Foods That Fly, Run Marathons, and Make My Pee Stink

Summer is the perfect time for trying to eat healthier.  Lots of weird fruits to try.  Walmart had a mound of Dragon Fruits the other day–can’t wait to try mine.  Hope they’re an actual fruit and  not something that has been food growing next to a Japanese Nuclear Power Plant.  The price of produce this time of year is a lot easier on the wallet too.  I no longer have to re-mortgage my house to buy a beefsteak tomato, a bundle of asparagus, and some blueberries.  (I live in Canada.  The only thing we can grow in the winter is snow).

But there is a downside to consuming large quantities of fruits and vegetables.  For one thing, broccoli and cabbage stink when they’re boiled.  Forget grenades and machine guns.  Just wave a pot of cabbage water at the enemy and they will flee in terror for sure.  My house perpetually smells like a fart.  (Admittedly, not all of that can be blamed on the cabbage water).  Cruciferous veggies produce noxious gases, it seems, that must escape the body.  Noisily.  And with lethal consequences.  (Note to self: Adopt elderly dog to serve as scapegoat.  Or maybe an actual goat?  To scape?)  (Another note to self: google how term “scapegoat” came about.  Did it involve a goat?)

And, to make matters worse, this “healthy eating” is affecting my pee.  Holy crap!  Asparagus urine reeks.  The only thing worse than peeing out a river of asparagus juice at home is having to do it in a public washroom.  I swear the lady beside me must think I have something seriously wrong with my plumbing.  It’s all I can do  not to scream out, “It’s the asparagus’s fault.”  But, knowing me, I couldn’t just stop there.  I’d wind up in a through-the-stall rant about what this healthy eating is doing to my home and my innards–not to mention my social life–and that my husband has recently developed a hankering for beets and that, next, I’ll have to deal with beet-coloured pee staining the toilet bowl.

Rather than risk this, I simply let them think that my urinary tract is rotting.

1)  TV shows and movies often portray displeased audiences as violent, produce-hurling delinquents who, for some reason, always have a  tomato or two on hand for tossing.  I would never throw a tomato at someone–even if they were assaulting my ears with jazz fusion.  (Apologies to jazz fusion fans.  It is just not my cup-of-tea.  Nor is Country.  Great, now I have to apologize to the Country fans.  Note to self: shut up before you alienate your entire blog audience.)

If you are going to hit someone with something from  the produce section, at least a tomato is soft.  It is one of the edible orbs that most closely mimics the Nerf ball.  An orange does not.  An orange would hurt.  A lot.

So, naturally, humans have created a Carnival that revolves around exactly that–pelting other humans with non-Nerf-like balls.  ORANGES.

In the Northern Italian city of Ivrea, citizens and tourists alike come out to mark this festival with a very strange origin.  Apparently in the 12th or 13th century (the story varies from one source to another), a tyrant from a powerful family attempted to rape a young commoner on her wedding night.  He was unsuccessful as she decapitated him.  Not with an orange, by the way.

If you wish to participate in this tradition, seek help.  Sorry.  Those things just keep popping out of my head and down to my fingers.  Seriously, if you wish to play, you must join a team.  Tourists are warned to wear a red hat, which apparently serves as a “leave me out of it” symbol.  Heaven help anyone who isn’t made aware of this fact.  I, personally, would opt for a red goalie mask–but I’m Canadian.  Rumour has it that we never leave home without one.

2)  I love berries, but I hate the fact that they often come with their own wardrobes–fur coats.  Well, I may have stumbled upon a cure.

Using 1 part vinegar (white or cider work best) and 10 parts water, submerge berries and give them a good wash.  Apparently, vinegar is an enemy to mould spores and inhibits their growth.

Your little berries will remain “coatless” for much longer, giving you more time to scarf’em down.  YAY!

3)  It’s not every day you see a man with pasty white legs and black sport socks–and, oh ya–dressed up as a banana.  It’s even rarer that you see one running a marathon.  That’s exactly what Patrick Wightman of the United Kingdom did in March of 2011.

He managed a Guinness World Record-setting time of 2 hr 58 min 20 seconds at the Barcelona Marathon–the fastest time ever recorded for someone dressed up as a fruit.  There were others?  Wightman chose the banana shape because it was more stream-lined.  So, it wasn’t merely because he looked fab in yellow.

The “fastest marathon dressed as a vegetable” is held by a carrot.  No, really.

In Wightman’s defence, he did this for charity.

The following are random strangely-shaped produce.  I’m afraid that I wouldn’t be able to eat any of these.  Firstly, they’re freaky weird mutations.  And, secondly, some of them are just way too cute.  I don’t want to eat anything that’s cute.  That’s why I have a lot of turkey and crustaceans.  They have faces only their mothers could love.

Photo credits:  Orange fight (, Berries ( Banana man (, Duck cucumber (, Weird hand (, Tomato duck (, Potato bear (, Weird goose & pepper snake (

The Top Banana, The Monikers, and A Strange Phobia

“I wonder if illiterate people get the full effect of alphabet soup.”  Jerry Seinfeld.  

I will never grasp evolution.  The idea that mankind is simply a single-celled organism that decided to evolve into something else and so on sounds bizarre to me.  I don’t believe that I have any amoebas in my family  tree…although some of us do appear to function on a single brain cell.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I have nothing against amoebas.  I just don’t see how one can sprout arms and legs and a beard, no matter how many billions of years you give them.

I do admit that apes do have human-like qualities.  Some apes are smarter than some humans, in fact.  And some humans are hairier.  But if man evolved from apes, why are there still apes?  Were those ones too stupid to evolve?

Darwin and his cohorts would have me believe that there was a huge explosion in the blackness that is space.  This explosion supposedly came from nothing.  From that, the universe was created and life appeared on earth–simple life like plankton.  And over millions of years, this plankton turned into all the different species we have today–kangaroos, lizards, elephants, and man.  This sounds awfully random.  And, again, why is there still plankton?

I think it is much easier to believe that we were designed and created by someone who has an endless imagination, masterful artistry skills, and a much firmer grasp on “science” than any human could ever imagine.  I did not “evolve.”  I was created by God.

Of course, I’d love to hear your comments on my little early morning rant. lol.

1) The banana is a neat fruit–it comes with it’s own easy-to-peel packaging, eating one before bed is supposed to help you sleep, and they are just plain funny looking.  And they taste good.

Plus, they come with a built-in practical joke maker…a sticker.  I love affixing it to someone’s forehead and then, distracting them until they forget it’s there.  If you’re really good, your victim will go out in public with the banana sticker smack dab between the eyes.

The best stickers were the face stickers put out by Chiquita a few years ago.  My hubby and I collected them–yes, we selected our bananas based on what faces they wore.  Sometimes, we would take faces off other bunches and come away with a sticker on each yellow fruit.  Those were the days.  I know…it doesn’t take much to make me happy. lol.

If you are a banana fanatic, you may want to visit Mecca, California–home to The International Banana Club Museum, the world’s largest museum dedicated to bananas.  Since it’s creation in 1976, it has collected over 17,000 banana “artifacts” including a banana couch, a Michael Jackson banana, musical bananas, and more.  What the heck is a banana warmer?  The museum also claims that no lewd or crude bananas are allowed–except they spelled lewd “lude.”  This spelling mistake drove me bananas.

2)  A little while ago, we learned that the most common names in 1912 were John and Mary.  So, I wonder what Americans were naming their babies in the 1950s.  Fonzie or Richie?  Laverne or Shirley?

Nope.  According the to U.S. Social Security Administration, the favourite boy’s name of the decade was James, with Michael being the runner-up.  The winning girl’s name was Mary (which was also the leading name in 1912), with Linda coming in second.

3)  I recently encountered a fact that is funny, but a little sadistic.  Lots of people have phobias–some of them are understandable like the fear of snakes or heights.  I like snakes, but I can see how some people would find them unnerving.  I’m not a fan of heights.  It’s a good thing I’m short.  I stood on a stool once to see what it felt like to be my husband’s height and I got nauseated.

Some phobias, however, are a wee bit on the strange side.  For example,  arachibutyrophobia is the fear of peanut butter becoming stuck to the roof of one’s mouth.  I could see this being problematic for people without hands or tongues, but why would they put peanut butter on the roof of their mouths, anyway.  Euphobia is the fear of good news.  My head just exploded.  Seriously, you hate “good” news?  This is not someone that I want to spend a lot of time with–talk about a downer.

This brings me to the sadistic.  Imagine that your phobia is a fear of long words.  Now imagine that someone has asked you what your phobia is called and rather than answering the question you have run out of the room screaming.  Why?  Because some sadistic bastard with a sick sense of humour named your phobia “hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia.”  Nice, eh?

Noisy Birds, Bugs Bunny, and Things That Smell

“An encyclopedia is a system for collecting dust in alphabetical order.” 
Mike Barfield.

I have always been fascinated with useless facts.  As a kid, I taught myself the U.S. states in alphabetical order.  I can still rhyme them off in record speed.  This is not exactly going to land me any jobs, but it did help me with the answer to a trivia question once.  Not everyone knows how many U.S. State names begin with the letter “M.”  Do you? I’ll give you a minute to count them and I’ll give you the answer at the end of the blog…

Meanwhile, here are today’s three riveting facts:

1) After a long, harsh Canadian winter, there is nothing more welcomed than the return of our red-bellied friend, the robin.  They’re cute–hopping around on the lawn, fluttering about in the bird bath, teaching their little ones to fly–but man, are they noisy.  There is nothing more frustrating than the repetitious tweets of the robin at 4:30 in the morning.  I’m a nature lover who avoids stepping on bugs if I can, but I have seriously contemplated braining one of these birds by propelling a shoe out my bedroom window.  Seriously–heave-ho and then “splat.”  No more noise.  Just a beak.

My husband, however, is much more pragmatic than I am.  He strives to understand what makes these “disturbers of the peace” tick…or in this case, tweet.  Here’s what he has discovered.  It’s our fault that the robin has been forced to adopt the role of avian alarm clock–a role traditionally held by another bird, I might add.  The rooster.

Humans are noisy.  Our normal waking hours are filled with a myriad of sounds.  And the poor robin can’t hear himself think, let alone talk to a friend in the distance.  Robins must sing to attract mates.  If the mates cannot hear them, the robin will die a childless, lonely spinster.  To avoid this fate, the robin has learned to chirp its aria when the rest of the world is silent–or snoring.

So, here’s hoping that the robins in my neighbourhood soon find that special someone.  And that I can finally get an undisturbed night’s sleep.

2)  June bugs freak me out.  They’re huge.  They’re crunchy.  And when they fly into you, they actually leave a dent.  Turns out the June bug is a lightweight in the insect world.

Enter the Giant Weta of New Zealand, the world’s largest insect.  And now, enter the largest Giant Weta of all, and you have entered horror movie territory.  This is the mother of all bugs.  In fact, she weighs as much as three mice.

Her name is Bugs Bunny as she is large enough to eat carrots.  Forget her size!  She has teeth that can chew carrots!  And her wingspan is seven inches.

In her defence, she never bit the hand that fed her.  She was returned to her tree and hopefully lived happily ever after.  Far, far away with oceans between us.  Phew.

3)  Nothing smells better than the aroma of freshly pumped petrol.  It’s not for everyone.  Smell is highly subjective.  After all, I am the girl who thinks that skunk smells like Tim Horton’s coffee.  But, as I was filling up my gas tank today, I began to wonder what are the most popular smells?  Certainly not my living room after a night of brown beans.

According to a survey conducted in Britain by a dish soap manufacturer, the Brits preferred scent is fish & chips.  That even sounds Coronation Street.  Two different American surveys turned up two different results.  One said Americans favoured Vanilla, while the other said they had a hankering for Banana.

And everyone’s least favourite smell seems to be the public washroom.  I concur.

What smell do you absolutely love?

And no, I haven’t forgotten to answer the question I asked about the number of American states that start with the letter “M”.  There are 8–Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, and Montana.