The Cherry Tomatoes

Yesterday I went to the local Somerfield to get some food for lunch. I only bought three things, some tuna, a baguette and some cherry tomatoes. It was only when I got back to the office that I realised the cherry tomatoes were not in my bag. I’m continually doing idiotic things like this: forgetting things, dropping things, losing things, breaking things. It seems it is my destiny to spend my days bumblingly trying to correct my past mistakes, and continually adding new ones to the pile in the process. Like when I lost the key to my motorbike. In sorting that out I had to take the ignition barrel on and off my bike. While doing that I managed to snap off the air intake cover and break one of the bolts that held on my saddle so it stuck in the thread. The only way I could break even in a day would be by not leaving my bed.

When I realised that I’d left the cherry tomatoes at the supermarket, I was disappointed in myself. I’m beginning to think I need a carer to follow me around to make sure I’ve got my keys, my phone and that I’ve not left £20 hanging out of a cash machine for some lucky passerby to grab. I’ve managed that last one on four separate occasions. Once I realised in time, and ran back to grab it as the machine was beginning to draw the money back in, beeping ever faster to announce its intentions. Another time, the machine took the money back in and credited it back to my account. Twice though, someone has ran up to the machine and grabbed it as I strolled away without a care in the world. I wonder if you can some kind of guide dog or helper monkey for the terminally careless?

I thought yesterday about going back for the cherry tomatoes, but I felt it would be a bit ridiculous, the loss of the tomatoes not being worth the shame. Today though, I felt differently. When buying my lunch I mentioned it at the checkout.

“Yes, there’s one more thing, yesterday when I was here I left a wee packet of cherry tomatoes, I realise it’s not a big deal but…”

The woman at the checkout eyed me with an air of intense suspicion. She hesitated for a while, making up her mind as to whether or not she believed me. In the end, she decided that it was too trivial a matter to openly challenge me, especially with the guy behind impatiently sneering at the whole banal affair that was holding up his life. She said I could go and take some cherry tomatoes. I thanked her, and as I left the checkout to get them she added:

“Someone did leave some cherry tomatoes yesterday”

What was fascinating was her tone. It wasn’t the tone of someone who believed that the guy who’d left his cherry tomatoes the previous day had returned to claim them. It was the tone of someone who was virtually certain that I was lying, but who was forced to concede that my outrageous claims were at least theoretically plausible, given that someone had indeed left their cherry tomatoes the day previous.

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4 responses to “The Cherry Tomatoes

  1. How did they taste?

  2. Like justice Mr Deed. Like justice.

  3. excellent story. i do know the situation you are describing and I think it has to do with how connected you are to the material world. without any judgment- maybe you are just busy with much more spiritual things than the material world. if you’re happy with it….
    a useful effect is that you get used to not being attached…
    today i lost a shirt at the seminar where I had gone for an inservice training. it had become so hot today that I was carrying it around with me, and when I got into the car at the end of the day I realized that i had probably left it in the cafe, which was now closed and where I wouldn’t be for the next year probably….
    but I was fascinated how easily I could let go of it! sure, it wasn’t my favourite shirt and it will get even warmer soon anyway…but usually I am much more attached to anything.
    thanks for you stories….
    I think I’ll get into writing too

  4. Robin, I’ve left behind two things last week and got them both back with your very help. Cheers! It’s an ease to see that this doesn’t happen to me only.

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