Thursday, October 16, 2014

stinkgo trees

Christ, I hate ginkgo trees. First, the very word "ginkgo" is annoying because I only recently realized I've been spelling it wrong this entire time (yeah: I've been writing it as "gingko"). Then there's the matter of those fucking berries. If you've never seen a ginkgo tree, you should know that it's got small, pretty, fan-shaped leaves, and that it produces berries that look like a shrunken version of French mirabelles (see here).

But unlike mirabelles, which can be made into a very tasty, pleasantly fragrant jam, ginkgo berries are malodorous, leprous rabbit-raisins from God's own putrefying asshole. Once they hit the ground and start rotting, it's all over.* I've tried to reassign the horrible stench of rotting ginkgo berries to a more cheese-like category, but I'm not quite able to map the odor onto any cheese I'm familiar with. Obviously, I'm mentally searching through the stinkier cheeses, but not one of the ones I know has quite the same scent as a rotting ginkgo berry. Earlier today, I wrote a poem on Twitter about this damnable fruit:

How do ginkgo berries smell?
Like fetid underwear from hell?
Like cats that vomit gouts of hair
Right up my ass, then leave it there?

Malcolm Pollack very quickly added his own verse:

Like sweaty, skanky, stinky feet?
Like rancid cheese in summer's heat?
Like the stuff our bodies must expel?
Yep, that's how ginkgo berries smell.

Wikipedia says that ginkgo trees are classified as living fossils, to which I respond that I don't give an ass-fuck. Who cares how venerable they are? They stink! And as much as Koreans supposedly love this tree, it's clear that not all of them do. My daily walk to campus takes me past the very dignified-looking Ambassador Hotel, and it didn't take long for me to notice that, on the Ambassador's property, there is not a single ginkgo tree, even though the noisome vegetation lines the street on either side of the hotel. Whoever designed the hotel grounds knew enough to keep those trees off the premises, because no one wants to associate the Ambassador Hotel with leprous forearm stumps, bullet-shattered scrotums, cheese made from earwax and mucus, and piles of rotting corpses.

The berry-bearing trees are apparently female (yes, Virginia, there is sex in the plant world). The male trees don't make a stink at all, which is quite the opposite of how things normally are in the human world. While I don't consider myself anti-female, I'll make an exception in this case and propose that every single ginkgo tree-bitch be summarily napalmed off the face of the Earth. If this means the male ginkgo trees will have no choice but to take the homosexual route, I say go for it. You have my blessing.

Christ, I hate ginkgo trees.

*Read about "stink trees" in Queens, and the attendant Korean-blaming, here. Read the comments as well; I laughed out loud at the comment from a guy going by "Matt."



  1. The first part of my walk to school is lined with ginkgo trees. The past week or so have been unpleasant.

    That being said, the seeds are actually pretty tasty.

  2. Well, there you go: another "Chopped" ingredient.

  3. In college I recall a lovely large ginkgo tree in front of our main administration building. When the berries fell and rotten we liked to call it the "fartberry tree."

    That said, i had some ginkgo berry jam once and it was pretty tasty as I recall.

  4. I have two ginkgo trees in my backyard. I can confirm that when the berries fall and start to rot, the smell precisely like two-day-old dog shit. There are many times I thought I'd stepped in a pile of my dog's leavings only to discover a crushed ginkgo berry.

  5. So now I'm all curious about comestible ginkgo products. I imagine there must be an extremely brief window of opportunity, between when a berry falls and when it begins to rot (a matter of a single day, if experience is any indication), during which ginkgo berries can be harvested and processed into something more or less palatable. Hard to imagine, but if two of you have tried ginkgo products and survived without growing hair on your tongues, or growing tongues out of your anuses, then there must be something to this.



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