I cracked open the fortune cookie and unfolded the thin strip of paper.
“Beware that which is both yellow and dangerous,” it read.
“Load of nonsense,” I thought as I picked up my VISA card, dropped a tip and headed for the door. The proprietress bowed and smiled as I reached the door. “Nothing dangerous about her,” I though. “Or yellow for that matter.”
I stepped out of the restaurant into the brilliant winter sun. There was a line of taxi cabs not fifty yards away, but I was replete after a very pleasant meal and felt like a walk to ease my waistband. Besides the fortune cookie’s warning still nagged at the back of my mind and as these cabs were all painted in a semblance of New York yellow cabs, I thought best to be safe.
Crossing the busy road, I headed for the park and my apartment beyond. Behind me the cabbies continued their mid-day repose behind the sports sections of different tabloids, oblivious to their lost fair.
“What is yellow and dangerous?” I asked myself as I walked down a tree lined avenue. Nude branches reached into the clear blue sky, casting a crazy paving of shadows on the ground from the low sun.
I noticed my shoe lace was undone and stooped to retie it. Just as I dropped there was a crazy mixture of sounds - a bang, a whoosh and a thump happening almost simultaneously and I spun around looking for the source. There lying stunned at the foot of a tree not 10 yards away was a small bird. After a few seconds it hopped to its feet, shook its head once or twice then zoomed off into the sky at high speed.
“Now there’s a rare sight,” I marvelled. “Not often you see a supersonic canary, especially in these parts. Now where was I? Oh yes, yellow and dangerous. I’m sure there’s something I can’t quite remember...”
The other side of the park appeared all too soon and I found myself wandering amongst tall grey structures that blotted out much of the sky. The new food mart was opening and an enormous crane was hoisting a large sign with a bowl giant fruit over the entrance. Stepping past the spectacle, I popped in to pick up a few groceries.
Twenty minutes later, a couple of bags of food in my arms, I headed for the exit. The girl at the checkout called to me and waved my credit card at me. I don’t know, the number of times I’ve done that, it’s a wonder someone hasn’t taken advantage.
I thanked the girl and was just slipping the card back into my wallet when there was a shout from the front of the store. I turned just in time to see people running away from the crane and a three ton banana falling into the street.
“That’s going to empty someone’s bank account.” I thought as I stepped out the front of the store and past the wreckage and crowd of bemused workers. The rest of the walk home was uneventful apart from that nagging question. “What is yellow and dangerous?”
The afternoon passed uneventfully. I sat at my computer and tried without success to write an article on something. It seemed all that was passing through my head today was nonsense and about five o’clock I gave up and switched on the TV. There was a news story about an airliner with a leaky toilet dropping fist sized, yellow hailstones in the neighbourhood. It seemed like the whole world was a little surreal today.
I set about fixing dinner. Nothing special after the big lunch I’d enjoyed, but as I do enjoy my deserts I pulled out the custard powder and corn flour and whipped up a batch of one of my favourites.
The day was nearly over, and what was that nonsense in that fortune cookie? Nothing bad had happened, at least not to me. I reached for a banana to slice into my bowl of steaming custard and resolved to put the whole thing out of my mind.
Which is probably when I failed to notice a triangular fin break the surface and swim a lazy, patient circuit of the bowl…
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