I thought he was just a kid goofing around. Just another bozo-button at large and awash in adolescence. You’ve seen ‘em; teens, sans supervision in the supermarket, making public fresh for their friends.
But this was different.
For one thing he was on his own. No giggling gaggle of onlookers applauded his tomfoolery. No, he worked alone – and, looking back on it, I do think it was work.
He tottered in goofily enough but made a beeline for the produce and, upon reaching that section of the market, tongue out (in concentration or anticipation I can’t say), leapt directly into the bananas and burrowed in.
My jaw must’ve darn near hit the floor when he did it, too. I don’t know who else saw him but the act was performed in such a perfect, fluid motion it had to’ve been practiced. Had to’ve been. You don’t just do that on a whim without hurting yourself, you know? Not that silently. It was stunning.
Anyway, I don’t know if he was foraging for food or looking for cover under there but he stayed under, muttering and rustling about, until the store officials showed up and asked, rather politely given the circumstances, just what he thought he was up to.
Oh, all hell broke loose then.
He burst from the banana bin and evaded the shouting scramble of store employees by leaping from display to display, havoc in his path. Peaches, mangoes, grapes, and cantaloupes were squitched, kicked and, in some cases, hucked. We onlookers ducked behind whatever we could find. I took to the floor behind the bulk-nut cart and thought I’d gotten away scott-free until I ran my fingers through my hair sometime afterwards and discovered a mass of orangey pulp there from some fruit or another. Even helpless, fuzzy little kiwis were not spared as the kooky intruder made his explosively circuitous and sticky escape.
One minute he’s mid-leap and pelting the cowering store manager with an endless fusillade of bing cherries, the next he’s a blur shooting out through the store’s advert-plastered, automatic doors.
That was the last we saw of him.