One of my co-workers called out to me from her office, “Do you like tomatoes?”
That’s a loaded question. I suppose I do like tomatoes, but only on certain occasions, in certain foods and sliced in certain ways.
But this was coming from a co-worker with whom I’m not very close; not wanting to engage her any further by revealing intimate details about my dietary habits, I settled for a simple, “Sure.”
And then there she was, standing before me with a carton of cherub tomatoes.
“Here, take one!” she said eagerly, arms extended like she was handing me a birthday gift. “It’s like an explosion of flavor in your mouth!”
Stunned, I stuck one tentative hand beyond the plastic covering of the carton and right smack into the warzone of small red torture devices.
Never do I just EAT A TOMATO. Oh, I know all about you fools who shake some salt on those motherfuckers and eat ’em like a goddamn apple. But that’s not for me. Put it on a grilled cheese, for sure, but someone gives me a whole entire tomato and it’s getting chucked for fun.
What a Normal Person Might Do:
- Politely decline.
- Pretend to have gum in their mouth.
- Puncture their breast implant and run.
What Erin Does:
- Accept the challenge.
I felt backed into a wall by then, anyway. My hand was already instinctively in the carton (actually, by this point, it was stuck in the carton; have you seen the gargantuan rings I wear?) so this was definitely the point of no return; and she was standing there all excited and wide-eyed, waiting to become Tomato Bros with me. I was willing to tell her what she wanted to hear just to make her go away.
It was the size of a fig, the one I withdrew. Instead of biting it, I sighed heavily and popped the whole thing into my fake-smiling mouth.
My molars squished into it and sent guts of the tomato gushing through my mouth; the wet, gelatinous texture made my sad tongue curl back in terror. This was definitely not a good time for my taste buds, or my gag reflex for that matter. I’ve had an easier time getting through reluctant, obligated blow jobs.
That’s about when the tang of bile began to slowly crawl up my throat like a geriatric geyser. I was still chewing and smiling while she stood there expectedly, praying that she doesn’t notice I’m dry heaving with zipped lips. And then of course, a veritable reel of disgusting images played out inside my mind, because why wouldn’t I want to think about:
- snakes engulfing writhing rodents,
- Snooki’s kooka engulfing writhing rodents,
- Sarah Palin as President, and
- Grandma Cleavage modeling her new Irish Snuggie,
while I’m hosting what I can only describe as Satan’s sour semen on the bed of my tongue.
The short version: It was yucky, you guys. :(
My body was trying to reject it into my cupped palms but she just wouldn’t walk away.
Someone else walked by and she turned to offer them their own cherub (who tossed it into his mouth like he’s some Huck Finn motherfucker, I might add; I might also add that his name is MITCH, the worst Facebook friend in the whole world, and you know why I can add that? Because HE DOESN’T EVEN KNOW THIS EXISTS BECAUSE HE NEVER CHECKS IN WITH HIS STUPID FACEBOOK FRIENDS.), affording me a few seconds to openly cringe and emulate the No Bueno! grimace a baby makes when being force-fed organic mashed peas. I definitely didn’t want to swallow, so I tucked it behind my teeth, under my tongue, if I could have dripped it down into my bra, I would have; and then I choked out a strained, “It’s really good, thanks!” Like it would have killed her if I told her the truth, as if she grew this bitch in her own goddamn garden from seeds extracted from her loins. And then I couldn’t hold on to it any longer—I swallowed. I mean, it might as well have been a load of ejaculate so why the hell not?
“An explosion of flavor, right?!”
Yes, something like that.