As I was driving back to work with my questionably sourced fruit, my brain started doing its thing. Why was the pineapple only 87¢? Don’t you know that when something is that cheap, there’s a price to pay? Do you enjoy being a pawn in big agro’s game? So when I got back to my desk, I started Googling. Turns out Costa Rica uses the most insecticides of any country in the world and GMO pineapples would soon be introduced there. Exactly when is “soon?" I thought. Was my big-juicy-sweet-yellow-cheap-thang a dirty, little GMO tramp or a suitable, inexpensive suitor? Regardless, the thrill was gone, and cheap-thang would be going back to the store. Sure, it was only 87¢ and hardly worth my while, but it was the principle. I didn’t want to create the demand for it. And besides, the store was on my way home, so my carbon footprint wouldn't be compromised.
When I was leaving work for the day, my office mate (the one I cheated with last year), saw me carrying the pineapple. I told him it was only 87¢ and that I was returning it. "Only 87¢? I love pineapple," he announced. Then, upon the realization that returning it was more for my sake than for any real impact on the system, I offered it to him. I knew the cashier would probably just nod at me like when you're trying to placate a deranged person who's telling you about some secret society on Mars, and that would be the end of it. Besides, office mate was really excited about the prospect of acquiring a shiny, new pineapple. That is, until I ruined it for him. I'm pretty sure I could buzz kill anything with one strategically placed zinger. Call me gifted.
"It's from Costa Rica who uses more pesticides than any country in the world,” I said. “You want it?"
"Hmmm. Well, maybe not then."
“No, really," I said. "You can have it. You love pineapples, and I was expecting too much from my boycott.”
“No, that’s ok. If my wife wanted me to have a pineapple, she would have bought me a pineapple.”
I paused, scrunched up my face and crinkled my crow’s feet. “If you want a pineapple, you don’t need permission to have a pineapple," I said. "Here, take it.”
“No, that’s ok.”
“No, I really want you to have it.”
“Thanks, but I’ll pass.”
“Take the freaking pineapple!”
“What about the pesticides?”
“Your wife doesn’t buy organic fruit or shop at the farmers’ market,” I said. “This would have been the one she would have bought you if she wanted you to have one.”
Ten minutes later, as I gazed into the cashier’s vacuous eyes, I said, “I’d like to return this pineapple.”
"Okay. I owe you 87¢" he said, and handed me three quarters, a dime and two pennies.
“Thanks,” I said as I put the change in my wallet and walked out of the store. Pineapples, pesticides, partners, primates...I give up.
Related Links:How to be a Bad-Ass Anti-GMO Activist