Let us say it is the summer of 1944. I am ten years old, Sister is seven. The entire family, Mom, Dad, and the two kids are in the car. We are going to the Safeway on a hot summer day. Weird, you are thinking. No, it is not. Mother doesn't drive and the grocery shopping is a family excursion.
I spare you the detail and place us all back in the old Ford for the trip home with the groceries. (It should be understood that the purchases at the grocery store tended to be staples: flour, sugar, baking soda, raisins perhaps, in general, stuff Dad could not grow or kill.) Anyway, at the corner of Spruce and Colorado Avenue we will turn north. And on that very corner is the Watermelon Man! A pickup truck load of the beautiful things up from The Valley. "Oh, Daddy! Can we have a watermelon? Can we, hunh?" I'm not sure which of us said it first, Sister or Me, but the other immediately chimed in with "Yeah, Daddy, can we, please?"
Then the devastating response. "Four and a half cents a pound. Way too much. We'll have to wait until is down to two cents."
So we waited. And watched the prices as the days passed. Now the salivary glands flood our mouths as we pass the watermelon stands. And then "Melons 21/2 ¢."
"Please, Daddy. Please, please!"
And he caves. "Well, it's still a little high, but I think I have fifty cents, so if we can find one under twenty pounds, we'll get it!"
Watermelon Man plugs the chosen melon, it is every bit as good as we had hoped, and a happy family heads home with the treasure!
Painting by A. F. King
Word of the day: plug, in the given context.