Wednesday, April 1, 2009


You know those adults who love to tell ridiculous stories to gullible children, just to see how far their credulity can be strained? I'm married to one. My 7 and 4 year olds have already developed a thick shell of skepticism, as they know that there's at least a 50% chance that anything Ahpa tells them might be at least embellished or at most entirely fictional. Not all children are onto him, though. My friend's 11 year old son, who is adored by my children, was his most recent victim. The boys were playing together in our backyard last Sunday. Husband was throwing a wiffle ball for them, and when they lost interest in wiffle ball and decided to play with the stomp rocket, he decided to do some gardening in the front yard.

A bit later, he returned to the backyard, eating a giant Korean pear. Have you ever seen a Korean pear? It's shaped more like an apple than a pear, and it's as big as a grapefruit. The first time I saw one, I thought immediately of the episode of "Gilligan's Island" in which the castaways discover radioactive vegetables growing on the island. I saw it when I was 9 or 10, and it made a very deep impression on me. I mentioned it at the time to my husband, who yelled "yes! The one with the three-fingered carrots, right?" That was the one. The pears were immediately renamed radioactive pears, and I'm only half-joking when I call them that. Those pears freak me right out. Anyway, husband is eating the pear, and 11yo says "whoa! What's that, Mr. P?"

"It's a radioactive pear"

"Really? Like REALLY radioactive?"


"Isn't that really dangerous?"

A pause, as my husband inspects the pear. "I'll find out, won't I?" Munch munch munch.

"Whoa. Where do they make them radioactive? Korea?"

"Yep. All the fruit and vegetables there are radioactive. The people are used to it."


Wow indeed. I'm waiting for a call from his mother after he decides to write a science report on the mysterious ability of Korean people to withstand radiation. I only hope he doesn't attempt any in vivo research.


Cid said...

Love it, I always ask after the kid has taken the bait, did you know that gullible isn't in the dictionary?

O.G. said...

Great story...I bet his epidiermis was showing the whole time.

pistols at dawn said...

It's really just going to come out when they say things to their friends and then no one talks to them anymore and they're at home every Friday night for their entire teen years and then who's so funny, Mr. CDP?

Embee said...

That is just too funny. I'm married to an exaggerator myself. I tell my children it's a defective gene that runs in his family, and they'd better hope they haven't inherited it. But as your children seem to have as well, mine have also developed an embellishment detector (they get that from my side of the family).

susan said...

My father was one of those too and I'm glad to say he taught me well :-)

3carnations said...

What I can't understand is why the title of this post is only "Produce". "Radioactive Korean Pears" would have been great.

That boy probably won't be allowed to come to your house anymore. Heh.

BeckEye said...

I like this story, mostly because it's put "Radioactive" by The Firm in my head. And I think that Lady Gaga song was in there before, so thanks much.

Sauntering Soul said...

I had a radioactive bagel for breakfast this morning. It was so large I could only manage to eat half of it. I paired it with a typhoid vaccine pill for my (hopefully) upcoming trip to Brazil. I'm hoping the organic milk offsets any ill effects, but I'll let you know if anything happens to me.

dguzman said...

My little sister was a demon for always reeling me in with her stories. Your husband is the same kind of demon.

Phil said...

Something tells me that this kid is gonna spend the next 8 years in the 5th grade. Oh, well, in this economy I guess it's as good a career as any.

Gifted Typist said...

Oh dear. I have one of those. When we first got together in England he pointed out a green field covered in seagulls. He told me it was a seagull far. They clipped the wings and raised them for poultry. I was still young and gullible and in love, and I bought it.
He's never let me forget it.

Freida Bee, MD said...

Thanks, Bekeye! Now, I have that Lady Gaga song in my head!

I have a brother 12 years younger than me, and when I was a teen and spent a lot of time hanging with him and babysitting, he went though a serious "why" phrase that came out as, "How do you know." (He wanted sources!) Eventually, I got tired of telling him where I learned every little thing and told him I knew everything. He kinda believed me, I think.

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