Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Tongue Tied

Some years ago, I trained an undergraduate who'd come to our laboratory for the summer to learn basic molecular biology. It was the summer of 2000...or was it 2001? I forget.

She was a very bright young lady. Quick as a whip. But her intelligence wasn't what impressed me the most.

I was mostly impressed by the fact that she had the amazing ability to tie the stem of a cherry with her tongue. Don't ask me how we even got on the subject of tying cherry stems with your tongue. I just remember that she was eating cherries one day, she said she could do it, and I challenged her.

She popped a stem in her mouth and made a couple of faces, a clear sign that she was working her mojo. In less than 30 seconds, she stuck out her tongue and presented a perfectly tied cherry stem.

Hot damn. Of course I wanted to learn. And Lord knows I tried. But I could never get it. I stopped trying when my tongue released a bent stem and sent it flying to the back of my throat.

I choked a little.

I had cherries last night, in case you're wondering why I even thought of this story. There was a pile of cherry pits and stems sitting in front of me, and I thought, since I am older and wiser, that I could try my hand at tying the stem again.

The stem was more green last night. I took the pic this morning when it got all crunchy and brown.

I'm going to practice a little more before I pull out my little trick at parties.