CraftingFoodScienceSkepticismUncategorizedVisual Art

An art blog gets a lemon. She makes lemon art… badly

Hello, Mad Art Lab! I'm new here. My name's Elyse. Some people call me El Mofo… mostly I just call me El Mofo, but if you want to call me that, I'm down. You may or may not be familiar with my other endeavors such as spending the last 4 years blogging for, being an asshole on Twitter and running a little vaccine campaign known as Hug Me! I'm Vaccinated though the Women Thinking Free Foundation, a non-profit I founded to make women all skeptical like.  Now I'm a MAL blogger, and I'm here to make art-ish things. 

A little background on what makes me qualified to be an art blogger… In short: I'm not. In long: I spent the last year submitting awful art I made in MS Paint in an attempt to get the good artists here to let me be a part of the community. They said no. They claimed it wasn't that they didn't like me. It was just that my art was so ugly that they actually lost bloggers who were forced to gouge their eyes out after looking at it. I tried to explain that eye gouging was part of my artistic statement and suddenly I was being called by lawyers who wanted to know if I was claiming that the injuries sustained by MAL bloggers were "willful", "deliberate", or "malicious". I pretended that I forgot how to speak English until the statute of limitations expired. Then I painted some paintings… using real paint and an actual canvas. And I took a picture and Amy said that if I kept making art like that, I could blog here at Mad Art Lab. I pretended that I didn't hire people to hack into her computer to send me the invitation and now I''m here and you know nothing about any hacking… got it?

Let's forget about the hacking incident that DID NOT HAPPEN and get to the art and skepticism thing.

A few weeks ago, I got involved with a site full of naked women and pictures of food, Pinterest. Shortly after that, I came down with a 2 week bout of strep throat that left me mostly bedridden with exhaustion. During my awake times, I started browsing Pinterest for things that were interesting and things that I was totally going to do once I had the energy to do things again. I even made a pinboard for shit I'm totally doing.

But while I was browsing, I came across this ridiculous picture of a bowl of lemons. They were beautiful lemons… colored in all kinds of pretty rainbow colors. And the instructions said that to make this lemon centerpiece, all you had to do was inject the lemons with food coloring, then arrange them to look pretty. I looked at the picture and tried to figure out how the hell that would work.


How did they get the skin colored, but not the pith? How did the lemons get so evenly and brightly colored? And as I dug to find the seemingly nonexistent source of this lemon party bowl, I started to get the impression that this was really a lemony bowl of bullshit.

But does it matter? Everyone on Pinterest is going to make one of these for their next party… or so they say. What will happen when they do? I decided to find out with… AN EXPERIMENT! [dun dun dun]

I'm going to warn you now, if you're used to things that are nice looking and/or well photographed, you might want to browse away now. I'm only a fake artist and my only camera is my scratched-up not-working-right-since-I-dropped-it-in-the-toilet iPhone that for some reason only takes poster-sized low-resolution images.

So… to start, I got some lemons. Because really, I can't make a bowl of lemons without them. And those lemons were happy because I promised them they wouldn't be eaten if they came with me.

And they were really good sports as I pretended to eat one of them whole. We all had a good laugh about that. Lemons are surprisingly laid back.

So I explained the experiment to them… that they would be cut, and stabbed and waterboarded. But they would not, under any circumstances, be eaten. 

Then they got all disagreeable. I explained that they were no longer permitted to opt out of the experiment, so they needed to give me their consent… or I would eat them. So they did.

Having obtained consent from the lemons, I put together my experiment tools:

  • Lemons
  • Food coloring
  • Bowls
  • Giant syringe 

Then I remembered that I, as the experimenter, was also crucial to the experimenting process, so I took a picture of me, experimenting.


I also remembered that this is supposed to be art, I switched to the Hipstamatic app on my phone. (I was also predicting that this shit was about to get super boring because nothing was going to happen, so to entertain myself, I switched to Hipstamatic.) Now my science is also super arty!

I grabbed a lemon, and having its consent, I stabbed it and injected it with blue food coloring.

And took another picture from another angle because that's what an artist does. I give you perspective. How do you feel about the lemon being stabbed? What does it say to you?

Realizing my lemon wasn't doing much, I thought I'd try injecting it from another spot. Then all the food coloring starting pouring out from the original stab wound injection site.

Deciding that first lemon was just wasting my time, I moved on. I grabbed a new lemon, a new bowl of dye, and tried injecting from the top, or bottom… I'm not sure which is which with lemons. Maybe they're like the universe and there is no direction… only space. (I talk like that now. Because I'm an artist.) 

Nothing happened worth noting, so I moved on to another lemon, and decided to inject from the opposite end — the bottom, we'll call it (in off-chance any non-artists or non-astrophysicists are reading this). I grabbed my green dye, expecting nothing to happen, I didn't take a picture.

Then… THE LEMON FUCKING EXPLODED And it squirted JESUS' FACE all over my table! Lemon Guts Jesus! 

I thought that was a significant finding, so I took a picture. And not an art picture. A science picture… you can tell it's science because I didn't use my Hipstamatic.



Jesus tore his lemon mom a new one! For real!

Suddenly, this experiment was getting interesting. And the miracle Lemon Mother of Christ was even turning green! It was truly a blessed lemon! 


So I turned my Holy Lemon Lamb of God over and I noticed the area opposite the c-section scar was not very green at all. It's probably just a halo. I'm sure when I open this lemon, it will look exactly like Pinterest imagined it would. How could it not? Why would God send me a citrus message if he didn't want my experiment to turn out exactly like it would on Pinterest?

Then I noticed my red lemon was redder! Praise to Lemon Lord Jesus!

And it was also haloed! Halowed? Halo-ed? Halographed? Whatever. It glows with the head of a newly bursted LemonChrist.

The blue lemon, however, was far less impressive.



So it was time to unveil the holy lemons… and, it  turns out, my excitement over the resurrection of the Christian lord and savior was perhaps premature. These lemons were anything other than divine. Unless divine also means boring, weird looking, and likely to make your dinner guests beg you not to serve food because you've used obviously rotten lemons as a centerpiece for your awful party.

This portion of the experiment did, however, confirm that there is no god. So… at least there's that.

Then I had an idea! I was going to take a picture of myself having an idea then I was going to cut the lemons in half first and then inject them!

That.. didn't work.

It was so awful it confirmed my previous findings that there could never be a god.

Why would a god that loves us let this happen?!

That…. failed.

But I had another idea!

So I threw a bunch of not-so-virgin half lemons into my color bowls to let them soak, hoping nothing would explode, and kind of missing the part where I got to stab things.  

Oh… and I made it art-like.


And I even took a picture of the lemon grave-yard. But made it an art picture so it wasn't all morbid lemon carcases of failed messiahs.

I didn't know how long these lemons needed to soak, but I got bored and asked my daughter if she wanted to be my control.

Yes, I broke my promise to the lemons, but it was pretty much worth it.

Then to get revenge, my daughter posed nude on the internet. Which, she didn't realize I wouldn't care about because it's an ART blog and you can pretty much do anything naked and if it's art because then it's totally not shameful to the whole family. 

But I was still bored, waiting for these lemons to fucking turn pretty.

And I found a lemon zester! And thought I'd make a REAL control!

So I zested the lemon. In the interest of science, I should tell you that my plan actually had little to do with making a control… and everything to do with me just being bored and wanting to get drunk. So I made myself a little gin drink and threw in my control strip.


The results showed that my control lemon was the key to the world's happiness. The end!


Oh.. Right…. the bathing lemons. I flipped them over. They looked ridiculously stupid. I kept soaking them and drinking.

And took a close up.

An art close up!

A real art close up!

Finally, I  cleaned out an old vase and filled it up with my lemon art centerpiece, wondering how many pinterest boards this shit will be on…. besides mine.

PERSPECTIVE! (with intentional artistic soft-focus blur)

Look at that beautiful centerpiece!

I tried to take a picture of myself with the vase of lemons, but they kept falling down and landing in the food coloring bowls. I'm not sure if this was embarrassment over me, the experiment or they're just camera shy. No matter what, when a lemon who used to think it was Jesus tries to end its life, I take that threat seriously. And I throw that lemon back in a vase.

I also photgraph the attempt in case I need to file a claim with my insurance company.


And there you have it! Art! As seen on Pinterest!

(This is where I switch to a more artsy font because now I've proved I'm an artist.)




This is exactly the quality you can now expect from Mad Art Lab in the future. I'm sorry for ruining the internet for you.


Actually, I'm not sorry. I'm just drunk.


Elyse MoFo Anders is the bad ass behind forming the Women Thinking, inc and the superhero who launched the Hug Me! I'm Vaccinated campaign as well as podcaster emeritus, writer, slacktivist extraordinaire, cancer survivor and sometimes runs marathons for charity. You probably think she's awesome so you follow her on twitter.

Related Articles


  1. This is the most fun I've had on MAL since the scientist paper dolls.
    The blue and green lemons looked like they had potential. However, they also all look like they sit on a throne of lies. A vase of lies? No, they were in a bowl during the lie. A bowl of lies, then.

  2. Welcome aboard, EL Mofo! Our love for you knows many boundaries. Boundaries we expect you to maintain as per the court order!
    SpaRkLecOrN <3s u! AlL HAiL SpaRkLeCoRn!

  3. Damn – this popped up just as I needed a good laugh.  Nice work, El Mofo!

  4. Enjoyed it, but I thought it was an Internet Law that anytime you wrote dun dun dun you had to link it to <a href=""The Dramatic Prarie Dog Youtube Video.

    In case my HTML links don’t work out, this is the link (don’t worry, it’s a Really Short, G-rated video):

    Otherwise, this is a great demonstration offering evidence that good art and good science don’t always overlap. Actually, you could have put up a multicolored Venn diagram to demonstrate that.

    Okay, I’ll stop nitpicking your posts. 🙂

  5. Elyse, you are the sixth Mythbuster. 
    Alas, the one who never makes it to the set because she's too distracted by gin and lemons.

  6. Some people make a better muse than an artist. And Elyse you are a muse(ing).

  7. oh. em. gee.  
    ded from the wonderful.
    also, the "I hate you so much" pic.
    bestbestbest thing I've read for days.

  8. Oh El Mofo! You bring me so much joy. Can't believe they let you write here…then again again I can't believe someone would sell you syringes and knives either. Go figure!

  9. Rock on, El Mofo!
    I couldn't be happier that you're part of the Lab.
    I do believe that you are our performance artist.

  10. awesome! You totally destroyed me. I still hurt.  I may hurt for days. Love your writing and thank you so much for making me laugh at the end of an otherwise fucked up day, and for totally destroying my deep desire to molest lemons by injection.  Thank you for saving me from myself and assuredly a couple of wasted hours wondering what the hell I did wrong! Love you man. 

  11. This is hilarious! I Pinned it! I hope it gets lots of Repins. I am so happy that you did this experiment and saved me the time!

  12. I love all your creativity hahah, all your stuff are very good, you’re very funny and talented! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Back to top button