With ever-growing panic this morning, a perfectly ripe avocado two rows from the front of the display bin, in a central Toronto grocery store, checked in with his surrounding companions.
“Tommy, how you looking?” asks Everrett, who is himself firm but gently yielding to pressure.
“Hard as a rock,” says Tommy cheerfully. “I’m pretty sure I’m going to make it until early June, barring some jerk buying me and putting me on top of a bunch of bananas.”
“Shit.” Says Everrett. “Susan? What’s your status?”
“Mushy to the point of putrid,” Susan announces with pride.
Everrett shakes his peduncle. “Lucky you. Alright let’s cut to the chase here guys. It’s Cinco de Mayo, and much as I wish I wasn’t, I’m ripe. If I was a banana I’d be yellow with just the beginnings of light brown spots beginning to show. To say I’m running out of time on this pit-less planet is putting it as mildly as the lame-ass Canadian guacomole I’m about to get turned into. Let’s do a quick roll call. All avos that currently feel like they were chiselled from granite say aye.”
A loud chorus of agreement follows.
“Holy mortar and pestle. Ok. And who is anywhere even approaching soft enough to be sliced into with a reasonably sharp knife? Speak up.”
Total silence engulfs the avocado bin. The only sound to be heard is the rattle of grocery carts smashing into things as people rush around getting last-minute items for their parties. Things like avocados. Ripe ones.
Everett stifles a sob. A row down from him, his treebling Peter asks if now would be a bad time to ask for his sticker. Ms. Periwinkle enters the store. A notorious consumer of avocados who can spot a ripe one at a thousand paces, the chances of her missing Perfect Everrett – as his companions have now started calling him – are the same as the odds of Vincente Fox making Donald Trump a margarita today without spitting in it.
“I’m toast,” Everett says quietly. “I’m avocado toast.”
Ms. Periwinkle arrives at the bin. Her thin hand reaches out like the white scythe of the grim reaper himself.
“Do not go gently into that good dip friends,” Everrett whispers, as the old lady’s hands close around his impeccable peel. “The French are at our door. Hold fast. Stand firm. Literally. I will engage the enemy with all my – ” He’s cut off by being thrust into a plastic bag. Ms. Periwinkle nods in satisfaction, and heads straight for the check out, already able to taste her weak-ass guacamole.
“Happy Cinco de Mayo,” she says cheerfully to the cashier. On the conveyor belt Everrett eyes up the bag of sharp-edged nachos, and bravely accepts his fate.