Golden Bananas!

I grew up poor.

I grew up rich.

Some years my family had plenty of money. 

Some years we had none.


One year we were especially low on money. 

The town where we live is especially unforgiving to people with no money.  Prices are high for everything.  Pay checks are either high or low –depending on where you happen to work.


When you have no money for food what can you do?


One day we were driving behind a grocery store when we happened to see an employee walk out the back door of the store and heave a huge clear bag of assorted fruit into the store dumpster.

We decided to check the dumpster and see if there were any other things of interest inside…..

Sure enough, there were fruits and vegetables of all kinds!


The next thing we knew we would find ourselves driving past the back of the grocery store.  Usually at night…..and usually very slowly…..


Some times there would be literally bags and boxes of fruits and vegetables.  We’d find a box of apples, only a few would be bad, one night.  The next there would be gallons of milk -sitting right inside the dumpster.  One time there was gourmet cookies and yoghurts.  Foods that we had never even dreamed of trying would be there.  Every night was like a huge surprise.  Only several times did we return empty handed.  Infact, it was a “bad night” if we found only a handful of fruits vegetables or a loaf of bread.  




To us, we were suddenly the richest people on earth.  We wouldn’t have had more fun if we had all the money in the world.  It was a new surprise every night.  This was better then having to worry about money!



One night however, we had a scare.  My dad and I were checking the spot at about 11 at night.  When there were no cars coming, and everything seemed quiet, we hurried over to the dumpsters and looked in.  There were boxes of cereal, bread, and right on top were about five bunches of bananas.  They were bruised but still good.


My dad grabbed a box for the bread things, but before loading it up, he handed me the bananas.  He told me to take them so they wouldn’t get smashed in the bottom of his box.  Within a few seconds I was quite loaded up with bananas and I’ll admit, I was quite a giddy ten-year-old.  I was thinking of the joy of having bananas with cereal every day for the next week!


I had turned to take my stash to the car when suddenly the store floodlights came on and the backdoor swung open.  I ran!  I was terrified over the thought of being caught.  In my young mind, I was convinced that being caught with the food would have landed me in jail with my picture on the front-page news.  That was not something I wanted!


“Hey!” said the person who was coming out the door towards us.  “Hey!!”


I disappeared behind a car and sat down, putting the bananas down on the ground beside me.  As much as I wanted them, I could care less now that Dad was probably being arrested.  What should I do?  I thought.  “Run?”


I heard the conversation between Dad and the man. 


“How’s it going?” said the man.


“Good” said Dad sounding slightly worried.


“Looks like it” the guy said.  I pulled my knees up to my chin and hugged my legs.

I was terrified -scared to death.  They had caught Dad.  This was not good.


“So you folks take things from here?” said the man.


“Oh….sometimes” Dad said.


“Ha!” said the guy.  “So do I!  It’s the best stuff!”


Dad promised to leave some of the stuff in the dumpsters for him, and the man seemed happy enough.


What a feeling of relief!


“I guess it’s ok then.” I thought.  “As long as we don’t get arrested.”





We enjoyed the gifts from the store for about three years. 


Three amazing years full of interesting nights, excitement, and treasures worth more to me then gold itself.


Then my Dad ended up finding a better job then the one he had -one where we could actually "afford to eat."


Not a week later, the dumpsters were empty –except for trash.  We continued to check them nightly for about another month, but no such luck. There simply wasn’t any food being thrown in them any more. 


As quickly as the gifts had come, they were gone.



Now days, we can afford to buy things, and for that I am eternally thankful…..


But I still remember the fun we had….




Back when…….



We had no money.



stormynightsky stormynightsky
22-25, F
2 Responses Mar 2, 2009

Thanks! Lol, I had so much fun writing it! Yeah, the cops never found us either. As a kid though, I was sure they were always hiding somewhere...just waiting to arrest us. That's cool how you could take a younger friend with you. We never took anyone or told many people what we did.. people here are such snobs and would NOT have been impressed, but I agree with you, if you have the opportunity, why not do it? Was great fun for us...and what else could we do? <br />
<br />
Glad you found steak!!!

Ah.. Awesome story! :D I was there!<br />
<br />
"floodlights came on and the backdoor swung open. I ran!" <br />
hehehe! Done that so many times.. back in the day at the first store I really regularly did "skip-missions" at.<br />
<br />
I remember, for a while I often went with the eight-year-old son of a friend of mine.. he took some suff back for his parents and I had the security of a lookout and of course, the cops don't want to bother stopping you if they would have to deal with a child too.. it's too much hassle for them.. *rolls eyes*<br />
<br />
" One time there was gourmet cookies and yoghurts. Foods that we had never even dreamed of trying would be there"<br />
I LOVE it when I get special foods that I would never havebought back in the days when I was still buying food.. I used to live off 8p instant noodles! :P<br />
I like a nice dented can of beer! I got a load of steaks last night, never bought steak IN MY LIFE! :P<br />
Always plenty of potatoes here, good ones for boiling/baking. <br />
I love it :) <br />
Well, it's the only way I can live.. :/ <br />
Tis good tho! :P