Ruth Boon is a writer, reader, humorist, gymnast and overall life enthusiast. Her most recent novel was recently long-listed for the Mslexia Adult Novel Competition 2021. Ruth mainly writes about mental health and the mundane. In 2020, she completed her Masters at Goldsmiths in English and Creative Writing, and she continues to write prose and poetry whilst working within the mental health and wellbeing industry in South East London.
Doritos Chili Heat Wave
You are eating Doritos Chili Heat Wave at your parents’ house attempting to convince your Dad that these are the superior crisp. Your Dad, lounging on the other sofa, takes a bite. He is slightly intrigued about the flavour but mostly bemused that his daughter has come back from London, after not living at home for seven years and developed such a distinctive taste in crisps.
The flavour, you say, is incomprehensible.
Your father outwardly reflects that in a way, most flavours are incomprehensible, flavour itself is.
Inwardly, he cannot stop thinking about how you are your own person now. How you, as an individual, have decided on the most superior flavour of crisp and that is your opinion, it is a fact in your world, in your universe, and you have a universe entirely of your own. Your father personally thinks Salted Hula Hoops are spectacular.
The Annoying Orange
As I sat carving pumpkins with Julianna, my childhood friend, I found myself attempting to figure out if what I was experiencing was jealousy. My criticisms of Julianna extended to things like the style of the pumpkin mouth. The mouth of her pumpkin was slightly small and held to the side like a child’s drawing of a moon. I
announced proudly that I was going classic, under the guise of appearing timeless but mostly because classic was easy. Classic required the least imagination and skill. It was simple—jab the knife in straight lines and include a few surviving teeth after ripping out the imaginary ones. Being bought from Tesco Extra for 64 pence, gutted and then stabbed seemed like a difficult way to go but perhaps our pumpkins would feel, if pumpkins could feel, that there was some kind of dignity dying with a permanent smile on their faces, doing something in the name of tradition however absurd that tradition may be. I remarked that Julianna’s pumpkin looked like The Annoying Orange. I couldn’t tell if I intended this to seem like a dig at Julianna’s abilities or not. I did and didn’t want her to be offended at the same time. But deep down I knew that I wouldn’t have wanted my pumpkin to look like The Annoying Orange, I knew that for sure. In the past I had reassured myself that this wasn’t jealousy, that I was simply a critical thinker and actually when you thought about it, Julianna was quite pretentious and pretension alone was reason enough to feel this way. But what did pretentiousness even mean? Are all people more intelligent than me pretentious or am I, in fact, The Annoying Orange?