an approach that is as simple or as reliable. That's the difference between art and science, between counting right answers and constructing measures.

Ben Wright

Your wife was making the point that getting the child to sleep was a challenge, unlike the bag of oranges being a universally understood reference of measure.

OK, so she was not saying that it was about four pounds of effort. That's good to know.

How does a bag of oranges rate on a scale?
You know, herding cats, box of monkeys... piece of cake, bag of oranges etc.
I think we should have a properly defined scale.

There is also an expression with beans or peas - a pot of them or something.

Isn't that a measure of worth?
"Mess of beans"?

How does a bag of oranges rate on a scale?
You know, herding cats, box of monkeys... piece of cake, bag of oranges etc.
I think we should have a properly defined scale.

From my earlier post.
Now "a pint's a pound the world around" (minor adjustments required for metric calculations ) and an orange is about half juice, by weight. By experiment and/or calculation I establish that 2 pounds of oranges make two glassfuls * no more no less. This is always so, no matter how few or how many oranges it takes to weigh the 2 pounds.

The general observation being that regardless of the number of oranges or their size, that it takes roughly one pound of oranges to squeeze a standard glass of juice. 6-8 ounces, a generally acceptable serving.

Shopping for bagged oranges is as simple as it gets, they generally being offered in a couple of standard size bags. Oranges are rather durable and not prone to bruising, so one does not need to put much time or effort into the selection of this purchase, unlike other fruits sold in bags.

GeoffP, I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but you might want to invest in a rubber room for her at this point.

But that doesn't address the question of how oranges (bagged or otherwise) relates to ease of completing a task.
Did she mean "as easy a picking up a bag of oranges"?
"As easy as squeezing the juice out of a bag of oranges"?
"As easy as finding a bag of oranges"? (In which case that would vary by country and time of year, no?)
"As easy as stacking a bag of oranges"?
:shrug:

GeoffP, I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but you might want to invest in a rubber room for her at this point.
But it might be worth trying to get a refund on your marriage licence.

But that doesn't address the question of how oranges (bagged or otherwise) relates to ease of completing a task.
Did she mean "as easy a picking up a bag of oranges"?
"As easy as squeezing the juice out of a bag of oranges"?
"As easy as finding a bag of oranges"? (In which case that would vary by country and time of year, no?)
"As easy as stacking a bag of oranges"?
:shrug:

Just speculation...but what if a "bag of oranges" represents something desirable or a desired result? We take them for granted today, but in the past a bag of oranges would have been a highly desired treat. Along the lines of "it was no picnic".

But that doesn't address the question of how oranges (bagged or otherwise) relates to ease of completing a task.
Did she mean "as easy a picking up a bag of oranges"?
"As easy as squeezing the juice out of a bag of oranges"?
"As easy as finding a bag of oranges"? (In which case that would vary by country and time of year, no?)
"As easy as stacking a bag of oranges"?
:shrug:

Alas, good Dywyddyr, the woman's point was very clear to me.

By the time oranges are bagged, EVERYTHING about them is relatively easy, so she has no reason to be more specific unless of course, she were married to you, lol....

Putting the child to rest was a challenge, unlike a bag of oranges which will stay in place without complaint, another possible interpretation.

Also Oranges used to be a treat...before candy?

Like calling something a cakewalk maybe.

By the time oranges are bagged, EVERYTHING about them is relatively easy
Pfft:
"As easy as finding a bag of oranges"? (In which case that would vary by country and time of year, no?)

And:
How does a bag of oranges rate on a scale?
You know, herding cats, box of monkeys... piece of cake, bag of oranges etc.
I think we should have a properly defined scale.
Is a bag of oranges as easy as falling off a log?

Is a bag of oranges as easy as falling off a log?

Oranges travel and store well. About the only time they are in short supply is when there may be unseasonable freezing to damage the blossoming trees. If the fruit should be frosted, it can always be made into processed products if not sold fresh.

'As easy as falling off a log?'

Please clarify if the log is stationary or in motion.

Is the log surface rough bark or peeled smooth? Wet or dry surface?

What type of footwear is involved?

Are there other occupants of said log?

Oranges travel and store well. About the only time they are in short supply is when there may be unseasonable freezing to damage the blossoming trees.
Pfah!
You're being "American".

'As easy as falling off a log?'
Please clarify if the log is stationary or in motion.
Is the log surface rough bark or peeled smooth? Wet or dry surface?
What type of footwear is involved?
Are there other occupants of said log?
Which rather illustrates my point, neh?

Pfah!
You're being "American".

Which rather illustrates my point, neh?

LOL......

I might suggest that now you are being typically male, British. and you are likewise illustrating my point wonderfully well when I emulate your interrogation style.

I am a Canadian B.BabeI.inT.totalC.control ofH.herself sir, not to be confused with our neighbors to the south.

I might suggest that now you are being typically male, British. and you are likewise illustrating my point wonderfully well when I emulate your interrogation style.
Um, no...
Your log questions apply (with suitable modifications) to the bag of oranges.

I am a Canadian B.BabeI.inT.totalC.control ofH.herself sir, not to be confused with our neighbors to the south.
That's why I put the word "American" in quote marks.
Some places (e.g. here) don't have oranges quite as available as you appear to think.