Reggie had heard that the garden products company he worked for were setting up a “plant” overseas. It was a rumour, mind you. Reggie didn’t like to ask – it was none of his business – but he and his wife, Maggie, were keen to be given the experience. Overseas!
And then Reggie and Maggie were invited to the boss’s place for dinner. Was this to be it? Would the boss perhaps venture into a how-would-you-like-to-be-posted-overseas conversation?
The meal began with a salad, and Reggie could see psyllids crawling in it: tiny insects that sap tomatoes and potatoes and broad beans and the like of their strength. The plants wilt.
Reggie tried to ignore the bugs. He tried to eat the salad as if it wasn’t infested. It wouldn’t kill him.
“Are you keen gardeners yourselves?” he asked, between mouthfuls of psyllid, tomato and thousand islands dressing.
“Not really,” said the boss, “although we did grow ourselves what you’re eating now.”
“Delicious,” said Reggie.
The evening ended. No mention was made of overseas.
“That’s them out of the equation,” said the boss to his wife. “He didn’t even notice the psyllids in his salad. Let alone the worms in the apple pie.”