Monday, June 07, 2010
A cargo ship full to the gunwales with pineapples docked in Scotland earlier in the week. We, the most restless of natives marvelled at the strange and exotic sight as the fruity cargo was unloaded. We lined the dockside and cheered as the brave stevedores moved the boxes from their container cruise line home to the back of a grey and yellow Bedford lorry that grunted with customary disapproval at the effort. It was, for a moment as if some tropical carnival scene had erupted out of a street party and spread itself across the suddenly sunny Grangemouth dock.
At one point the leader of the shore party pulled out a huge Commando knife and in an almost symbolic set of moves raised it towards the heavens it’s shining tip glinting in the sunlight and then suddenly plunged it into the corner of a box and cut a great gash along the side. The cardboard collapsed and a dozen large pineapples poured out , were caught by the dockers and then flung into the cheering crowd like errant footballs. Hands were raised and heads bobbed as the juice grenades flew over the heads of the people. There was a scramble, more whoops of joy and then the retrieved pineapples were held aloft and carried away into the streets in a triumphant wave with the passion and enthusiasm of some kind of sporting victory or shared tribal rite.
Once the lorry was loaded and the container cleared the atmosphere began to calm, the truck drove away to distribute the fruit in the wider world and the fortunate locals who had witnessed the event began to disperse. However as a calm descended here and there small groups formed around the prized pineapples, those gathered from the fatally stabbed box and they stood and marvelled at their shared prizes. In their eyes and in in their minds questions formed, how do we open them? How do we eat them? What will they be like? What is their texture? Will there ever be any more? Is it all over for us? It was a summer the taste of which we thought we would never forget.
A week later I regret to say the pineapple remains were rotting under broken autos and all but forgotten - it was the day that the first ship carrying boxes of Trojan American Super-lube condoms arrived since the end of the Great Pan-European Wars of 2016/17. We, the most restless of natives marvelled at the strange and exotic sight...