Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Vegetable songs

There is a young guy who works in the vegetable section of the supermarket. This guy is mentally challenged (I don't know what the current PC word is for this) and always very serious about his work. While he is restocking the vegetable displays he keeps repeating the name of the vegetable he is working with, very loudly and in a sing-song voice. When The Man encounters him, he joins in, which makes the guy sing louder. They stand there grinning at each other and chanting, "Hoorensoo, hoorensoo, oishii hoorensoooooo!" ("Spinach, spinach, delicious spiiinaaaaach!") louder and louder, and then the guy ducks his head shyly and gets back to work. It's an interactive shopping experience.

We always stop to chat with the vegetable guy when we see him out in the street, too, and he tells us in minute detail where he's going and what he's doing and what time he will start work tomorrow and what time he finished today and what vegetables he stocked and which customers he spoke to and what time his train is and what he'll have for dinner. The Man listens intently and asks questions, and I watch them both. They converse with all the seriousness of a couple of high powered businessmen discussing a multi-million dollar contract. This always makes me happy.

Winter also makes me happy, especially days like today with cold wind and deep blue skies and enormous fluffy clouds.

9 comments:

Flying Amoeba said...

wow

tinyhands said...

That's very nice. I would imagine that even today there's a social stigma against the "challenged" so he probably has few friends. That The Man would openly talk with him on the street offers further proof to me that he is a Good Man. Maybe I'm reading too much into it.

Badaunt said...

He is a Good Man. But I must admit the first time he did the vegetable singing when I was with him I was horrified. I thought it would be hurtful. Why is he teasing the poor kid? I thought.

I was COMPLETELY WRONG. The 'poor kid' loved it (and they'd obviously done it before). I don't know how The Man does this. He seems able to judge instinctively how much teasing is OK and when to be serious, and when the two of them are singing their vegetable song and all the other shoppers are giggling at them they're in it together, hamming it up, they are teasing EACH OTHER and it's hilarious and wonderful and there is no embarrassment or hurt at all.

stephen said...

I want to see this, somehow, someway - it sounds delightful. I guess I never will though. Unless you make a movie of it and post it or something. Hint Hint...

Hope your nearly-cold is now not-a-cold or so.

Badaunt said...

I would love to make a movie of it, but besides not having a video camera I suspect it would make them both self-conscious. Besides, it's the spontaneity of it all that makes it so funny and special. They don't do it every time we go in there. It's just when the moment is right, and don't ask me how The Man judges when the moment is right, he just knows, and that's that.

I'm not even sure if I could get the vege guy to talk on camera the way he talks to The Man. He already looks at me sideways, a bit dubious. I'm a foreign, weird person, and he's not sure that I really want to hear all this detail about his life, or perhaps he thinks this is man talk, and not for me. I don't know. He knows The Man wants to hear it, though, so keeps talking. He doesn't want to let his friend down just because I'm there, so he doesn't omit anything.

But I think a foreign weird person with a camera would be a bit too overwhelming.

Badaunt said...

Oh, and meant to add - the nearly-cold has vanished. Either it wasn't a cold or the nose irrigation thing scared it away. Or the mikans. Or the honey. Or the Kampo. Whatever, it worked!

rainbow_death said...

Well, I loved that story!!!
This world's just beautiful :)

dom said...

Thanks for that story ... It made me smile and realise the world ain't that bad !
As a friut and veg deliverer i'm just gonna have to make a song up now LOL.
"~~sings >~~ ladies feel my plums , juicy juicy , grope my melons , ripe ripe ripe ! and If you say my banana is too bent i'll cry cry cry "

Badaunt said...

Dom: I think you've just discovered a new career for youself. Fruit and vege hawker! :-P