The Grocery Store Scandal – Who Is Bruising The Fruit…?

We’re undergoing a fruit-tampering scandal in Australia at present. Fresh strawberries in punnets have been found to be contaminated with sewing needles and pins – first in Queensland and now in South Australia and Western Australia. It raises interesting questions and speculation:

a. To start with, I have no idea who is behind it – no evidence, no experience of the problem, no fruit ( aside from a couple of soggy bananas ) in the house. All I know, like Will Rogers, is what I read in the newspapers.

b. Is it a racket? Was the original case the result of some mob going to a Queensland fruit grower and threatening contamination in a protection or blackmail racket? No pay, and the threat carried out?

c. Are the further cases copycat instances of people contaminating fruit in local stores?

d. Is there a network of fruit-contaminators at work throughout the distribution chain? Is there a central nub of crime at work here for some monetary purpose?

e. Is there some terrorist organisation that wants to spread fear with sewing needles? What possible connection could anyone make with politics or religion and strawberries?

f. Was the initial contamination a personal vendetta against a grower that has become a fashionable thing to emulate?

These are all questions that have undoubtedly passed through the official police offices. They are certainly competent to analyse this sort of thing. But they may not be able to articulate other questions out loud…

g. Who benefits if the strawberry growing industry in Australia is reduced? Other suppliers? In other countries?

h. Which other countries? Countries that supply fresh berries…or canned berries…to the supermarkets. Look on the can of berries in the tinned fruit section and see where they come from. Is this significant?

i. If people are put off berries, to what product will they turn? Who grows that product here in Australia? Do they have any connection to the strawberry suppliers? Or to the workers who deal with the strawberries through the production process?

j. Most important question – and one most difficult to get a real answer for…

Who will demand money to make the problem go away? Who will they demand it from? How is it to be paid?

These questions are nothing but the product of years of watching television drama, but that doesn’t stop them from being relevant.







Why Are We Entertained By…?

Why are we entertained by:

a. Depictions of murder.

What is attractive about reading or seeing the death of someone? If we need to have mysteries to puzzle and thrills to seek, why can they not be mysteries and thrills of discovery or accomplishment rather than bloodshed. Remember the movies that depicted the lives of Pasteur and Ehrlich.

Look at it this way; no-one wants to be injured or murdered themselves. It is something the sane person runs from. Goggling and gawping over that same sad fate for others calls into question a lot of our real morality.

b. Depictions of sex.

We may well be entertained ( or appalled ) by sex itself as it applies to us – the snorting , scooching, splashing, heaving , etc that occurs. But none of that touches us if it is just on a page or a screen.

Better to go look for a snort and a scooch in the real world. What you do when you find it should be a private matter.

c. Depictions of fantasy dragons, unicorns, and mystical wizards.

We’re old enough to know that none of that is real. There are enough exciting things in adult life without going back to the faerie tales. Feed your imagination for a while and then use that healthy imagination to live well in the real world.

d. Comic book movies.

Reading a comic book is fine, as is drawing and collecting them. What you see is what you get – and your imagination can supply well over half of the experience. When the motion picture industry steps in and tries to turn the simple into the complex or vice versa they do our minds a disservice. When they fill shops with plastic toy memorabilia they tax our wallets needlessly.

e. Political chaos.

No-one benefits from disastrous politics in Moscow, New York, or Sydney. Snorfling, meming, and giggling at the failings of the politicians to keep us safe, fed, and employed does no good whatsoever.

f. The antics of the rich and entitled.

Some of them are very pleasant to encounter in real life while some are positively dangerous. If these latter were less rewarded with sycophancy and celebrity, they might just fade off to their tax havens and leave the rest of us alone.