Ten years ago, the aubergine was simply a humble vegetable, essential in the creations of tagines and parmigianas.
Then, something bizarre happened: horny millennials began molesting the poor eggplant in a quest for an emoji innuendo that adequately depicted a gentleman sausage. The aubergine found itself slipping into the shorthand of 'Netflix and Chill' discussions, partnered by peaches and winkies.
And then things went too far, with the launch of Eggplant Mail: a real-world service that sends an aubergine inscribed with a personalised message to your significant other/bae/Tinder crush.
Oh Chris, you tease.
The totally anonymous service would send the aubergine for the sum of £6.99 - comparable to a bunch of roses from a petrol station forecourt.
"Great! Give me the link to start creeping out my crushes!" you may well cry. However, we're sorry to say that, due to the overwhelming popularity of the stunt, the owner of the service has had to close the operation.
"I started this as a silly dare, but now the website has gone viral I can't keep up with the demand," reads the website. "Too many people are asking me to mail phallic fruit for them. It's fun but it's also distracting me from my job."
It's a sad ending to a funny story. We can imagine the internet prankster, surrounded by Sharpies and aubergines, weeping over an email inbox filling with crude obscenities and perverted messages.
"My name is Jack and this was all an accident." We salute you Jack. We admire your work. But, don't get too upset, Jack has also suggested that the site could very well be back up and running in the next five days. Presumably when he gets a new shipment of phallic veg delivered.
Now, any chance you can send an anonymous poo emoji with googly eyes to an ex for us?