The Durian Incident

A Case of Fruitful Folly


Peter Pickering

3/9/20242 min read

A few moons ago, and some, I found myself wandering the colourful, vibrant streets of Little India in Singapore with my dear friend, Linda. We were taking in the sights, smells, and the general hustle-bustle of the place, each little shop a universe in itself. But one thing that always turned Linda's head was the unmistakable smell of durian. The woman was absolutely bonkers about the pungent stuff. I reckon she'd cross a desert if there was the promise of durian at the other end.

So, when we walked past a durian seller, Linda couldn't resist. With the deftness of a seasoned durian aficionado, she picked up the spiky fruits one by one, smelling each to find the ripest, most scrumptious specimen. She finally selected a plump, impressive-looking durian that promised gustatory delight.

As she was already lugging around other shopping, or was it because I’m a gentleman, I offered to carry the heavy durian in its plastic bag. Off we trotted, me merrily swinging the durian-laden bag while trailing behind Linda.

Soon, we spotted the Banana Leaf Apollo, a restaurant on Racecourse Road that we both held in high esteem. Deciding that we needed a sit down, and as it was time for a bit of lunch, we headed for the entrance. A staff member swung the door open for us, Linda strutted in first, and I followed, still cheerfully swinging the durian bag.

And then, for some unfathomable reason, Linda stopped dead in her tracks. I, not looking ahead, swung the bag once more, and the hefty durian whacked Linda right in the back of the knee. She dropped to the floor like a rag doll, right in the doorway of the bustling restaurant. Naturally, every head turned to witness the commotion as Linda struggled to regain her dignity and get back on her feet.

She wasn't pleased, to put it mildly. Embarrassment and annoyance vied for dominance on her face. Meanwhile, I was biting my lip to stop from bursting out laughing, which didn't exactly endear me to her at that moment.

Fast forward 30 years, and Linda still hasn't let me forget the infamous 'Durian Incident'. But each time it comes up, I find myself chuckling even more. Sometimes, you've got to find the humour in life's unexpected, awkward moments.

And here's the moral of our little tale: always be aware of your surroundings, especially when you're carrying a bag laden with durian. You never know when a stop, swing, or slip could lead to a comedy of errors!