The Time I Thought I Was Dying (But It Turns Out I Totally Wasn’t)

raw beet

In the past I discussed this little studio apartment where I lived in my mid-twenties.  I have written about some of my experiences there, such as the time I drank some bad malt liquor and had an accident, and how I fell in love with the girl who lived across the way.

Here’s another story that I’m sure many of you can relate to (and yes, I know you aren’t supposed to end sentences with prepositions, but it still works conversationally so I don’t care).

I used to be a juicing freak.  No, not steroids.  I’m talking about making freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juice.  I’ve owned four different juicers over the years if that clues you into my obsession.

It’s ironic that I juice since I often eat fast food and hardly exercise.  But anyway.

I had never thought of juicing a beet before.  One of the guys I worked with, Kevin, told me they were great for your liver.  Since I was a pretty awful booze-bag, this seemed like a good idea.  If you haven’t seen a raw beet, they’re kind of intimidating.  They’re really hard and big.

raw beet
Like a pomegranate if it tasted like shit.

Trying to cut into a beet is not easy.  You need a decent knife.  Also, do it in the sink, because your hands will look like you just committed homicide.  It will freak you out.  If you get any of it on your clothes, you may as well toss ’em.  I cut beets with my shirt off and my chest hair would end up looking like Ralph Malph’s head.

ralph malph
Great hair - unfortunate color.

Okay, let’s move this story along.  Actually to the end.  So I juiced a beet and mixed it with spinach and six other vegetables.  Yes, I know – this is riveting storytelling.  An hour later I went to the water closet.

Now, if you know what I’m going to say next, YOU KNOW WHAT I’M GOING TO SAY NEXT.

I nearly fainted.  If you’ve never experienced what I’m talking about, I’m sure you have a pretty good idea.  Beets do a very interesting thing to your insides.  I really have no idea what, but man is it intense.

Because when you go to make number one, it will test your ability to not pass out.

We’ve all giggled about how asparagus makes your pee smell.  And by the way, I would amend that with “makes your pee smell AWESOME” – it’s like a little magic trick you can do with your body.  God, that’s fun.

Beets do something fun too, but you have to know in advance.  And somehow, my entire life, nobody had clued me into this craziness. Maybe less people know because beets sort of suck?  Nobody really hits the raw beet aisle over asparagus at the grocer.

I was trembling and I called Kevin.  “Hey man, do beets, uh, make things red?  Because I may be dying.”

He was laughing when he told me, “Same thing happened to me!  I freaked out!  Yes, they turn your pee red.  Wait until you see what they do to your shit!”

He was totally right.