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Gabe / on Wed, Apr 6 2005 at 9:34 am

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A cut above

Tycho told me that he had people from the industry lined up to write news posts while he was gone. He even gave me the one I posted yesterday and explained the rest would arrive this week, well before I needed them. I should have known that was too good to be true.

So here it is Wednesday morning and I need to fill up this space. When Tycho was in Europe I posted some of my favorite posts of his from years past. I’m going to play that card again this morning. So here is one of my favorite bits from back in October of 2001.

In a recent newspost, I fired a controversial volley directly at Chestnuts. In this searing expose, I laid bare the tangled skein of mythology, lies, and outright treachery - hundreds of years in the making - that culminated in my consumption of this damned fruit.

I have a confession to make.

I hadn’t been eating chestnuts at all. And, like Adam in the book of Genesis, I’m going to blame Brenna.

Behind their mahogany facade, chestnuts keep a dark secret: they have an evil twin, a wicked and murderous Cain to their creamy, delicious Abel. Not unlike Cain before it, the daemonic Horse Chestnut is an outcast even among its own kind. I wouldn’t ordinarily just pick up some plant and start chewing on it, but Brenna noticed a “Chestnut Tree” out behind the apartment - and, flush with the old songs and stories, she thought it might be fun to try and kill us. She brought about forty vile Horse Chestnuts into our home and set them on my desk, which seemed to imply action on my part. I put little cuts in them so they wouldn’t explode (this would turn out to be the least of my problems), put them in a bowl with some water, put some cinnamon and sugar on there, fuck, I don’t know. It actually doesn’t matter all that much, because - as it turns out - even when you put cinnamon and sugar on poison, it’s still God damned poison. They smelled so good, they filled the place with a scent like sweet bread or pastry. The heat of the oven had sorta popped them out of their shells, the morsels presenting themselves for consumption. Never one to turn down such an offer, I broke off a tiny piece and popped it into my mouth.

When I said that it tasted like poison in the earlier post, that’s because it actually was. It - Aesculin - tastes the way you’d imagine turpentine would taste, which is to say, like absolute fucking shit. And that flavor leaves your mouth when it’s good and ready, too - there’s no coaxing it, it’s like an oil or something. I thought to myself, “Well, maybe you just had a bad part,” and grabbed a bigger piece from another one and ate that too. Brenna wanted to know how they were, and I said that she should just try one for herself and see how she liked it. She wasn’t crazy about it. I would suppose that poison is an acquired taste.

-Gabe out


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