$69 Watermelon

The price of everything in New York City is determined by a multi-layer of costs; taxes, rents, transportation et al. Fort Greene’s merchants ticket their merchandise, as if the one-time black neighborhood was a suburb of Paris. The other day I wandered into Provisions on Fulton Street. Its AC was a relief from the heat, which was 98 in the shade. Watermelon the size of Civil War cannonballs lay by the cash register.

They were organic.

I picked up one.

Watermelon originated in Africa. The Chinese were wild for them. They were introduced to the Americas in the 1500s. 8% sugar and 92% sugar watermelon also contain citrulline, which relaxes the blood vessels.

My blood was boiling from the heat wave and I waved a c-note, asking, “How much?”

The cashier weighed the melon. The register printed out the slip. I read the amount.


“You have to be kidding.” My query was mired with shock.

“No, I don’t think so.” The laser scanned the sticker.

$69 again.

“Holy shit.” A black jumbo watermelon in Japan had sold for $6100 in 2008.

Those were good times.

Not now, so this had to be the most expensive watermelon in New York.

I put my $100 back in my wallet. I had children to support. I walked up Fulton Street with an empty cloth shopping bag. I was doing my part to save the planet. I entered the Green Grape wine store and told the boys at the counter about the $69 watermelon.

“Had to be a mistake.”

“Yeah, but it looked so perfect.”

“69 dollars?”


We were in awe.

I bought a cheap but cheerful bottle of rose wine from Aix-en-Provence.

It was only $11.

With ice in the glass I got real relaxed for cheap.

Fuck the $69 watermelon.

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