Tempting Ian

How does a scraggleberry taste?

For nearly 300 years this question remained unanswered in the Chinese town of Tgiyeun. The children of the small hamlet started to wear the magenta, triangularly-shaped fruit around their necks on their fourth birthday.

Putting the fear of God into their sons and daughters just as their parents did to them, moms and pops would always convey the same doom and misery to the young-uns with the admonition, “Pow chung doo tah ceh,” meaning, “Your ears will fall off if you take even the smallest nibble. So don’t you even think about it!”

The kids would usually cower at the exclamation, as that horrific image was instilled in them forever.

The village of Tgiyeun was your typical rice-producing corner of the world. (When you think about it, China’s rice-producing corners of the world would make one hell of a geometric shape. But that’s another story.) Ian Schwood, a man whose reputation should precede himself, so I will go no further than his name in this description, was hip-deep in a paddy on a sultry day in September when all of a sudden he heard a sonorous crack.

Out of the sky sprouted a bottle with a message in it. When cartoon gravity gave way to real gravity, the bottle, though not directly above his head at take-off, sped in a blazing streak three-thousand feet to smack Ian right in the gut.

“Oueghchf! Unch, wheeze.”

When he came to, he discovered the message, out of the bottle and slowly bleeding together becoming damp from the paddy. He frantically tried to decipher what it read.

“-aggle be-y when eate- saves – li-es.”

As you may have guessed already, Ian was no ordinary Tgiyeunian. He was, in fact, on a deep and dark undercover mission for the greater good of Jamaica, and he knew five languages including impeccable English.

I am not at liberty to tell you what his mission was exactly, but this revelation that was hurled at him was precisely the information he was looking for. So he ripped the berries off his neck, shoved them in his mouth, and was puzzled by the aluminum taste.

He saved twenty-three calories.

Published in: on February 1, 2009 at 12:16 am  Leave a Comment  

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