WHARFTOWN, Mass. - Contaminated spinach is being blamed for the death yesterday of Popeye T. Sailorman, a colorful local character known for his massive forearms, his infectious laugh, and his decades-long rivalry with a local bully known only as Brutus.
Witnesses say Popeye had just squeezed open a can of spinach, forcing the contents to arc into the air and land in his open mouth--a feat of dexterity he had performed on numerous occasions without incident. Only after the elderly sailor dropped to the ground and began vomiting did the onlookers notice that the can was labeled Earthbound Farms, a brand of spinach recalled recently because of its link to an outbreak of e.coli.
"He was strong to the finish," said an acquaintance, Wimpy J. Wellington. "Well, except for when he was convulsing and screaming for a merciful end to the excruciatingly painful cramps, bloody diarrhea, and complete kidney failure."
Popeye's longtime girlfriend, Olive Oyl, released this statement: "Popeye was always ready to fight for my honor. It's one of life's bitter ironies that he was felled by the vegetable he loved most, the vegetable that gave him his incredible strength.
"I'll miss him," concluded Ms Oyl. "He was what he was."