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She Meant To Order 10 Bananas In Her Grocery Delivery. Then 10 Bunches Arrived At Her Door


Getting groceries has become tricky these days. In some places, deliveries through apps, like Instacart, are fully booked weeks in advance. Ryan Chippendale (ph) of Boston snagged an open slot on Amazon Fresh earlier this week and put 10 bananas on her order. She got home after the delivery and saw her husband eating a banana.

RYAN CHIPPENDALE: And I got so excited to see a piece of produce. And I said, oh, my, gosh, did my bananas come? And he said, oh, Ryan, did they ever.

SIMON: Ten bananas? Ten bunches. Four full bags, 50 ripe bananas. Ryan Chippendale says it was her own user error, but there are other customers in this same banana boat.


HARRY BELAFONTE: (Singing) Come, mister tally man, tally me banana.

SIMON: Here's Amanda Vaughn (ph) outside St. Louis.

AMANDA VAUGHN: I meant to order two bananas, and I actually ordered two three-pound packages of bananas. So I ended up with about 14 bananas.

SIMON: And Bari Dzomba (ph) in Philadelphia.

BARI DZOMBA: I thought I was ordering .43 pounds of bananas, which probably would have been, like, three or four bananas. And I ended up getting 10 bunches. But I also only got charged 28 cents.

SIMON: And then there are people like Mary Eggers (ph), outside of Rochester, who thought she was ordering one pound of bananas. She got one banana.

MARY EGGERS: It was just the funniest thing (laughter). I kind of, like, hid it from my family (laughter). And I think I divided in half and made sure that I kind of rationed it.

SIMON: How long did it take her to finish that lonely banana?

EGGERS: I think four days (laughter).

SIMON: Four days. Savor each banana bite. Now, to be fair, people have been posting pictures on Twitter of their bungled banana orders for years. We spoke to an Instacart shopper, Alycia, who lives near Ann Arbor, Mich. And she explains her job demands on-the-spot problem solving, like this week. She says she's at the market, and her customer's order says tomatoes on the vine, quantity four. At the produce section, she sees tomatoes on the vine are sold by the bag.

ALYCIA: And I had to message her and say, did you want four tomatoes on the vine, or did you want four bags of these organic tomatoes on the vine? Because it wasn't clear. And I feel like a lot of people don't stop to ask because they think it's pretty clear.

SIMON: What would you do if you're fulfilling an order that says...

ALYCIA: Thirty bananas. What do you need 30 bananas for? So I make up, you know, things in my head when I go shopping. I'm like maybe they're making lots of banana breads for their neighbors. Maybe they're juicing this week.

SIMON: For the Green Bay Packers - or could it be a simple slip of a keystroke that leads to opening their grocery bags to find, yes, we do have bananas, so many bananas today.


BELAFONTE: (Singing) A beautiful bunch o' ripe banana.

UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: (Singing) Daylight come and me wan' go home... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Scott Simon is one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters. He is the host of Weekend Edition Saturday and is one of the hosts of NPR's morning news podcast Up First. He has reported from all fifty states, five continents, and ten wars, from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His books have chronicled character and characters, in war and peace, sports and art, tragedy and comedy.
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