These are stands set up typicaly on the side of a road or market that deal in fruits and often vegatables. From my experiences they have a certain item that they specialize in (around here it seems to be tomato and in tropical areas it seems to be tropical fruits). Such stands can be easily related to lemonade stands in the way that they are "owned" by one person and deal in cash (allowing the profits to go without being claimed). Often these stands have the best produce because they are not tainted by as many chemicals as the produce in stores.

A farmer setting up a table beside his field. One of the oldest forms of commerce if you ignore the fact that most of the owners hold cell phones. Leading up to the stand are handpainted signs with uneaven letters that are scrunched up on the right side where the painter must have run out of room. The signs also don an image of a smiling fruit of choice with big white eyes and arched eyebrows "come on in!" says the image.

Buying from these guys is a great way to avoid paying several middle men in the grocery store channel. Right? Well, sometimes the farmer acts as a middle man. While driving back from the city one day, I stopped at a fruit stand and saw some suspiciously perfect strawberries. I spied into the back and saw a man taking them from a box marked "California Fresh" (this is in Canada) and repackaging them. Damn! I asked the farmer and found out that the only local fruit were fresh Cranberries (blechh). I guess this primitive form of commerce still has all the regular trappings of the business world: misleading logo, overdiversification, bending the truth etc.

"We got some nice apples and oranges.
Whatcha fancy, young lady?"

It was the best fruit stand you ever came across. They knew how to bring the best stuff to the table. You wanted blueberries that were just the perfect shade of purple. They could make it happen. What else could there be in life? You could make love to your wife in front of the booth and they wouldn't mind. All they want is to set you up with some good fruity goodness.

"You like bananas?
What would you say about some plums?
Would you dig on some papaya?
Oh, she looks like the strawberry kind.
We get your sort in here all the time.
Let me show you some of the good stuff we keep in the back."

It was the kind of paradise Richard Nixon could never have imagined. This was a horse of a different color and you knew it the first time you bit into a juicy peach. They would even shave the peaches if you wanted and call them nectarines. This was paradise on earth.

"Maybe you want some of them grapes?
Seedless hits the spot.
They make wine out of grapes like these.
Top quality, honey bags.
How many pounds would you like?"

You've seen some ups and you've seen some downs. That is the way life is. When you pull into the fruit stand, all that changes. You blink your eyes for a second and you might miss the most perfect basket of rasberries. Keep a sharp eye. If you are tired, they have orange juice and ice cream, but you have to ask. This is the place your grandmother used to talk about. She fought her way through the Great Depression, but this fruit stand kept her going. Never give up. The fruit stand is there for you.

"You want these in a box or you want to eat them in the parking lot?"

It doesn't matter. It is all good. You are in love with life. You are in love with the possibilities. The fruit stand has made it all possible. The juice drips off your chin and you are happy. Again. And again. And again.

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