notes from an urban hibernation

Paris : Simon Cutts & Erica Van Horn

Fruit Labels

It is not a new thing for me to play with the tiny labels found on fruit.  I think my whole family fiddles with them. My father was never happy until all labels were removed from any fruit which came into the house. He took them off and he threw them away.  It was a form of tidying. It might have just been fussing.

I too remove labels from fruit but increasingly I have been doing it in order to save the labels.   I began to line them up on a gridded card and then I wrote the name of the fruit in French. I was able to do this as a way to trick myself into believing that it was a vocabulary-building exercise.  The only two fruit words I did not already know were those for Persimmon and Pomegranate.  Now that I know these words are KAKI and GRENADE, I am no longer learning any new fruit words.  But I am still collecting the labels. Vegetables do not have stickers on them.  There is no chance that my learning will extend in that direction.

When I enter a supermarket I go all around the fruit and vegetable section removing labels. I sometimes stick the extra labels onto the fruit that I am actually buying.  Sometimes I stick the labels on my lapel. I love finishing my shopping with six different colourful labels lined up on my coat.  Sometimes I press a bunch on the back of my phone.  Other days I arrive home with my bananas covered with multiple labels from apples or clementines or grapefruits. It is important that I do not stick the labels onto a paper surface because if I do, they will tear when I remove them. If I am walking past a fruit shop, or in the outdoor market, I reach out and take one or two labels quickly.  I am ready if someone asks me why I am nicking the labels.  I shall tell them that I am collecting them for a child.  I figure that will be an acceptable answer.  In the supermarket there is one security man who has followed me around as I collect nine or ten stickers at one time.  I am expecting him to question me but he does not. I guess it is because there really is no harm in my peeling off the labels. It is just not a normal thing to be doing. No doubt his job is dull so he might enjoy wondering what I am doing and why.

I began by writing out four fruit words on a card along with four labels.  Now I have extended to six words and six sticky labels per card.  I very much like how busy the cards are looking. I do not think I can add more to the cards.  The fullness is just enough.  I cannot stop looking and peeling and coming home with labels, so I have to continue making the cards.        EVH


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This entry was posted on March 6, 2018 by .
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