Lemons?

DAWN O'PORTER : 28 JULY 2010
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I am in Sainsbury’s. I walk up to the cashier with a basket of breakfast treats including two lemons. I am excited to get home and cook up a feast. I am starving. I have bed hair. I have sunglasses on. I could have done with another half an hours sleep.

As the cashier scans my goods, he takes hold of two lemons and says ‘lemons?’

I tilt my head and do a slightly sarcastic smile as I continue to pack my bag.

He asks again, ‘lemons?’

I think to myself, ‘is he asking me if they are lemons?’

I do another smile. This time it is more of a confused smile. I also have not yet looked up at him because I feel a little insecure and like he might be building up to a joke.

One more time he asks me, ‘lemons?’

I go to speak, but nothing comes out. I stop packing, take a moment then look up at him. ‘Lemons?’ he asks again.

‘WHAT? Lemons? Are you asking me if the lemon shaped, lemon scented, lemon COLOURED lemons are lemons? Is that REALLY what you are asking?’ I think, not yet having worked out what to say. For some reason I am unable to bring myself to confirm that they are, indeed, lemons.

I look at the lemons. They really couldn’t be more lemony. I wonder where the confusion lies. Sure, different brands of apples can cause confusion at tills, as can different shaped bread baps, but LEMONS?? A lemon is a lemon, no? Even if you are colour blind, it is still lemon shaped?

I continue to pack my bag.

After a few seconds he said, ‘lemons?’

Realising he really wasn’t joking I answered, ‘Yes, they are lemons’.

He looked pleased with himself. His guess had been right.

He weighed my lemons and lobbed them into my bag.

I paid him and left.

Lemons.  Who’d have thought.