Have you been trying to stay healthy by eating a lot of fresh vegetables? You have? Then stop right now, because it's bad for you.
Yeah, I know: You heard it was good for you, with all the vitamins and fiber and such. Turns out the people who told you that are a bunch of screwball green-heads all twisted up on in their own communal garden fantasies.
Eating fresh vegetables can kill you, and it's a very unpleasant way to go, too. It's not quick like the heart attack you get from smoking, boozing and eating fast food chased with sugary caffeine-loaded drinks.
If fresh vegetables get to you, you're going to melt down inside and hose out your behind.
That's because of cyclosporiasis, caused by an intestinal parasite that since mid-June has infiltrated the small intestines of 321 people in Georgia, Florida, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, Connecticut, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio
and New York City.
At least 18 people have been hospitalized.
OK ... so, it hasn't killed anyone yet, apparently. But that's just a matter of time, because news reports say the symptoms are watery trots that can linger two months, plus gut cramps, windbaggery, stomach queasies and zombiness.
At least it makes you wish you were dead.
You may ask yourself: What has this got to do with fresh vegetables?
Scientists suspect people's plumbing got bugged from eating fresh vegetables contaminated with cyclospora, sometimes smuggled into the crisper on feces-tainted plants.
The gut bug also is found on fruit and in water. Investigators have yet to pinpoint a precise source for this outbreak.
But they know it's not from overseas travel, because sufferers hadn't been jet-setting. Lucky for them, too, because a lot of times airline workers won't let you get up and knock old ladies over rushing to a jetliner's closet restroom.
So if you're eating too many fresh vegetables, stop before you hurt yourself. The feds say you can reduce your changes of getting gut flushed by carefully cleaning the kitchen counter and utensils before and after you cook, and of course, washing your hands.
Maybe the only vegetables safe to eat are those you grow yourself, if you don't contaminate them.
So if you've got one of those neighborhood gardens and one of the neighbors gets cyclosporiasis, you'd better fence it so he can't get in.
Then go get something safe to eat at Burger King.
Tim Chitwood, firstname.lastname@example.org, 706-571-8508.