“Blue raspberries,” he announced with satisfaction, as if he was about to teach me an important life lesson that I didn’t know. My eyes had already glazed over from the strangeness of this conversation, so the fact that the man was blaming a slushee flavor for his constipation didn’t strike me as odd when I replied, “Oh yeah? I didn’t know that.”
“Most people don’t. I actually grew up on a farm in Maine where they planted blue raspberry trees, so that’s how I know,” he earnestly told me. “Blue raspberries are very deadly to eat until they’ve been processed to be put into slushees and shaved ice, but I didn’t know that until I was older. When I was a toddler, I found a blue raspberry that had fallen on the ground and decided to eat it. By the time my parents found out what I had done, it was already too late. Blue raspberries turn like rocks once you swallow them, and mine is stuck in the hole where the food leaves the stomach. Nothing solid can get through, and very little liquid can either. That’s why I’m on a strict ramen noodle diet. Occasionally the noodles slide out too, but that berry isn’t moving any time soon.”
The man paused; he obviously expected me to ask why exactly the blue raspberry wasn’t going to come out any time soon, but by that point I had lost the ability to communicate and was in the process of involuntarily drooling as I listened to the babbling bag of nonsense standing in front of me. My hands were still hovering dry in front of the water running from the sink faucet.
The man continued despite my unresponsiveness. “The reason I can’t have surgery to get the blue raspberry out is that once blue raspberries get stuck in your stomach hole, your cells begin to grow around it and attach it to your flesh. If I were to rip it out, this much of my stomach would tear away with it.” He spread his arms to demonstrate an area a whole lot bigger than his full stomach.