on the dangers of not liking something (for Coralie)

June 9th, 2006 by amy

from Mind Over Matters by Mike Nelson:

…It usually starts innocently enough, a friend remarking to you that the co-op has a nice new crop of grapefruit. “Hmm, I don’t really care for grapefruit myself,” you say, entirely without malice. She seems startled, “Really?” she says.

If you had a tendency to be sarcastic, you might say, “No, I deliberately misrepresent my taste in citrus to gain the upper hand in conversation.” But you are not sarcastic, so you restate your dislike, a little more timidly now. “Yeah, I just don’t care for grapefruit. It tastes bitter to me.”

“Bitter! How can you think grapefruit tastes bitter?” she demands.

“I find that difficult to answer — ” you say.

“Grapefruit is the single least bitter thing in the world! Sugar is more bitter than grapefruit!” she continues.

“Sugar is deliberately bitter,” you say, trying to calm her. “Sugar is pure white hate.”

“You want bitter? Radicchio is bitter. Dandelion greens — they’re bitter!”

“I hate them. They’re mean,” you say as the situation death-rolls out of control.

“I’m going to get you some of that grapefruit right now and show you that it’s not bitter,” she says, marching to the refrigerator. You have apparently run afoul of a committed grapefruit apologist. Soon you are eating extremely bitter chunks of fruit you loathe.

“Tell me, is that bitter? Is it?” she asks, leaving you no wiggle room.

“Unbelievably not-bitter. Sweet, sure. Sour, you bet. Salty, powerfully so — but bitter? No and again, no. All bitterness has vanished from existence. Even the concept of bitterness has been conquered and bows down before this grapefruit,” you say, nearly gagging from the bitterness.

3 Responses to “on the dangers of not liking something (for Coralie)”

  1. barbie-dull Says:

    Wonderful! […] ‘I hate them. They’re mean’ […]
    You made my day, once again. Thank you amyleh.

    […] All bitterness has vanished from existence. […] ;)

  2. Coralie Says:

    I’m sorry. I do like grapefruit, but only with sugar (to cut the bitterness). Sigh, but I have had this exact conversation on different subjects too many times to count. I just don’t know how you found me.

  3. amy Says:

    It was meant for another Coralie but thanks for reading the weblog.

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