In London last week we were still experiencing a heatwave that had been raging on for the past month. By Friday, it was 32 degrees and Mr Maybe and I were fantasising about buying a watermelon, sticking it in the fridge until it was chilled and then consuming it in big gulps while we lay on the sofa in our underwear – much like pythons do by unhinging their jaws.
Sadly everyone else in the neighborhood seemed to have the exact same idea because I couldn’t get hold of a watermelon for love nor money.
I had completely given up and resigned myself to going home to our stiflingly hot flat – when I passed by a little corner shop on my way and spotted the biggest watermelon I have ever seen.
I ran inside and excitedly pointed at it, asking how much it would be.
The guy behind the till looked skeptically at me before saying
“£12 – but this is too heavy for you to carry!”
Immediately my feminist principles were injured. Of course I could carry a piffling watermelon! I wasn’t made of glass! Think of Emmeline Pankhust! Yes! Would *she* let someone tell her she couldn’t carry a watermelon?
I think not.
So I politely insisted that no, really – I wanted the watermelon.
He raised an eyebrow (a la Roger Moore) and bustled around the counter with the coveted item in his arms before rolling it into my own as if it were a new born (albeit morbidly obese) child.
Did my knees buckle slightly?
Was I going to let him know that I immediately regretted this decision?
Not on your nelly.
Instead the shop keeper watched me with bemused interest as I waddled uphill in 32 degree heat with the gigantic fruit.
Halfway up the hill I started to get mild chest pains. But goddamn it, the shop keeper was still watching me (most likely with emergency services on steed dial) – so I soldiered on. Sweat billowing down my face quite freely.
I couldn’t help wondering how many calories this was burning.
Somehow (and I don’t know how) I made it to the top of the bloody hill without a heart attack, hernia or otherwise unfortunate incident.
As luck would have it Mr Maybe was splayed on the verge outside our flat like a dejected bumblebee in an attempt to keep cool. I staggered over to him with ‘Chariots of Fire’ playing in my head and breathlessly worded that he needed to take it from there.
Potential internal bleeding aside – the look on his face was entirely worth it