One of the most underrated tasks in the world is the task of buying fruits. Think about it, all fruits look equally fresh and inviting. The sly fruit seller carefully conceals the rotten ones amongst its healthier cousins,making the task of identifying it impossible.
In fact, the process of buying fruits is quite a spectacle. Men and women push, shove and elbow each other to lay their hands on what appear to be the last remaining fruits on earth. And all this while the fruit seller just sits and enjoys as naive fruit lovers fall prey to his evil designs.
But there exists a breed of humans who have mastered the art of buying fruits. The fruit seller knows them and fears them. For when they come, it is impossible to lead them astray. The fruit seller has no choice but to surrender to the mighty Fruit Jedi when he faces one.
After a lot of hard work, careful observations,and relentless googling, I have been able to crack the code of being a Fruit Jedi. And here I am , giving it all away , gratis, to you my dear readers.
To be a Fruit Jedi you need to master the 3 Step Modus Operandi of buying fruits:
1. The Approach: This pretty much sets the tone of the encounter. Walk to the fruit shop with panache, almost as if you are about to buy the whole stock. Plan your first statement well. You don't want your interaction to open like this:
You: How much for those pears?
Fruit seller: Those are green apples dodo, the pears are here.
The trick is to make an impression right from the moment you walk into the scene. Here's how a Fruit Jedi would open conversation:
Fruit Jedi: Those mangoes, where are they from?
Fruit seller: Malihabad sir...
Fruit Jedi: hmmm... I thought so.
Opening lines like the one I used in this example , are quite generic and work with all fruit sellers.
2. The Process: The trickiest part, the moment of truth. While the approach sets the tone and gets the attention of the fruit seller, this part makes or breaks the deal. Remember, the fruit seller would observe you closely to find chinks in your armour as you go about selecting your fruits. There are 2 formulas to champion the selection process.
Formula 1: Feel them. Have you seen someone tapping on a watermelon and trying to hear the resulting sound? If yes, you have most likely seen a Fruit Jedi in action. In case you thought that there is a distinct sound that they are expecting to hear from inside the watermelon, you are mistaken. Of the 2 dozen watermelons that I tapped in my research, all I ever got to hear was the sound of silence. (Nope , not the song, just silence.) So you might wonder what's happening there? The truth, my friend, is that the Fruit Jedi is merely trying to impress upon the seller that he knows how to pick his fruits. Nobody, and I mean absolutely nobody, in this world has ever been enlightened by listening to a watermelon. So, don't pin your hopes on it.
Put simply, the trick is to pull off a bit of a show to bamboozle the fruit seller. Here's an example of what you might want to do with an apple:
Pick up one apple from the pile and pretend to feel it. Hold it in your right hand and then toss it to the left. Spin it around a couple of times before tossing it back to the right hand. Don't forget that the watchful eye of the fruit seller is on you all this while so you can't afford to mess up. I'd say , practice hard before attempting.
Repeat the drill with a few more apples, rejecting all but one . Now, without handing over the chosen apple to the seller, ask him to give you more of such "good quality" apples. That's it ! If you've done the act well, you've got him. The fruit seller would carefully pull out the best apples from his stock as his humble submission to a Fruit Jedi.
Formula 2: Smell them. Sometimes , you might not feel comfortable tossing a fruit, especially, if you were called "butter fingers" in school. Smelling the fruit is actually a good option in such a scenario. As in the case of feeling a fruit, don't expect any revelations unless you are gifted with the olfactory senses of a dog.
All you need to do is, smell the fruit long and hard, close your eyes , twitch your face and reject a couple before you pick the chosen one.Then, almost as if you have inhaled a divine fragrance, smile after you have smelled it. The fruit seller would be awestruck by this demonstration of your acute sense of smell. At this moment, you should look at him with half closed eyes of a saint and ask him to pick out "similar good ones" for you.
3. The Deal Closure: That's really the easy part. By the time the fruits are picked out and weighed, the fruit seller would have already been overwhelmed by the Fruit Jedi's (your) presence. You can simply ask him to give you a discount on the price. If you find that difficult, just call your mum/wife/girlfriend/any woman. She'll not only get you a discount, but also push the fruit seller to add in a few freebies. No wonder, more women qualify as Fruit Jedi every year than men (source : The Half Fried Survey of Fruit Jedi, 2012)
Fruit Jedi are highly respected and you wouldn't want to tarnish their image. I would strongly recommend practicing for all 3 steps outlined above before going live in the fruit market.
Here's a message from a senior Fruit Jedi and a friend, I have been buying my fruits with :
Feel free to ask me for help if self doubt plagues your determination. May the fruit be with you.
Image source for fruits image: dreamstime.com