Upon our return home a few minutes later, we were greeted by the fearsome guardian of the homestead, the ill-tempered, scuttling, ankle-scratching lord of the manner, the scarily obese, hairy, surly la Quejosa, the ‘Bothersome Cat’.
Sore at having been left alone for even a short while, she miaowed raucously then made her trademark charge at our exposed legs. Cunning though she may be, however, her tactics work best from concealed positions, in guerrilla warfare as opposed to pitched battles. Hence she was repulsed by a quick glancing blow to the abdomen from our swinging bag of juicy suns. Recoiling in recognition of the futility of continued hostilities, she sought refuge under the table, peering out from the darkness, plotting a future campaign.
The missus was absent. Very strange. The kilo of oranges was to provide sustenance to us both and serve as accompaniment to the traditional breakfast of crackers with queso cremoso and diced cherry tomatoes. We decided to press ahead with the repast in any case. She might be back soon, off bartering over the price of a new extension lead for the fridge or offering to help people push their cars up snowless hills, or any one of a myriad tasks the modern woman must undertake.
But what’s this? As we removed the oranges from the bag, a piece of paper began to reveal itself. At first we thought it was a receipt – a quickly discarded European absurdity of an idea. As we looked closer it appeared more likely to be a scroll of some kind, though printed on flyer paper. Curious and suspecting the verdulero‘s wink to have been about more than just the subtle genius characteristic of his race, we read, as convention dictates, first the title, then the text:
The Word Made Pineapple Flesh
For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth –
So scholars, attest! The Original Sin of the Fall has nothing to do whatsoever with the bleatings of the Pelagian or Hippomatic heresies. The sin was to suppose oneself able enough to select fruit at random without even an informal education. Eating the apple was not the point; rather it was the choice of apple that sparked God’s ire and ignited the fires of hell.
“Such arrogance!” He was heard booming to the men in His eternal fruit and vegetable market. “When all I ask is a little piety, some respect for those hands trained in the ways of My bountiful earth.”
Yet hope still sprang eternal in His eternal breast, and so as a reminder to future generations He named one of the seasons ‘the Fall’. Unfortunately, the Chinese Whispers nature of prophecy, coupled with the ceilinged nature of the office of scribe, led to some confusion. Forgotten it was that the Fall was about that purest of joys, ripened fruit, and the expert hand that leads one down the path to tastiness, that of the greengrocer. Instead, guilt, pain, suffering followed, inspired by ‘saints’ who were in truth vegetable heretics – abstract blasphemies from Gnosticism down through the witterings of Saint Augustine and the Council of Trent, all utterly foreign to a fruit-loving God.
At the time of octopus-wrestling Homer, all this was still clear. However, by the time Plato’s prisoner emerged from his cave, he looked straight past the plum-bearing boughs into the sun; and he cherished his new-found blindness at the expense of his senses of smell and taste. And so today we find ourselves as far from the true Word of the Lord as possible, lost in a shadow world under electric lights in a 24 hour, cashier-less hypermarket, ensconcing ourselves ever deeper in Satan’s bosom every time we pathetically grope for, weigh and bag rotten légumes.
This is no equally infamous modern day confabulation either: the answers are all in the Holy Bible. When Noah sends out the dove to find signs of life after the flood, what does the divine bird return with? Why, but a branch hanging with fresh, glistening olives! Jesus was obviously a grape fan, wine being the centerpiece of most of his social engagements. Later on, while the hopelessly at sea Inquisition saw the discovery of the New World as a Nazi-like excuse to experiment in torture, the Almighty had only allowed safe passage of the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa María (to the Spice Islands, how many more clues do you want?) so as to bring back the saintly tomato, which hitherto had only been available to the people of the Americas. All the clues are there, but history shows how Man has continually befuddled itself and become lost on blasphemous paths of abstinence, thinking He despises the body when, on the contrary, He is a friend of healthy dining, of wholesome means of nutrition. Of course the God of the Old Testament is angry. How could He not be if His every command is being misinterpreted?
So repent of your wanton, useless scourges, your cruelty to your own bodies. Live well, live healthily, live happily and you will be serving the Lord, attest O scholars!
My word, an international league, a secret society of greengrocer’s harbouring the secret of the Divine Fire! If we had been in possession of a smart car, how we would have, in the equally divine Mr Brown’s words, gunned it into the rotary, then smiled. How to proceed? Did we wake or sleep?