Oh how I wish I had taken my camera because mere words cannot possibly do this justice: A parade of government employees dressed as fruit and vegetables danced from the library to the market place to celebrate the grand opening of the farmer’s market in the local town shortly after we’d moved to America. These normally drab civil servants appeared as human sized Chiquita bananas, pineapples, ears of corn, pea pods, carrots, strawberries, slices of melon, a bunch of grapes (which made me feel faintly queasy – large purple orbs dangling off a pretty girl), tomatoes and a roundish, faded, three-foot in diameter green orb which could have been any number of foods.
Carmen Miranda was there with a banana impaled on her forehead and grapes rolling down the back of her head. She had aged since I saw her last and looked a little scrawny.
The procession was led by seven big green elves (who appeared to have had a skirmish over their costumes in the dressing room with all of them coming off rather badly) playing jungle rhythms on drums. A group of multi-sized ladies, with uninhibited senses of dress, performed to the drum beat but their swaying arms and legs showed little in the way of a gift for dance. Those who didn’t happen to have a piece of fruit apparel in their wardrobe simply wore anything outlandish or bright – shiny green St. Patrick’s Day hats, hula skirts, clown feet, last year’s Halloween mask, last year’s Mardi Gras beads.
We were invited to take part, but declined, preferring to scurry along beside the parade, pretending not to be associated with these deranged people. As we watched with morbid fascination, not quite believing that grown-ups could look and behave like that, we trampled the town hall gardens that lined the street, finishing up at the market.
The fruit and veg items on sale didn’t tempt us that day. Costumes are fun but fruit people are frightening. What would possess someone to want to do something like that? Google vegetable costumes. Go on. What do you think?