Porteño Corner: The Fruit Pusher, Pedro Jose Barriani

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Pedro Jose Barriani
a.k.a., ‘The Fruit Pusher’
Owner of the no-name fruit stand
Mexico 789
San Telmo

Q: How long have you been here?

55 years.

55 years? How old are you?

I’m 66. We moved here when I was 11, in 1955.

My father had a butcher shop here, then he gave me a little spot and I started selling vegetables.

At one point I did close for ten years because my dad bugged me and I had little kids at home.

And now I’ve been open again for 16 years.

• What’s the most popular fruit?

Bananas, grapes. Whatever I put in front, sells.

• What’s the most popular veggie?

Potatoes, people like their potatoes.

• Those carrots are abnormally huge.

Those carrots are for the ladies that are fighting with their husbands.

All she has to do is whack him over the head with the carrot and problem solved!

• How come you always push fruit and don’t have more veggies like broccoli?

Because I’m an undependable, low-class vegetable seller.

Sometimes I work, sometimes I don’t.

Why should I?

I don’t have a cent, but I don’t need money. I don’t even spend $200 pesos a month. I

don’t have a phone. I don’t smoke. I don’t go out on the town because the women don’t pay attention to me anymore.

Now I don’t even remember how to kiss and cuddle.

I have one son who is rich though.

He owns ten houses, lives in a gated community, the whole nine yards.

• You must have done something right then.


Really, I didn’t pay any attention to him at all.

And now he doesn’t pay attention to me!

• Really-?

Yeah, in fact, all my children hate me because I don’t look for a girl my age, but all the girls my age are old!

• Oh, so you like younger women?

Well, how old are you?

Nah, seriously why would I want a young girl?

So I can watch her die of sadness?

She’d want to go out dancing every night and I’d only be able to take her once a month!

• Do you have internet so that you can see this article?

What is internet?

• You’ve never heard of the internet?

No, I swear, I don’t have the slightest idea of what it is.

• What’s the deal with your cat?

¿Flora, la que llora? (Flora, the one who cries?)

We were drinking mate, she comes in here and sits herself down.

I throw her out, she keeps coming back.

The cats stay. The women leave. That’s how it goes.