It’s not easy to be the son of the pineapple salesman. Seeing as Ralph’s still in Kalamazoo doing god-knows-what, I’m keeping the business going, and right now, that’s all I can ask for. Pop used to say the pineapples pretty much sell themselves. Most of our business is scratch-offs. The same old man comes every day and doesn’t buy anything; he just sits around and talks about how it was a mistake to keep the store in this economy, but what does he know. Besides, I love this stupid place. It was my pop’s idea to open a store that just sold pineapples. Back when he opened it, we sold pineapple everything: pineapple T-shirts, pineapple egg creams, pineapple hats, and if you wanted to just buy a pineapple, you could do that too. Now me, I wasn’t so crazy about pineapples. Still not crazy about them. I mean, I enjoy a pineapple now and then, but not like Pop did, He was obsessed with the things. I overheard Mom telling her sister that when they went to Hawaii for their honeymoon, Pop was more interested in pineapples than making love to her. What a putz. The worst part was that Pop would walk up and down Main Street handing out flyers in this pineapple costume Mom made. It even had the spiky green things on top and a hole for his face to pop out. Boy, did we get shit for that when we went back to school. He was only supposed to do it one time for the store opening, but after it opened, he kept at it, every Saturday, up and down Main Street.
Ralph and I got sick of getting called “pineapple boy” day in, day out, all the time. And we were sick of hearing about nothing but pineapples. Pop was planning on wearing his costume during the county parade. We couldn’t stand the thought of Pop embarrassing himself in front of the whole town. Think of the teasing we’d get at school!
One night, before the parade, we waited 'til everyone was asleep and took that pineapple costume and threw it off the Talmadge Bridge. It bounced all the way to the bottom of the ditch. Then we ran back home as if we had committed an awful crime, which I guess we had.
Pop didn’t notice the costume was gone at first 'cause, you see, he’d only wear it on Saturdays — the rest of the time he was in the shop doing pineapple stuff. Wednesday came, Thursday came, he didn’t say nothing. Friday came, and my brother and I started to feel like shit. We didn’t want to see Pop’s face on Saturday morning when there was no pineapple costume. So on Friday, again, in the middle of the night, we waited for Mom and Pop to go to sleep, and we crept back to Talmadge Bridge. You may think that a giant yellow pineapple costume would be easy to spot under a bridge, and you would be thinking wrong. It took about an hour to find it, and it was still in good shape. So we thought. We dragged it back into the closet and thought nobody would be none the wiser. Well. The very next morning, my brother and I ate our breakfast very slowly and watched Pop get into his pineapple costume. It had some dirt on the back, and Mom brushed it off without him noticing. Off he went, I remember he was even whistling as he left for work. What we didn’t know is a raccoon had made his nest in that pineapple costume. And in the middle of the parade, right when Miss Baldwin County was passing by on her float, that raccoons nearly bit his balls off. It caused quite a commotion, a big round yellow pineapple man fighting a raccoon out of his underpants.
Pop said it was great for business. Now, he’s dead, not because of the raccoon, just old age, and so I ended up with the pineapple store. Never wore the pineapple costume, though. And right now, that’s all I can ask for.