Pineapple by Charlie Coleman

“Gannon, where have you been?”

“I just had a short stay courtesy of the New York State correctional system. I got one of those weekend getaway deals kinda like you see advertised by the Marriott or Hilton dudes.”

“What happened?”

“Well it was pretty fucked up. I was with Leary …”

“The chances of you and Leary not being in a pretty fucked up situation are the same as my waking up in between Halle Berry and Lucy Liu.”

“Listen, asshole, I was in Lou’s Grocery with Leary. We ended up getting into a fist fight after smacking each other with pineapples. The real kicker is we were both really well dressed in suits… “

“Slow down Gannon, you’re trying my senses. You’re giving me a sensual overload. Pineapples, suits, what gives?”

“We were out all day at funeral homes.”

“What were the two of you doing, drumming up business for the homes? I’d imagine that when people saw you two in suits they’d drop dead.”

“Hey, we looked great for once. It was part of Leary’s latest enterprise.”

“Ok, then what about the pineapples, we’ll deal with the dead later on.”

“Leary and I both needed pineapples for our respective refreshments so we go to Lou’s. Anyway, I go for a pineapple that Leary had just put down. Leary then goes to pick it up again while I’m just about to grab it.”

“I can’t imagine one pineapple being so popular.”

“We both end up grabbing the pineapple at the same time. We both have it by the crown. Neither Leary nor me wants to let go.”

“The Dole people would love this.”

“So Leary says, Gannon, I had the pineapple first.”

“Fuck no Leary, you had put it down. Therefore, you relinquished control.”

“Let’s examine the facts from a legal standpoint, shall we Gannon? I was repicking it up. Therefore I had, legally speaking, assumed possession. Now, as we’re both familiar with the legal system and principles due to our frequent guest appearances in it, we both know that possession is nine-tenths of the law. Unless of course you’re stealing, that as we both know, is the one tenth when the law doesn’t count.”

“I thought that the law never counted for us, except on those rare occasions when what we do, through no fault of our own, is legit.”

“Excuse me, Mr. Gannon, but I think that I’ve established the legal precedent that indicates that the pineapple is justifiably mine.”

“Excuse me, Mr. Leary, but you can shove your legal precedent and your justifiable pineapple up your ass. I realize that space is tight in New York City, but as you’re being such a huge asshole I think that you should have enough room for both the precedent and the pineapple.”

“Fuck you asshole. I’m going to shove this pineapple justifiably up your ass!”

“You’re not shoving anything up my ass. And, while we’re on the subject of my ass you may, however, feel free to kiss it.”

“Leary pulls the pineapple away and hits me over the head with it. Did you ever realize the kind of damage a pineapple can do?”

“Of course, I get hit with pineapples all the time. Why just the other day …”

“Listen, you’d be amazed, all of those rivets and edges can make for a bloody mess. It’s like getting so many little cuts by so many razors.”

“Now that I think about it, I’ll bet it’s the favorite fruit of sadists and masochists.”

“You might be right. Next time I see someone buying a pineapple I’ll take a closer look. Anyway, I start screaming at Leary and hit him with another pineapple. Same result as the hit on me. By now Lou has called the cops who show up just in time to see both of us swinging at each other and the pineapples hurtling down in an avalanche across the floor. The cops, Leary and me are now stumbling around in the pineapples falling to the floor. We’re railing at each other while trying to get free of all of the pineapples. The cops are trying to get us separated. At this point Lou probably doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry. The store is a mess but between us, the cops and the pineapples, it looks like a scene from a movie.”

“So did Leary get a free weekend too?”

“Let me finish, we’ll get to that. The cops finally separate us and take statements. I don’t know what Leary said but I’m sure knowing him he incriminated me. I sure as hell incriminated him. Then they ask me what’s with this one particular pineapple? The one cop says he’s seen fights over women, men and parking spaces but never a pineapple. I tell him he has to talk to Leary, I don’t know. He says that he did and Leary said to talk to me. They take the two pineapples as evidence.”

“How do they know they’ve got the right ones? I mean, really, all pineapples look alike.”

“Good question, I hear them talking to Lou who asked them the same thing. They say that the alternative is to take all of the pineapples as evidence. Does he want that?”

“I guess not, unless they’re willing to pay for them.”

“They say no, but at some point Lou can get them back or at least I would guess the ones that the cops don’t eat.”

“Wouldn’t that be a felony, to eat evidence?”

“You know, that seems like an idea that might come in handy someday. I think that it’s illegal, but how do you know they’re eating the evidence? Which ones were involved in the crime? Do they do DNA tests on pineapples?”

“I can imagine the look on the lab tech’s face when they give him a pineapple to test. Who knows, he might eat the evidence. This could be a 60 Minutes expose when it’s all said and done. But we digress.”

“Back to the incident, Lou asks the cops what happens next. Meanwhile Leary start apologizing to me. I figure, what the hell and apologize to Leary. The cops look at us and one another and walk away and have a conference. Then they ask Lou what the damages are. He looks at the pineapples all around and the mess and states that it’s probably about fifty bucks or so.”

“There must have been pineapple strewn all over the place. All you needed was a ham.”

“Anyway, the cops ask Lou if he’s willing to let the two of us pay for the damages and leave it at that. If so then they’ll let us go after we pay if we promise to stop fighting. Lou says that that’s fine with him just as long as he gets cash right then and there. So the cops put the two of us together. They tell us what I’ve just said. We’re both cut up but it just seems to be a lot of little cuts. There isn’t any real damage to either of us. It’s all bullshit bruising that looks like hell at first but usually heals without any scarring.”

“You guys should know.”

“All things considered, you’d think that that would seal the deal, but no, not with Leary. He asks the cops if we can have a sidebar.”

“A sidebar, do I believe it? You two spend so much time in court that Leary thinks he’s a lawyer!”

“The cops say you’ve got ten minutes and then they need an answer. The cops walk away.”

“Gannon, I don’t have anything other than a $10 bill. Can you cover me on this? I’ll pay you back by next Tuesday.”

“Leary, shit, c’mon, you know that you’re already into me for $200 on the bet we made on the Giants – Eagles game. That debt is older than the last time you went to confession.”

“Gannon, c’mon, yourself, be a pal, be a buddy. Who’s the guy that constantly involves you in tremendous business ventures?”

“Who, you? You know you’re right. I think of the time you involved me in one of your more memorable enterprises. Do you remember the one where we were ripping off the Brewhouse until you fell asleep in the basement?”

“I fell asleep? What were you doing down there, meditating?”

“No asshole, I wouldn’t have been there if it weren’t for you.”

“Didn’t you pay attention in St. Monica’s? Don’t you remember the first time you were read your rights by the nuns. Didn’t they tell you that you had free will? That means that you, you Gannon, and no one else has the option to or not to make a total ass of yourself. For the record might I add that you usually do insist on making an ass of yourself.”

“How could I, in good conscience, whatever that means, as I don’t think that either of us have one of those, let you go into that basement alone?”

“It was a basement, Gannon, not the OK Corral. What were you planning to do for me, provide me with your vast experience with wine? What are you, a smellier?”

“Smellier, you idiot what are you referring to? Jackass, everyone knows you call a wine expert an insomniac. What an idiot.”

“Somo this, somo that, what the hell’s the difference? He’s the guy who knows his Thunderbird from his Night Train.”

“I think that that’s an alcoholic.”

“Gannon, don’t think. It hurts me to think that you’re thinking. Just let me do the thinking.”

“This is a democracy. I can think when I want, with whom I want and what I want, I think? While we’re on the subject of thinking, do you really think that funeral directors are swooning for our idea to provide body storage in the freezers of some store?”

“Why not, it’s an idea whose time has come. Think about it ,..”

“You just told me not to think …”

“OK, I’ll give a temporary dispensation on thinking just like when St Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday in Lent. Then you can eat corned beef, now you can think. But don’t get carried away or used to it, it’s only temporary. If these homes have someplace to stash the bodies they won’t have to hold wakes right away. Think, that gives time for dear old Uncle Mo and Aunt Bessie from Nebraska to make plans to attend the funeral. Who knows maybe the stress of the trip just might do in Mo or Bessie. That’s increased business for the home. Think about the opportunities that it presents to the families of the bereaved. They can plan whole celebrations over their loved ones passing. Invite the entire neighborhood, have a block party. Right now, the Irish wake is dead. We can awake the Irish wake. Think of the growth of other businesses, caterers, bar owners, liquor stores etc. I predict there’ll be a boom economy in the neighborhood. We can take this to the point that people can’t wait for people to drop dead. Little Louie on 76th Street can lay odds. We give them the luxury of time. Just think of us as time merchants. We’re making money off of time. We’re so smart that we’re selling people something that’s free.”

“Now that you put it that way, it makes sense. We have frozen food, why not frozen people? I have a practical question though.”

“What’s that?”

“How long does it take to defrost someone? I think that’s the first question that I would have if I were a funeral director.”

“Offhand, I think that you just stick a thermometer up their ass to find out. See, even when you’re dead they’re trying to shove things up your ass. Shoving things up people’s asses is one of the fine points in our business plan. We can work that out. We can’t get stuck on a frozen asshole. You know, maybe when this takes off we can lease space in one of those ice cream stores like Ben and Jerry’s or Haagen Daas. They could create whole new flavors to commemorate our partnership, Strawberry Stiff, Caramel Cadaver, White Chocolate Wake, etc. They must have some unused space. So look, just cover me on this and we can get back to the business of frozen assholes. Let me get my pineapple for my Day of the Dead celebration drink. You can get yours for your fruit salad. What exactly is it?”

“It’s cut up pineapple, grapes and melons thrown together. Of course they’re soaked in rum to bring out the natural juices of the fruit.”

“I want that one.”

“No, that one’s mine!”

“Fuck you, that’s the best one of the lot, get yourself another.”

“No, fuck you, I had it first.”

“OK you two, obviously you two want free lodging for the weekend and New York State is happy to oblige. The two of you should be ecstatic. I hear they have pineapple on the prison menu.”


Charlie Coleman is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York.


7 thoughts on “Pineapple by Charlie Coleman”

  1. Ha! Love these back and forth pieces of yours, Charlie. Back to the bars they go! It’s weird, the topic of pineapples have come up a lot of in conversations recently. Even tried pineapple salsa someday last week. Pineapples are in the air (dodge!)

    1. Jodi,

      Thanks for the kind comments. Ya neva know, matey, me thinks that even Viper, Strudel & co. may be in danger of errant pineapples. Ya neva can be too sure! We’re at the docks in Brooklyn awaitin’ WWB’s next voyage and watchin’ out for those pineapples.

  2. Somewhere a certain D. Runyon is smiling. Got pictures of pineapples, gangster-cicles, sweaty guys rolling around in the juice and the cops just scratching their heads. Cool.

  3. A. J,

    I’m flattered that Pineapple invoked the name of Damon Runyon. for you. That’s quite a generous compliment on yoiur part, A. J. Thanks again,


  4. Anonymous 9,

    If I made you laugh that’s a very good thing! It makes me happy to know that people are laughing.


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