This article was originally published on MUNCHIES.
When life hands you lemons, make lemonade or lemon meringue pie.
But when your work buddy hands you lemons, don't shoot and kill him with a rifle.
As insane as this scenario sounds, it's the tragic and absurd result for a man in Turkey who made the fatal error of underestimating his co-worker's aversion to lemons.
Though the details are developing, according to the Daily Mail, a clearer picture of the bizarre events is beginning to emerge that took place on a Turkish foresting site in Izmir.
The victim, Ramazan Kavakalan, a 42-year-old forestry worker and father of one, apparently wanted to taunt his co-worker who has been identified only as "M.O.," a trucker at the lumber yard where they both worked.
When Kavakalan approached and teased M.O. with the yellow fruit, the trucker did not see any humour in the joke. "Kavakalan knew that M.O. had a phobia about lemons and showed him one as a gag," a police spokesperson told the Daily Mail.
"He had no idea that his gag would cost him his life." According to reports, M.O. "went ballistic" and returned to his truck where he kept a rifle for protection. He then walked into Kavakalan's office and shot him at his desk, fatally wounding the victim. Four hours later, Kavakalan passed away in a nearby hospital.
In a statement to police, M.O. said that he never wanted to kill his co-worker, and blamed the lemon for his actions. "I didn't have the intention to kill him. I just wanted to scare Ramazan after the lemon joke he made," he reportedly said. "I am so sorry that I have killed my friend. It is the lemon, you see. I cannot stand the sight of them. They make me crazy."
As incomprehensible as they may seem to the average person, intense food phobias can strike very real fear into the hearts of those afflicted. Mustard, pickles, and mashed potatoes have all been known to elicit terror bordering on aggression.
That being said, it's not likely that the "lemon defense" will hold up for murder in Turkish court.