Courtesy of YouTube

Ellen was there too

Mike Pomranz
September 14, 2018

Earlier this week, LeBron James and Channing Tatum appeared in a segment on Ellen, where the pair participated in ridiculous dares to raise money for James’s new I Promise School—a partnership between the LeBron James Family Foundation and Akron Public Schools.

For one of those dares, James was blindfolded, and as Ellen explains, “You’re gonna lick a mystery item and you’re gonna let me know what it is.” (Jump to 2:00 in the video below.)

Spoiler alert: The item was a whole kiwi, furry outer layer and all. And incredibly, LeBron identifies it as a kiwi on his first guess. Pretty impressive, right? But the real story here is what he says afterward: “The first thing that came to mind, I thought it was an ass,” he tells Ellen. “And I was like, ‘Ellen wouldn’t do that to me.’”

OK, there are plenty of roads we could go down from here… enough inappropriate and, frankly, dumb jokes to keep a middle school classroom laughing for days. But obviously—for a ton of very obvious reasons—James knows he isn’t licking an actual ass. Beyond the fact that he’s on TV, the pure logistics of making him lick an ass would be extremely difficult.

So instead, let’s look at a deeper question: Is there any truth to LeBron’s joke? Does licking a kiwi really resemble licking an ass? To be fair, I’ve never licked a kiwi before, but I happen to have one right here… and I’m licking it as I write.

Licking a kiwi is not a pleasant experience. I don’t think a literal comparison to an ass would be fitting, but a figurative comparison isn’t far off. Thinking of what I would compare it to anything, my first instinct was to say some cheap stuffed toy, though moments later, the thought of licking a tennis ball came to mind. I also have a tennis ball, which I have just licked, and though far from identical, I think it’s close enough.

But overall, no, I wouldn’t say that licking a kiwi is like licking an ass in any substantial way. At least not in my experience.

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