Steve Meador is the author of Throwing Percy from the Cherry Tree, a poetry book that was an entrant for a National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in poetry. He is widely published in online and print journals. He has been a real estate broker since the early 1980s and currently lives and practices in the Tampa, FL, area.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
The world has gone bananas, when it comes to bananas. At least in my sliver of the world. A couple weeks ago we stopped at a local fruit and vegetable stand, which are common throughout our area. The sign lured us in, advertising bananas at $.33/lb. We picked and pawed through the goods, grabbed some Vidalia onions, avocados, kiwis, blueberries and the bananas. The woman at the checkout rang us up. We are top-notch consumers, the maddening type who stand in line and go through the register tape, item by item. The wife said, “Wait you just charged us $.69/lb for the bananas. The woman responded, “Ya gotta says ya want de $.33 bananas.” Well, instantly my hackles raised and I inquired about the difference between the two (the .33 and the .69) and she says none, other than the price and adds, with a sinister smile, “Ya gotta says. I am here to make much as I can, so, ya don’t says, I no geeve.” The discussion about the sign and fair business practice grew loud. She finally punched around on a calculator then placed more bananas on the scales (rather than simply adjusting the amount we owe) so that we got product equal to the price she charged. We were satisfied, because we freeze them, using lots in our homemade smoothies. At home we noticed the additional bananas were not in the bag. The woman had evidently slid them off the scale, rather than bagging them. I was fuming. Wife wanted to let it go, but I could not. A week later, when I was back in that area, I stopped in and had another discussion, refreshing her memory, louder as the crowd grew larger. Disgusted, she grabbed 3 or 4 pounds of bananas and handed them to me. We had a meeting of the minds. I will not go back.
Yesterday I had a Banana Nazi experience that could be right out of Seinfeld. Again, in another part of town, I see a sign for bananas at 3 pounds for $1. The stand owner had the bananas separated and placed in heavy plastic shopping baskets, along with another sign stating there was a 3 pound limit, after that they were $.59. Fair enough. I took a basket to the checkout and ask him to please weigh the bananas, but he says, “Dat ees one dollar.” I repeat my request for him to weigh the fruit, to which he responds, vigorously, “You no trust me? I not sell you bananas! Geet out!!” I tried to explain that I just wanted to see the weight, even mentioned that I used the please word. He fired the first salvo, a steaming f word phase. I had no recourse but to load my own tongue and fire back. It was like an f word shootout at the O.K Corral. The two of us ducking and dodging obscenities, while other customers were running for cover. When the air silenced, there was an unspoken agreement that I would not be back. As a parting shot, I blasted him with two little birds, which started him on another tirade, then coolly puffed a mouth full of air over my fingertips and holstered them for the day. I met a couple women walking up to the stand and said, “All I did was ask him to weigh the bananas.” They turned around and went back to their car. Again, I claimed justice and victory.
For those who want to come into this country and immediately start ripping people off, they need to understand there is a new sheriff in town and he is watching. This is America, Home of the Depraved, Land of the Greed. You need to live here for awhile, become a citizen, get elected to office and earn the right to screw your fellow countrymen. It is a silent war, this banana war, but Americans can sleep soundly, knowing there are others on the watch.