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» I'm going to Hell...

The cancer incident.
It's, I think, time for me to pop my proverbial qotw-cherry, because for the first time I actually have a story to tell instead of just lurking.

This story is well known in my circle of friends as the cancer incident, and I've been constantly reminded of it for the last six years to their endless enjoyment. If it doesn't grant me passage to the place below, nothing will.

Six years ago, I still had "plans for the future" and other naive ideas, and as such, I went to university. This was around 550 km from my home, and thus I had to get a proper place to live. This was not easy - which is a completely irrelevant story at this point, so to make a long story shortish, I managed to get hold of a room at the first day of school in the apartment of an old lady who was originally from my neck of the woods.
It was a nice apartment, I got my own toilet, and we shared kitchen. Her husband, second one, around 75 years old, and I used to sit up late drinking whisky and watching Jackass many a late night. Suffice to way, it was awesome.

The lady herself, also somewhere around early seventies in age, had a small obsession about eating and living healthy. She was doing qigong and nordic walking and all that crap, ate basically only steamed food, and so on. She constantly told me, while I was cooking, to not use that much salt, and don't sear that steak, you'll get cancer and die! One particular quirk was her coffee habits.

To expand a little here, where I'm from, cowboy coffee made in a proper kettle is the only acceptable brew. We might move to big cities around the world, go to operas, save lifes and recieve words of praise from kings, presidents and dictators - but we will not quit our kettled coffee, dagnabbit! Now, my landlady here insisted on only drinking instant coffee. And since she had no proper utensils and I was using her kitchen, that forced me into drinking that despicable bile as well. After one semester of that shit I had had it up to here, here being somewhere around my neck in this case.

This is where my tale of woe begins. I went in to my landlady's reading room to pay my rent before going home a couple of weeks for christmas. After the paper work had been taken care of, I told the lady that when I was coming back, I'd bring a proper kettle so we could get real coffee. As I'd expected, she smiled, looked at me and said "That stuff will just give you cancer". Now, I'd grown a bit tired of these warnings at this point, so I looked nonchalantly back and said "Some cancer never killed anyone".
She responded with a short "Oh, I do believe it has". This is the point where I should have admitted my defeat and backed down. But no. Not me.
"Name one." That's what I answered. "Name one."

In retrospect, it's quite obvious that I was lost at this point. I knew the response before hearing it. The health obsession had to come from somewhere, right? Time slowed down, and the lady's eyes where sternly locked with mine. "My husband." This is where I finally chose to shut up. Long silence, before awkward apology. I'd heard this information before. Long loving marriage, three kids, bowel cancer hits, two years of endless pain and screaming before the sweet relief of death. I only wish that i'd recalled that before opening my mouth.

To make matters worse, when I moved in, her new hubby had just removed a melanoma from his face and walked around looking like a mummy for a couple of weeks.

I didn't bring any kettle when I returned.
(Sun 14th Dec 2008, 0:26, More)