I was walking the dogs to the park the other day and cut through a back laneway to get there. As I walked down the gentle slope, the two dogs on leads, I saw my husband in a car park over the road. He saw me. We waved. Then I mimed him a message.
To start I pointed at him, then held up my right hand and rubbed my thumb across the back of my fingers, then stretched out my arms, bent them at the elbows and swung my hands under my armpits like a monkey. Then I lifted them up while shrugging my shoulders, in the universally accepted gestured of, ‘huh?’.
He looked at me in total incomprehension, so once I got to the park, I sent him a text message: DID YOU BUY ME THE BANANAS?
He answered: ‘I got you one banana.’
A couple of days before, I had accused him of raiding my stash, reducing my carefully selected hand of five to a single banana over the course of one weekend. This was annoying because I am trying to eat only healthy foods at the moment and fruit is just about the only pleasure I have left in life. Monday was his day off and he had muttered something about going shopping. I had wanted to establish my supply had been restored because otherwise I would have driven off to the shops and picked some up.
I walked the dogs back up the road, past the new fish and chip shop on the corner. It had been set up as a coffee shop a couple of years ago and has been through a couple of owners since then. Last week it opened its doors after a three week makeover had transformed it into this latest iteration.
It was nice of my husband to go and get bananas, even if he had eaten all mine. It was his only day off as well. I just hoped he had not done what he normally does and go… bananas.
He arrived home shortly after me and when I saw the shopping bag, I knew he had expanded on his brief.
He unpacked it in the kitchen.
‘Three kiwi fruit, a bag of seedless grapes and, of course, your bananas.’ At this he produced about forty bananas, which he presented with a small bow of his head.
But that was not all. Over the course of the next few minutes he produced a range of extras that he had added to the shopping list of one item: four plums, two nectarines, two persimmons, a couple of apricots and (at this he produced a box from behind his back and presented it like Sir Walter Raleigh bringing tobacco to Queen Elizabeth) a box of fresh dates.
As usual, he had excelled himself and surpassed the shopping list by some distance. But if I thought he has finished, I was wrong.
‘I brought dinner,’ he announced, and triumphantly threw down onto the table a wrapped parcel.
‘You went to the fish & chip shop, didn’t you?’ I said.
‘I sure did. Here you go – three dollars worth of chips.’
Just like my husband; when the chips are down he will still come through with enough fruit to restock Carmen Miranda’s headwear and then some. What a peach.