I sneaked into West's Hayward Dairy, cloaked like a dope fiend in an opium den.
After excruciating gout last week, my Hayward friends more than promised to shame me about eating foods that give me the dreaded condition.
But I can't go stone cold.
My secret entry undisclosed, I looked at the 40 flavors, overwhelmed by choice. Is this what it's like to buy pot in a legal state?
I finally spied something more tantalizing than pot or opium: blueberry cheesecake ice cream. I quickly ordered a bowl -- small -- before the gout cops were on me.
And oh, the treat was worth it. Imagine high-end ice cream liberally spiked with cheesecake, in turn notched with blueberries. Add to it the occasional delightful crunch of the Graham Cracker crust.
I gorged so that should a gout cop wander past, I would be undercover again, happily sated, an innocent empty cup in front of me.
I ate so fast.
"How is the ice cream?" a server asked.
"Goo," I said.
"I'm sorry," she said in the form of a question.
"I crea goo," I said
She approached me with the face of concern.
"Sir, are you OK?"
I grasped what was happening.
"Torry," I said. "Mah tong num."
She smelled for alcohol on my breath and finding none she became more concerned.
"Your face seems contorted, sir."
"Dat i crea in my chee," I said, as slowly and clearly as I could. I had stored the remaining blueberry cheesecake in my cheek, using my tongue to flick bits of the cold dessert into my throat trying to hit my uvula -- sorry for the language. Consider it the world's tiniest and coldest game of jai alai.
"Sir, I think you're having a stroke," she said.
"No, no troke," I pleaded. "Goo goo i crea tong num."
"Sir, I'm calling medical services."
Oh you know they're going to be gout cops. Even though my tongue would eventually thaw, I needed to get out out of there.
"No," I said. "I goo goo. I goo goo go ni ni now."
And I bolted. Except -- except -- the gout had already curled my toes and started gnawing on my leg joints. I stood and made a noise reminiscent of any manner of the ungulate -- hooved animals.
Instead I fled like the Elephant Man from his tormentors, heaving and lurching and still trying to explain my condition.
"I goo goo go ni ni now," I said at the doorway, and then tried to paraphrase the Elephant Man with my numb tongue.
"I not an Emema."
And off I was into the night.
Peace and blueberry cheesecake ice cream unto all of you my brothers and sisters.