Thursday, July 19, 2007


I swallowed a cherry pit. From a big, golden Rainier cherry, the kind my mother used to buy in cans marketed as Queen Anne cherries. I once believed that most fruits grew in cans. It is lodged at the base of my throat. I marked the spot with a dab of Blue Flame Mask, in case I need a tracheotomy.

I asked Flip what would happen to me. He was watching a Law and Order rerun. At first I thought he didn't hear me, so I asked him again. "Your hymen will grow back," he said. "It already did," I replied. There was nothing he could say to that. Absolutely nothing. He went back to his show.

I went back to worrying about the effects of swallowing something that was threatening my life. I could barely eat more cherries around it. "Drink some water," said Flip.

"I did. It didn't help."

"Well, drink some more."

"I'm tired of water."

Someone else got shot on Law and Order.

"Do you think I need an ambulance?" I asked.

"Nah, they're already dead."

"I'll probably have a cherry tree growing out of my mouth by morning." The police had themselves a perp. I started to hiccup. "Birds will nest in it. The roots will strangle all my organs, one by one. You will see."

The cat struggled out of my arms and nestled in his lap. He stroked her lovingly. After two dozen half-time commercials, the lawyer segment of the show began. The pretty blond woman ADA believed the perp was innocent. The men wanted a conviction. She sulked, prettily. It turned out she was right. The perp didn't do it. He was covering for his friend. She got fired. The lawyers are the most dangerous people on that show.

Flip will be sorry when it turns out that I'm right, too. When I'm gone, and all he has to remember me is a big cherry tree with birds' nests in it. He'll be sorry he didn't take me more seriously. And his little cat, too.


Mara said...

When I was little, I was convinced that swallowing a fruit pip would cause a great big tree to pop out of my mouth and I would stop talking, but at least I'd have a pretty sight every day to literally look up to. So I took it very seriously,eating the whole apple, gulping down whole olives (their pips actually help the stomach)and tracking down every single orange seed I could find. Didn't work, I still have to look at the world everyday.
They got me, their pretty, me and my little dog too...

yinyang said...

Cherry pits are biodegradable, I think, so it should clear on it's own. I don't know how long that would take, though, so you could go to an urgent care facility and they'd remove it - I'm sure they've done weirder things than that.

eastcoastdweller said...

Seed swallowing is not recommended. The seeds of fruit in the rose family, such as apples, actually contain a small amount of cyanide. But I think it's released only if you chew them.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Flip obviously isn't taking you seriously enough. To get his attention, I suggest you upgrade to swallowing coconuts! That ought to get his attention! LoL.

Judith said...

Lets just hope it breaksdown inside properly know what I mean? Guys - typical isnt it? you could be choking a blue stink and it wouldnt be enough but if they catch a cold all of a sudden its nose cancer..

eastcoastdweller said...

Someone once complimented my writing skills by stating that I could "write a great and interesting article" about the most ordinary of things.

I think You have that gift, too, Heart.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

What a minute. Is there a connection between you swallowing a cherry pit and having a bit of a tummy? Perhaps that is all it is. No need of exercise, just some pruning.

Do please write a post if you do have a cherry tree growing in your tummy, ok

la cubana gringa said...

If you start growing cherries, can I have some?

Ian Lidster said...

I remember that episode of L&O. Isn't it the one where the blonde ADA says when she gets fired, in a complete non sequitur, "Is it because I'm a lesbian?" Land sakes, who knew? More to the point, who cared?
Now, about your cherry pit. I almost peed my pants at the hymen comment. And, of course, with my perverse mind, that was where I went, too. I'm so ashamed.
Anyway, what was the ultimate denouement of the pit?


Christina_the_wench said...

We're talking Law and Order here. Priorities, heart. Of course it isn't CSI Miami.CSI Miami always warrants family neglect.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I could never stop talking. I have tried to take a vow of silence for one hour, and never made it.


I'm afraid the urgent care facility would also remove my larynx, or tonsils.


Cherry, apricot and peach pits also contain cyanide.

So I'm really doomed, then?


That would also get MY attention.

Are you saying I have a big mouth?


It's true. So I think I'm entitled to a little hypochondria, too.


Thank you. I can die now.


Or maybe a bit of weed-eating. Put down the weapon, and nobody will get hurt.

La Cubana,

Ah, the new Hypocratic Oath: First, do no cherries.


Yes, that one. I wondered if the actress was making a statement since as you said, it was a complete non sequitur.

I'm sure that you and Flip would be a great comfort to one another.


Jesse L. Martin kicks David Caruso's ass.

The Atavist said...

The story was cute, but the telling of it was sublime. You weave a fine tale.

The Moon Topples said...

I am sad as well, because now your blog will be all about photosynthesis.

Hope you overcome the cherry bomb.

The cyanide contained within seeds is only a tiny amount. There have been reports of people eating apple seeds to develop an immunity to the deadly poison. I have no idea if this is a legitimate strategy.

mcewen said...

Too darned right he will!

I think Yinyang is mistaken, they just become petrified [turn into real stones]

Additionally, I understand is that the Cherry stone travels down the digestive track and lodges in the appendix, from whence it grows into a tree via every internal organ and blood vessel you possess - or at least that's what my mum said.

As you can see, we Brits are famous for our medical knowledge.

furiousBall said...

that cat is gonna love you if you have a family of birds living in you.

thailandchani said...

You do seem to swallow some strange things, don't you? Last time.. prunes?

Okay. What ultimately happened with the cherry pit?




meno said...

Please take a picture of the resulting tree for us. Or have your obviously heartless husband do it.

I think those trees in the Wizard of Oz were apple trees, so you might have to swallow some of those.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


My tail and I thank you.


From what I've read, the amount of cyanide in most pits is minimal, and is called "sweet cyanide" to distinguish it from the lethal kind.

Eating them to develop an immunity is similar to the theory behind vaccinations and homeopathic medicine, but who actually expects to be poisoned and feels the need to do this?


Well, it's a damn good thing I no longer have an appendix, then.

Could you please ask your mum what happens in such a case?

I still have my tonsils, if that's any help.


Especially if I pluck them, cook them just right, and cram them into tiny cans.


You've noticed that propensity of mine, have you?

I think it's still lodged in my throat, despite having just consumed lunch. Apparently, it intends to stay there until I least suspect it, then wham! It will make its evil move and I'll be flat on the floor with my feet in the air like a dead bird.

See above.


My.obviously.heartless.husband. YEAH!!! What she said.

The tree is just a sapling now, but I'll have the OHH take a portrait as soon as it's big enough for a swing, like maybe tomorrow.

Voyager said...

But think how lovely you will look in April covered in pink blossoms.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Yes, but think of George Washington.

jen said...

wouldn't it be gorgeous to have a cherry tree growing out of our mouths. might make breathing tricky, but still.

The CEO said...

You are such a good writer. Still, when getting one's attention continues to fail because of the TV, get out the knife from hell and simply cut the electric cord as you explain the problem. Details won't be too necessary. Do you know about resplicing a piece of electrical cord? Do you have any electrical tape at home?

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Yes, but it might be hard to get through doors.

The image reminds me of the fable about a girl who was so sweet that every time she spoke, rubies and pearls spilled from her lips. My mother was fond of that one, especially after I developed a bad case of Sailer's Mouth in school.

Thanks for visiting. I've read your comments at the homes of several mutual friends.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I do know how to splice wires. But then, I would have missed the end of the Law and Order rerun, too.

Flip responds instantly to the sight of blood, and if I ever fainted, he'd probably notice that as well.

Josie said...

I've always had a phobia of swallowing an avacado pit. Don't ask me why, because I probably couldn't even get it in my mouth anyway.

I know if you get a fish bone stuck in your throat, eating a piece of dry bread usually dislodges it. Does that work for cherry pits?

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I'm sure you couldn't, but phobias are by definition irrational.

I love avocados and foolishly believe that they cannot hurt me.

The dry bread didn't work. Maybe it was the wrong kind of bread.

urban-urchin said...

more than likely you scratched your throat, and the pit is already making its way toward the exit...

feel better!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


You're probably right. We'll never know for sure because I'm going to take it on faith.

The Moon Topples said...

Spies, that's who.

Sienna said...

Hearts you don't have any diverticulum of the oesophagus do you? Little herniated prolapse of the oesophagus wall?

It's just some folk do and eating peanuts and accidently swallowing seeds and pips and stuff can sometimes accumulate in these little pouches..

They are usually diagnosed through a barium meal swallow (dye is swallowed and successive xrays taken as it passes down the upper alimentary tract).

Sometimes the *feeling* of the object still stuck there can be from these little pouches, or also the stone may have scratched the inner lining... you go to the Doctor and make sure if it's not right, okay?

I'm worried about you.


heartinsanfrancisco said...




I never knew any of that, but I'm sure I'll be fine.

I once had a Barium swallow x-ray session. The doctor acted like it was a fashion shoot, "Turn left, darling," ""Good, good, turn right," for about an hour. I do poorly with bad-tasting substances, and couldn't swallow it fast enough.

It was an experience I don't wish to repeat.

The CEO said...

I'll get the hang of this commenting thing one day. I keep solving the wrong problem (grin).

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Cutting the TV wires would have been overkill since I was already dying.

That's the One-death-at-a-time Rule.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

You know, Hearts, between the moldy prunes and the cherry pits, you may have an inordinately original orchard growing before you know it.

You'll look lovely amidst all the blossoms, I am sure.

Good luck, again.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Open Grove Claudia said...

Was it painful to have your hymen grow back? I think that might hurt.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I am an orchard unto myself. I think there might be room for a nice peach tree in there, too. I'll see what I can do.


It's the deflowering part that hurts. I may just keep this one.

Odat said...

Well I hope you get to read this comment rather than shed your shade over it...

Melanie said...

I love Ranier cherries! sorry to hear you are going to become a cherry tree though. i love your writing.

I love law and order too. :giggles:

seventh sister said...

Are you still alive? Has the cherry tree started growing yet? Where's old George Washington with his ax?

I am picturing you as Daphne of the Cherries.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I am a tree who can read. I am, in fact, the tree of knowledge. Didn't you know that?


Perhaps I will become a cherry tree who also writes. I promise I'll try, anyway.

Pretty nail polish!


I think I am going to be a topiary. I can feel the branches following the lines of my body from within, straight up the back and spreading outward where my arms are.

I will have beautiful flowers.

Who is Daphne, though?

dragonflyfilly said...

yeah, i came by to check if you are still seems you hare...but i guess i will have to wait until a new post is up!

pj at "Flamingo's Hideaway"

Princess Banter said...

Attagirl! Cherry pits and all! Hahaha! I do love the hymen bit -- just priceless! I'm gonna have to steal that one... one of these days...

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Thanks for checking in. Sorry to disappoint you.


I wouldn't have thought that anyone would want to do that twice, but that's just me.

seventh sister said...

Daphne was the daughter of the river god who was persued by Apollo. She did not want to be taken by him so Artemis,goddess of the woods, allowed her to turn into a laurel tree so that she could stay in the woods forever.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I wish I had some laurels to rest on.

This all came about because Apollo was disrespectful to Eros, which goes to show that you must not f*** with love.

Bobby said...

Hi. Nice blog, I followed links in. I hope you don't get a stomach ache. I agree with Judith. I know that if I had swallowed a cherry pit, I'd be doing google searches and calling doctor offices and calling in sick for work.

dragonflyfilly said...

hah hah, not sure if you mean disappoint because you are still here, or because there is not a new post up!!! ??? *chuckle*

chat soon, cheers for now,

heartinsanfrancisco said...


It isn't easy being a drama queen. So much to remember. I appreciate your helpful suggestions.

I hope you didn't get a vicarious stomach ache from my cherry pit.

Thank you for coming by. It's nice to meet you.


I meant disappointed that there was no new post, but now that you mention it...

I don't think I have blogger's block - I'm just feeling lazy.

Pawlie Kokonuts said...

Brilliant. Your dialogue reminds me of the truncated conversations of "Short Cuts," which was really more Robert Altman than Raymond Carver. Brilliant.

Jocelyn said...

The interspersing with the L and A show here? Terrific.

Just trim the tree periodically, and you should be able to continue traveling with the circus.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Ohhh, it doesn't get any better than being compared to Robert Altman.

Thank you.


My roommate hates it when my leaves get stuck in her beard.

CS said...

Of course, Flip would have an endless supply of cherries, so it wouldn't be all negative for him...

heartinsanfrancisco said...


He could sell them at the farmers market.

I'd have to stay home, though, for being rootbound.

Molly said...

This reminded me of "A Nauseous Nocturne",the introduction to "The Essential Calvin and Hobbes," by Bill Waterson, especially the verse:

"They may not mind at first, I know.
They will miss me later, though,
And perhaps admit that they were wrong.
As memories of me grow dim,
They'll say, "We were too strict with him.
We should have listened to him all along."

God, I miss Calvin and Hobbes.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I do, too. I LOVE Calvin!

"Can I have a bazooka if I promise to play with it outside?"


And then, The Look. The black thundercloud eyebrows scrunched together teeth gritted LOOK.

Great stuff!!

velvet said...

The blossoms will be pretty in spring. You won't even need accessories.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


That is such a comfort. Think of the money I'll save.

I feel so much better now.