Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Watermelon led to my Divorce

Watermelon seeds are responsible for my divorce. I love watermelon. Unfortunately, my former husband, John, did not. He despised anything to do with watermelons, particularly the seeds.

He hated watermelon seeds so much that after a few years of wedded bliss, these seemingly innocuous black ovules caused him to fly into a blind, murderous rage. In a flurry of watermelon induced madness he massacred the last and final watermelon I ever brought into our marriage.

I had never seen this psychotic side of John before, although if anything was going to make him lose it, watermelon seeds would be the thing. The only time I ever saw him get agitated about ANYTHING was when watermelon seeds were involved. The rest of the time, during our marriage anyway, he was pretty much sedate, much like any insentient object – perhaps a watermelon but without the color or finesse.

The first summer of our union that I brought a watermelon home from the market, John was mildly annoyed. He said he was not a watermelon fan and would prefer it if I refrained from buying them.

"Watermelons have NO redeeming qualities," he informed me with disdain.

"They are 95% water and seeds. If you're thirsty, drink a glass of water! There's much less mess that way. Besides, there's nothing appealing about the taste of watermelon. You don't hear people say, 'I'm thirsty; I could really use a drink of watermelon' do you? NO! They want a sports drink or plain water. Watermelon is disgusting and nobody wants to drink it."

"Don't be absurd," I retorted with a laugh. "Watermelons are tasty and refreshing and an excellent source of vitamin C. They also happen to be MY favorite fruit."

And herein was the root of our irreconcilable differences.

"That's fine," John countered, "but I LOATHE watermelon and if you have any respect for me as your husband you won't bring another one of those monstrosities into this house!"


"Yeah, that's right," he snarled. "A fruit shouldn't be that big. It's a stupid size for a fruit. Why can't they make a watermelon the size of a grapefruit? There is no place to put a watermelon because it's so huge! You have to use a whole roll of Saran Wrap to cover it and even that can't keep it from leaking all over the fridge! You need a freaking garbage bag to contain the thing!"

"But...," he sputtered with bits of spittle spewing from his mouth, "do you know what the worst thing about a watermelon is?!"

John had really worked himself up into a lather and there was no stopping him.

"The worst part is the seeds! You find seeds for weeks on the bottoms of your feet and in between your toes! And don't tell me there is any such thing as a 'seedless' watermelon! They should be called the 'not so easy to see' or the ‘not as many seeds as regular watermelon’ melons!"

I had never heard John say so many words at one sitting. His rant, however, did not prevent me from bringing more watermelons into the house. Every watermelon season I continued to purchase the fruit unabated. In turn, John's rage escalated in direct proportion to the growing heap of watermelon rinds I haphazardly tossed in our compost.

The last straw (or final seed) came in the ninth year of marriage. I was in bed reading when I heard a horrible kind of screeching, yowling, stampeding sound. It was like a cat was being ganged up on by a porcupine and a hippopotamus, and one of these creatures was in terrible pain.

It turned out the creature was John. He burst into the bedroom like a wild beast, and thrust a black watermelon seed in my face, "I found SEVEN of these things stuck to my foot and THIS one was INSIDE my big toe!"

Unmoved, I replied, "That's weird – how could it get 'inside' your big toe? Do you mean it was stuck between your toes again?" 

He was heaving and angrily glared at me with flaring nostrils. He was ridiculous. How could anyone not laugh under these circumstances?

"Oh, you think this is FUNNY?!”, he screeched. “That's IT! I'm putting an end to these watermelons once and for all!"

He stormed out of the room as fast as he came in.

Then suddenly, for the first time in our marriage, his watermelon rage did not seem so comical and I felt a twinge of alarm. I got out of bed and ran after him to see what he was going to do and possibly stop him from doing it.

There he was, with the glint of hysteria in his eyes and a butcher knife held up high over his head. 

I screamed "Stop!" and lunged forward, but it was too late. He plunged the knife into the watermelon over and over again, with chunks of red flesh splattering all over the kitchen and all over John.

I tried to wrestle the knife from him, but he'd already massacred that watermelon to an unrecognizable, pulpy abomination of nature. By the time he let go of the knife, he had crumpled to the floor, amidst the watermelon carnage, and proceeded to sob uncontrollably.

Needless to say, that was the end of John and our marriage. The last I heard, he had to be institutionalized during a business trip to China. Apparently he had a mental breakdown while scouting a new venture: The Zhen Institute of Watermelon.

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