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Here In Africa: Strawberry Feast

...In doing so, she moved the Castor Sugar in the light blue box to stand behind the Epsom Salts, also packed in a light blue box. Always methodical, she gloried in the regimentation of her cupboards – not for her the slapdash methods of other housewives. Lordy, lordy, no! In her kitchen and pantry, everything had to be perfect...

Barbara Durlacher’s tale confirms that it always pays to check the label on the box.

‘And don’t forget the Epsom Salts. Get a big packet,’ he called, as she picked up the keys and opened the front door.

‘What do you want a big packet for?’ she enquired, irritated. Surely you don’t need so much?’

‘Yes – get a big packet. I want to fertilise the citrus trees – Epsom Salts is excellent for bringing them into fruit and these haven’t produced anything since we planted them.’

‘Oh well,’ she shrugged, ‘Suppose he knows what he’s talking about, but Epsom Salts for fruit trees! That’s stretching it a bit, I think.’

Back from the supermarket, she unpacked the groceries, and placed them carefully on the pantry shelves. Lovingly she arranged them in alphabetical order; then in order of size and according to the colour of the boxes. In doing so, she moved the Castor Sugar in the light blue box to stand behind the Epsom Salts, also packed in a light blue box. Always methodical, she gloried in the regimentation of her cupboards – not for her the slapdash methods of other housewives. Lordy, lordy, no! In her kitchen and pantry, everything had to be perfect.

Later that evening after they’d finished their meal, she remembered that she’d bought luscious strawberries from the vendor who stopped her at a traffic light after her visit to the mall. Curled up in front of the television, she sleepily called out to Fred who was pottering around in the kitchen.

‘Make us some strawberries, darling –you’ll find them in the fridge on the top shelf with the cream. Just hull them and then sprinkle them with the castor sugar in the pale blue box.’

*

“LaLa!!” announced Fred, hands filled with two plates piled high with the luscious red berries decorated with a Mount Fuji of white crystals. Seizing her spoon she dug deeply into the delicious pile, shovelled them into her mouth and swallowed.

‘Uugh, ugh,’ she spluttered, spitting them out.

‘What on earth have you put on them? They look so delicious, but they taste absolutely awful!! They’re bitter and the sugar is horrible – stop, stop – don’t eat any more!’

But she was too late to stop Fred. He’d swallowed the lot and sat back with a satisfied smirk on his face as she went to rinse out her mouth in the kitchen. While she was there she checked the box. Just like Fred not to put anything back where he’d found it of course!

To her horror found that he had mistaken the blue box of Epsom Salts for the similarly coloured box of Castor Sugar – no wonder her strawberries tasted a bit strange, but thank heavens she spat them out and hardly swallowed a morsel!

*

But what would happen to Fred – he’d eaten the lot, the greedy old fool.

‘Oh well, served him jolly well right – teach him to look what he was doing in future! It was going to be amusing watching him suffer after the way he’d demolished that lot!’

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