The Perfect Tomato

tomato

My mother-in-law, Fay, was one of a kind. Diminutive, 5’-1, 95 pounds, but she had a steely resolve and a wonderful sense of humor. Not everyone picks up on my subtle wit but she was different. She laughed until tears rolled down her cheeks and her sides ached. She was a silent laugher though, a bane for a comic; she rocked and vibrated. I did a perfect imitation of her and she laughed harder than anyone in the room but you couldn’t hear her.

In return I was at her beck and call whenever needed. She knew she could always count on me. This was very important to her after her husband passed away. Her sons were too busy with their own families to accommodate her. It was just my wife Gloria and I.

One day she phoned and asked if I could take her to the supermarket, she needed a tomato. I told her I would get one for her. She said that was something she had to do for herself. When I picked her up, I brought a book along because I didn’t plan on going in since she said she would be right out. I read a large portion of the book and still no Fay. I became concerned. Had her hip given out; had she fainted? I rushed to the produce section. At first I didn’t see her because of the huge pyramid of tomatoes. Then I caught a glimpse of her fully immersed in her obsession to find the perfect tomato. I circled behind her but she still didn’t see me because she was too focused on the pile. Within inches of her, she still wasn’t aware of my presence.

”WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” I shouted.

She almost jumped out of her shoes with fright. When she saw it was me she began laughing and couldn’t stop. She was doubled over with the tomato in her hand. I told her to put it away before they arrested her for shoplifting. She laughed some more.

In the car I asked her why she hadn’t bought a tomato and why it had taken her so long. Sheepishly she stated that it was common knowledge that the store hides the best produce on the bottom of the pile. The reason they do this is because they want to get rid of their inferior merchandise first.

”Okay,” I said, ”I don’t buy this argument but even if I did, what stopped you from buying a tomato?”

She looked at me with a puzzled look on her face and simply said, “All the good ones were gone.”

(photo courtesy of foot 76/freedigitalphotos.net)

Jerry Goldberg About Jerry Goldberg

Jerry Goldberg grew up on the west side of Chicago. After high school, he was drafted in the Army during the Korean conflict. Upon his honorable discharge, he joined Local 130 in Chicago as a plumber, working from 1952 to 2000. Jerry has been happily married for 60 years, residing with his wife, Gloria, in Huntley, Illinois. They were blessed with two wonderful children, and have three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
When his son encouraged him to get online, Jerry replied, "What do I need that for?" But all that changed a year into his retirement, when his daughter gave him a modem for his birthday, opening a whole new chapter. Finding stained glass insufficiently fulfilling, Jerry discovered the AARP message boards and began his one-finger magic. Eventually, he became quite proficient (two fingers), starting a board called, "Jerry's Corner."

This board was the second most popular board on AOL. Jerry bantered with any and all, and began writing humorous true stories of his past life. The stories you see here are a compilation of most he has written ... enjoy!

Jerry Goldberg About Jerry Goldberg

Jerry Goldberg grew up on the west side of Chicago. After high school, he was drafted in the Army during the Korean conflict. Upon his honorable discharge, he joined Local 130 in Chicago as a plumber, working from 1952 to 2000. Jerry has been happily married for 60 years, residing with his wife, Gloria, in Huntley, Illinois. They were blessed with two wonderful children, and have three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
When his son encouraged him to get online, Jerry replied, "What do I need that for?" But all that changed a year into his retirement, when his daughter gave him a modem for his birthday, opening a whole new chapter. Finding stained glass insufficiently fulfilling, Jerry discovered the AARP message boards and began his one-finger magic. Eventually, he became quite proficient (two fingers), starting a board called, "Jerry's Corner."

This board was the second most popular board on AOL. Jerry bantered with any and all, and began writing humorous true stories of his past life. The stories you see here are a compilation of most he has written ... enjoy!

Smiles For All