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It looked like the kind of comfortably oily rag that makes a mechanic’s job easier — the sort you find scrunched up in the corner of a garage soaked with tales of its long career, how it protected all manner of tools from rust, greased jamming gears … and helped fix Mrs. Jones’ “unfixable” carburettor back in ’83.

Being a more agrarian kind of rag, though, this one was fresh from polishing hundreds of mikan mandarin oranges.

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