A while back a friend gave me a heads up about two new flavors of Haagen Dazs ice cream to be released in Japan only. Woo! New ice cream! Yeah, that’s what I thought, too: green tea, red adzuki beans, maybe something mochi related.
It took awhile, but I finally spotted the new creations in my local supermarket, happily bought the Spoon Veges, and took them home. One is a tomato and cherry mix and the other a carrot and orange blend. Yep. I’m not sure what they were thinking either.
So I took one for the team and tried them.
Note: I’m not a tomato person. Tomato sauces I’m okay with but not anything too tomato-y. If you know what I mean. I’m likely to run screaming if anyone presents me with a nice hunk of a slice of the red fruit and asks me to take a bite. But I must admit I was pleasantly pleased with the tomato-cherry ice cream. It had this vague sweetish, acidic “red” taste. Not bad.
Now, the carrot-orange one, that was another story. I *do* like carrots and oranges, but this one was all kinds of wrong. Just too carrot-y, not enough orange-y. Not sure if they just picked a fruit and a vegetable that were the same color and put them together or what, but this one didn’t do it for me.
All that said, they’re still be sold which means someone’s buying them. I assume. I think, however, I’ll stick to something chocolate or green tea or anything with mint in it. I’ll have my vegetables with me meal, thank you.
Several years ago I wrote a short story I was incredibly smitten with but knew in my heart might never find a home. It’s called “The Spider Sweeper” and it just felt very odd. It’s a horror story. It’s a love story. It’s set in Japan during the late 1800s.
I sent it out and collected a few rejections, then decided to sit on it for awhile. A year passed. Longer. A couple of months ago I stumbled upon it again and re-read it. Lo and behold, I still loved it. So I thought what-the-hell and decided to send it out again.
Now I’m here today to say I’m tickled pink to announce “The Spider Sweeper” was picked up by a gorgeous magazine I hugely admire, Black Static.
One day back when my son was a toddler we were taking a stroll around a hilly lake with my in-laws. It was slow going as he had short little legs and we were all enjoying the flowers and water and the lovely spring weather.
Halfway through our walk my son stopped and pointed.
Indeed right there crawling across the trail was a dirty, fat earthworm.
I was just about to join in his excitement when my mother-in-law grabbed his hand and pulled him away.
“Don’t pee on it!”
Don’t pee on it? I don’t know about her kids, but mine doesn’t usually drop trou and whiz on any little thing that comes across his path.
After some questioning and eyebrow raising she finally explained to me that back in her day boys often peed on worms. But when they did, their private parts would swell up and become painful and itchy.
Needless to say I had never heard of such and thing and found it a bit hard to believe. I chalked it up to being one of those old wives’ tales told to keep kids from doing naughty things.
It wasn’t until years later that I caught a TV show about Japanese superstitions, and this one came up. The “reporters” did some research and it was revealed that indeed there is a type of worm that when frightened shoots out a kind of poison that then travels up the urine stream and causes swelling and itchiness and pain. Whaddaya know.
That’s when I did some searching of my own. I found quite a few sites (in Japanese) and blog posts with explanations or testimonies from men unfortunate enough to have had this happen to them. One guy suffered the same fate when he peed on a frog.
What I find even more amazing than the fact that this actually happens — that worms evidently can shoot poison up a stream of pee –is that throughout the ages enough guys have actually done this to make it kind of folk tale. At least here they have.