What happened to the oranges?

box of oranges

I was scrolling through photos on my phone the other day and came across this gem. It’s been in my phone so long I’d forgotten all about it.

There’s a conference room at work, and they often leave the lights on when they are finished in there. I went to turn off the lights, and I saw this written on the giant pad of paper in the front of the room. I have absolutely no context for what the meeting was about or who could have possibly dropped the oranges.

I saw a writing prompt in it, so I snapped a quick picture before turning out the light.


What happened to the oranges?

We sat in hard plastic chairs in front of the boss’s desk. He leaned back in his chair. His expression was unreadable. He folded his hands on his ample stomach.

“Alright. Tell me how it happened.”

“Well, it was like this.” I began. “I watched as the box fell in slow motion. It tumbled. It flipped. It spilled. They rolled, bright and colorful, in every direction.

That’s around when I realized that we were parked at the top of the hill. The oranges, they just kept on rolling on down the hill. Some of them, they wound up under the tires of the passing cars. It was a pulpy, juicy mess that just seemed to get worse and worse.”

“Why’d’ya hafta go n tell ‘im it was me that dropped them oranges?” Jim interrupted me.

“What are ya talkin’ about? I didn’t say you dropped the box of oranges.”

“Well, ya said ya watched it happen. N that means it was me who done it.”

“I didn’t tell him no such thing, but you just did.”

Jim buried his face in his hands. Nothing he could do now. Boss knew for sure who was responsible for the juicy, pulpy mess back on the road.

To our surprise, the boss started laughing. Big, booming bellyfuls of laughter. His face was an angry red bordering on purple, and he gasped for breath.

We sat silent and unmoving in those uncomfortable chairs. We waited to be fired. Our firing never came.

“Get on back to work, boys,” he said between gasps as the laughter finally subsided.

“Yes, sir!” we answered in unison as we sprung to our feet.

Neither of us said another word. Relief flooded us with endorphins, and we practically ran to the truck.


Do you ever find writing inspiration in unexpected places?


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