Writing

I’d Like To Buy An Apple

  • November 23, 2010

I was waiting in line today at a local apple orchard farm stand buying some apple cider and a dozen apple cider donuts when my attention was diverted to a very impatient customer who tried to cut ahead of me in line.

"Excuse me! Excuse me!", he shouted. The cashier tried her best to pretend not to hear him. He shouted louder.

"EXCUSE ME!!!".

I moved over and let him ahead of me even though I was the next in line.

"I was wondering", he said, "if I could buy an apple."

It seemed like a pretty stupid question right off the bat. At first I thought the man was an idiot. Here we are at a farm stand in front of an apple orchard. There are literally hundreds of tubs overflowing with apples and about 1 in every 5 tubs has a sale sign attached to it. To make things worse, the signs were painted red and cut out of wood in the shape of apples. If I’m not mistaken, they were looking for people to come in and buy their apples.

The woman at the counter was very kind and tried her best to be helpful. The man, who waited no more than ten seconds in line grew angry and impatient.

"I’d like to buy an apple", he said again, this time in a normal tone and volume. He didn’t need to shout anymore because everyone had already gone deaf.

"You came to the right place", I replied sarcastically. After all, this very annoying individual just cut right ahead of me in line. At this point he went ape shit.

"How many would you like to buy?", asked the old lady behind the counter, as she pointed to the price list on the counter which clearly showed a list of prices along with graphical representations of containers.

"What’s the least amount I can buy?", the man snapped back.

Pointing to the graphical representation of 1/2 peck of apples, the old lady responded, "This is the smallest size we sell. It’s $2.75 for approximately 13 to 15 apples."

"Well, I just want one.", said the man.

"One peck? That’s almost 30 apples for $5."

"No", snapped the man, "I want one apple. Just one."

At this point, everyone working at the stand stopped whatever they were doing and looked up. It was a scene out of an old western movie where someone walks into a saloon, the music stops, people all look up, and time stands still for a few very brief uncomfortable moments.

Nobody goes out to the middle of nowhere to a farm stand just to buy a single apple. And this place really was out in the middle of nowhere. If you figure in the cost of gas it took for this man to drive here into the equation, this was going to become the most expensive apple he’ll likely ever buy in his lifetime.

"Twenty-five cents", the old lady quoted him, which for some reason made the man think he was getting a fantastic deal.

"Okay, where can I get one?"

I couldn’t help but laugh. The man wanted to know where he could find an apple at a farm stand in the middle of a fucking apple orchard! Okay, this man was an idiot.

"If I take an apple from this bushell of apples, that’ll be one less apple for the person who buys this entire basket."

The old lady looked at him blankly. He set the apple down and stormed out.

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