Not sure when it started, but for as long as I can remember I have never had a significant amount of fruit intake in my diet. The amount that I've had has been negligible to the point as to be mathmatically considered as insignificant. The last memory of me even having fruit was when I was about 4. A baby sitter gave me a banana. I rember that gamey flavor that only bananas can have. The closest thing that I can compare it to is that fake banana flavor like that is in banana flavored candy. The cloyingly sweet yet ranky overpowering sweetness that is found in bananna flavored gum. After that I just couldn't stand it and avoided fruit all together. It wasn't till I was 9 or so that out of sheer desperation that I ate an orange. I actually enjoyed it. Since then it was pretty much the only fruit that I would eat (I've been told that Lemons do not count as a fruit).
Once I joined the army it was pretty much the same thing, complete and total fruit avoidance. Out of sheer bordom and having spent a multitude of hours lying on the floor of the German forrest in camoflage with a machine gun I did bring myself to try blueberries. They were everywhere. They grew nautral and wild in the German underbrush. It was impossible to avoid them. I'd return back from Italy with all of my uniforms stained from lying in blueberries. After awhile the stains would just no longer come out. One time during one of the many training exercises of being lost patrolling around the German woods I ran into a thicket of brambles and thorns. Much to my suprise and on closer inspection I found that the canes of thorned brambles contained blackberries and raspberries. Upon giving them a try I found that I really liked them with my favoring the raspberries more than the blackberries. Although I had found something new in the fruit family it would be quite some time until I would add them into a regular regimen.
Just recently I was in a supermarket with my family and we were talking about diet and somehow I mentioned out loud during the conversation. "I don't eat fruit."
Standing next to me was an older woman, probably in her late 60s or early 70s. Instinctually and instantameously she punched me in the arm. It wasn't very hard. I'd like to think that she did it out of disbeleif and as a reaction to my statement. At the same time she hit me she blurted out, "You don't eat fruit? You are gonna to die!"
Having been accosted by a complete and total stranger several red flags popped up in my mind:
(not in any particular order)
1. I've just been hit by an old woman
2. Personal space violation
3. I don't know you; stranger danger
Now, not knowing her I could have reacted immediatly out of indignation with a statement such as, "unhand me woman," or "good God, I don't know who you are and why are you touching me." But for some strange reason I found myself calm and recognized the moment for its comedic potential. I calmly moved my position, stood next to her, put one arm around her and with my other arm outstreached looked out into the distance as if to share a vision. I move my hand slightly across the horizon of the supermarket aisleway as if to highlight a line of imaganary text and said,
"And on his gravestone it read: He ate no fruit."
There was just a moment of hesitation as I could see that she at first did not get it. Then the neurons connected, and we all burst out laughing.
I then quickly proceeded to the register with my wife and daugher to pay for our groceries and to get away from my strange new acquaintance.