One of my favourites

Lake Wobegone Days
Garrison Keillor; Faber and Faber Ltd 1986

My sister, who was a good person, said, “You’re going to get it.”  She bent over and kept on picking.

What a target!  She was seventeen, a girl with big hips, and bending over, she looked like the side of a barn.

I picked up a tomato so big it sat on the ground.  It looked like it had sat there for a week.  The underside was brown.  Small white worms lived in it.  It was very juicy.  I had to handle it carefully to keep from spilling it on myself.  I stood up and took aim, and went into the wind-up, when my mother at the kitchen window called my name in a sharp voice.  I had to decide quickly.  I decided.

A rotten Big Boy hitting the target is a memorable sound.  Like a fat man doing a bellyflop, followed by a whoop and a yell from the tomatoee.  She came after me faster than I knew she could run, and I took off for the house, but she grabbed my shirt and was about to brain me when Mother yelled “Phyllis” and my sister, who was a good person, obeyed and let go and burst into tears.  I guess she knew that the pleasure of obedience is pretty thin compared to the pleasure of hearing a rotten tomato hit someone in the rear end.

– LAKE WOBEGON DAYS, Garrison Kiellor

One thought on “One of my favourites”

  1. One of the passages I re-read often. It makes me laugh every time. You should read the rest of the book too – there are some classic moments.

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