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3:54pm on Thursday, 27th December, 2007:

Chestnuts, Roasting


My father-in-law gave us some chestnuts to eat over Christmas, and this year we actually remembered them. Yesterday, we took a few, stabbed Xs into them, and chucked them in the microwave for a minute or so.

The first one my wife gave me was absolutely perfect. It was exactly what you want in a chestnut: warm, moist, flavourful and with no bits of alarmingly alien colour. I took another, opened it up, popped it into my mouth, and — aAAgh! It was dry. Worse, it wasn't just dry, it was drying. Within a second of biting it, my mouth was a desiccated cavern, and still it wanted more. It was like sawdust, absorbing all moisture within range (including what was supposed to be protected by skin).

I spat it out, but had crunched it up so much there were bits in there I could still feel, sucking all the saliva they could inside them and then teleporting it to another universe so as to store it all. I flushed my mouth with water and got some more out, but there were still a few bits in awkward places that remained at work, their having been submerged in water for several seconds having had no effect on their capacity. I slooshed around some more and managed to spit out all that remained, except one piece stuck between my teeth.

Interestingly, I've had to live nearly 48 years before first experiencing the sensation that moisture was being drawn out of one of my teeth.

Frantic attempts to dislodge this last remaining piece of chestnut by mechanical means (ie. fingernails) were fortunately successful, and my mouth began its long process of recovery.

Wow, who knew chestnuts could do that? They should use them to soak up oil spills in the Atlantic.

It's just as well I was at home, where a supply of running water is only a few seconds away. If I'd bought that nut from one of those guys with braziers in London, I'd have been a gonner...

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Copyright © 2007 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).