Deborah Ross: 'There comes a time in everybody’s life when you have to think about your relationship with pre-chopped fruit'

If You Ask Me
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The Independent Online

If you ask me, there comes a time in everybody's life when you have to think about your relationship with pre-prepared fruit. It may happen in Asda, if that is your supermarket of choice, and you can stand the amount of child-slapping per aisle, or Waitrose, if you prefer your cruelty to be more of the middle-class, non-physical kind. "No, Isabella, you can not have Sunny Delight. Honestly, the way you carry on you'd think we didn't have books in our house and you were a stranger to the violin."

So it may come in Asda or Waitrose or any supermarket bar, probably, Iceland, which does not recognise fresh fruit – "nope," said a girl on the till when once shown an apple, "haven't a clue". But don't be too hard on Iceland. It has, after all, recently hit upon the genius idea of combining two popular dishes into one, as in their "bolognese pizza" and "chicken tikka lasagne" and who knows where this might end. Roast trifle with all the trimmings, anyone? A Victoria sponge made of ham? Now... where were we? Oh, yes. You are in the supermarket, reaching out for the pineapple chunks in the chiller section, when you will suddenly think to yourself: "What, I'm too good to cut up my own pineapple all of a sudden?" But then your next thought will be, "Hang on. I've worked hard all my life. I don't have a butler. I don't drive a nice car. I don't have a second home. I don't even have a nice first home. I wear socks with holes in... goddamn it, if nothing else I've earnt the right for someone else to cut up my pineapple!" And: "Goddamn it, I'm going to have some of those melon slices too!" And: "Goddamn it, why can't I stop saying goddamn it, goddamn it?"

But, in your heart, you know it's the start of a slippery slope, one that may even end in pre-grated cheese and pre-bagged salad leaves of the kind that, pound for pound, come in at around the same price of plutonium, goddamn it. My advice? Well, buying pre-prepared fruit is lazy and expensive and shaming and is probably all about some poor African woman chop-chop chopping and core-core-coring all day, but you know what? I live in the first world and have holes in my socks. Life owes me (goddamn it!).

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