every morning i get up at half past six, shower and dress and then sit down to breakfast – cold fruit salad. but when i went to the shop the other day they didn’t have the tin i usually buy, which is how happened to buy a tin of ‘moustachioed fruit salad.’ it was the only one left on the shelves and i took that as a recommendation. it all made sense when i tasted it: this was the best tinned fruit salad i had ever tasted. but when i went back to get more the owner of the shop didn’t know what i was talking about. i tried to tell him as much about the fruit salad as i could – it was sweet, fresh and all the pieces of fruit had tiny moustaches attached. he looked at me blankly. i had little else to tell him. all i knew about the moustachioed fruit was the short story attached to the back of the tin, which went something like this:
“for a number of quiet years of idyllic peace a moustachioed gentleman kept a neat and efficient grocer’s shop which ran smoothly in an uninterrupted everyday kind of way. when disaster struck him and his family the shop closed and the moustachioed gent retreated to a greenhouse at the back of the shop and planted himself in a pot full of compost – deep, dark and comfortable. he stayed there for longer than he or anyone else had planned, the deep sadness that he felt following the disaster rooting him in that pot and his wife watered him every now and again. he was surprised when he found green buds growing all over his arms and legs and though he would then have liked to leave the pot he was interested to find out what would happen next. the sadness had lifted and his life was beginning to bloom once more with new ventures.
his wife moved into the greenhouse with him and times were good again. soon she had fruit to pick – strange moustachioed fruit, juicy and sweet. the fruit was like normal fruit only it had little moustaches on it – moustachioed apples, moustachioed pears, moustachioed peaches. the moustaches were the best bit. once he was fully harvested the moustachioed gent climbed out of the pot and he and his wife sat down together to eat the fruit. the disasters of the past year were long gone, like cut-free hot air balloons. it was the moustachioed gent who hit upon the idea of planting the pips and seeds from the moustachioed fruit. the rich goodness of compost saw to the rest and they grew more and more fruit in their tiny greenhouse. they reopened the grocery store and sold this strange fruit and then decided to branch out into tinned fruit salad. this too was a success, it was like everything the moustachioed gent touched turned to gold, or succulent grapes. unfortunately the effects of living in compost for so long took a hold of the moustachioed gent’s health and he ailed to death shortly after setting up the tinned fruit future. his memory lives on in the fruit salad you are eating right now.”
after that there was a freephone number which didn’t work. so i just read the stort over and over again. it was clearly marketing tosh but it had me in tears, tears that flooded down my cheeks and sweetly into my bowl of fruit. the little moustaches bobbed in the juice and looked up at me.