As I pulled up to my house tonight I noticed there was a little orange piece of paper in between my screen on my door. From afar it looked like a UPS slip. For the 30 seconds between the time I parked, got out of the car, and walked up to my door I thought I had a parcel waiting for me at the North Park Postal Office. But no. It wasn’t a parcel. It was a fruit basket. A note that said “SORRY WE MISSED YOU!” Please call Mon-Sat before 8pm to schedule another delivery. Well, I felt like some fruit so I called right then.
This was my conversation.
Fruit Basket Guy (FBG): Hello thank you calling. (BROAD)
Me: Hi, I got a notice that I have a fruit basket.
FBG: Oh yes. What is your delivery number?
Me: 4537. B52.
FBG: Ok. Well, you are lucky because you have been chosen to receive a free fruit basket to say thanks for being part of the neighborhood.
FBG: We are offering it right now as a special offer.
Me: And it’s free?
FGB: We will also throw in a free carpet cleaning service, you pick the room in your house and it’s on us.
Me: What does this have to do with fruit?
FBG: Any room you want, we will clean it.
Me: I don’t want my carpet cleaned I want the fruit.
FBG: Well, we use a 100% Chem-dry formula that will dry in 40 minutes or less.
Me: Ok what is this fruit or carpets?
FBG: We do both.
Me: Well I only want the fruit, ok?
FBG: OK. We will send you the fruit. All you need to do is watch a commercial on our carpet cleaning service and sign up for a free trial and we will bring you your basket for free.
Me: YOU ARE RIDICULOUS.
I hung up.
When I was a kid we used to get Harry and David every month. Harry and David, over-priced delectable fruit in a perfectly packaged box that was delivered via stork every month. No my parents did not supply this grandiose monthly treat to us…the person behind this was none other than Mr. SJ. I am using his initials to protect his identity even though I barley know the guy. Mr. SJ was a guy my dad worked with back in the 80s. In 1986 he bought us a year supply of Harry and David fruit for Christmas.
Here are Harry and David (Rosenberg)
When the year ran up, I think Mr. SJ just renewed it because he’d feel guilty if he didn’t. We were members of the “Fruit-of-the-Month Club” for the next eight years, even after he stopped working with my dad! Every month..even in July…the box would arrive with the note attached, “Merry Christmas from Mr. SJ!” It was incredible. It was the best fruit imagineable. Sometimes I would close my eyes as I bit into the mango that I had just unwrapped from the green packaging and pretend I was in Mexico.
Harry and David were even more popular to us Comrie kids than the Schwan ice cream man who’d randomly appear with free samples once a year. (Looking back on that Schwan’s was Sketchy with a capital S). They had damn good ice cream sandwiches though.
Anyway, when Mr. SJ cut off the subscription that we had now become very accustomed to my siblings and I were kind of pissed. I mean we felt sort of betrayed. What did we do to to deserve to be shunned by the guy we had met only once in our life? Did we mean nothing to him anymore?