Produce Delivery—not a phrase that is often heard or even understood. We, Papa Spud’s Workers, Produce Deliverers, have one of the more confusing jobs to the outside world, especially when forms ask for your occupation. We are also privy to the corners and seams of every day life that we wouldn’t otherwise experience. From working with farmers to delivering produce to sorting through produce at 6 in the morning, we have collected a lot of stories. Here are a few funny anecdotes from our little corner of the produce universe:
The Attack of the Wild Turkey
A few weeks ago Alex was delivering on a sunny, hot, summer day. He pulled up to a house, got out of his car, and immediately saw something pop up behind a bush and disappear. Slightly unnerved but not too worried he continued to get the box of produce out of the car. As he started walking toward the house the creature reveals itself in the most majestic and terrifying turkey fashion. If you’ve ever seen an angry turkey, you can understand the bizarre fear that overtakes your body as it comes toward you. Turkeys puff up their chests, bristle their feathers, and drag their wings along the ground making a grating, unearthly noise. When angry, the head and wattle (which is the loose skin underneath their beak) changes colors from white to blue to red in a startling fashion. So this monstrosity began coming toward Alex from beneath the bushes, getting angrier with every step he took. So Alex did what any other person would do and grabbed an empty box out of his car to fend off the bird. After a few minutes of playing defense with a cardboard box from the turkey’s hellish talons, the customer heard the commotion and came outside. “I see you’ve met our friend,” he laughed as he used a long pole to shoo it away and ensure Alex’s safety. It turns out that the turkey belonged to a neighbor and would come over and terrorize their front yard. They had crafted this pole to scare the bird away when it wouldn’t let them out of their front door. And thus, Alex survived, the produce survived, and the turkey lives on to terrorize future produce deliverers, friends, and, probably, little dogs too.
In Which Cabin Fever Took Over A Young Boy
Back in the depths of winter, on one of our crazy snow delivery days, I was driving my little Honda Fit through the snowy streets, which did surprisingly well due to amazing front-wheel drive and quite a bit of vegetable weight. I arrive at a house and navigate down some stairs to drop off a box. Just a quick side note—delivering during the snow became quite enjoyable because I got to meet customers that normally wouldn’t be home and take a little break from focusing on not slipping on ice. As I walked down the stairs I noticed that there was a little boy, probably about 5 years old, wearing Superman pajamas sitting behind the glass front door staring longingly outside, face smushed up against the glass and everything. So I wave at him and knock on the door, and when his mom comes to open the door and take her produce, he bursts through the door with the force of a cyclone. He looked around, panicked, ran up to the top of the stairs, turned around to face us and threw his head back, balled up his fists and let out a ferocious roar of freedom. He caught his breath and stood still overlooking the great outdoors and taking in the freezing air as we fought back laughter.
But Snakes Like Produce Too
We have had several snake encounters over the course of Papa Spud’s adventures. I went to pick up a box one day and moved the empty on the porch before putting down the new box. Underneath the empty box, laying in wait, was a sleeping black snake. So I did what any sane person would do: screamed and ran away. The poor black snake woke up and slowly crawled farther into the corner, probably to shield itself from my loud exclamations.
Brett picked up a box unknowingly that had a black snake in it. He put the box in his car to take back to the warehouse and continued on his route. When he got to the next stop he looked back to a black snake stretched out across the back of his seat. After utter shock wore off, Brett began to attempt to craft a plan for how to get a snake out of his car without getting bit. Fortunately a neighbor came to the rescue and was able to get the snake out.
A few years back, one of our drivers was cleaning the returned boxes in the warehouse. He grabbed a box, opened it up, and didn’t look closely before reaching his hand into the box. Instead of pulling out a water bottle or berry basket, he pulled out his hand with a garter snake hanging from his finger.
The stories continue every week—from turtles in returned boxes to conversations with children about the stray cat they found in the gutter to the general tripping, slipping, and sliding up and down stairs and sidewalks in front of customers (or jumping at a black hose thinking it was a black snake in front of a customer). With your vegetables come a lot of humor and a lot of rolling with the punches. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.