Sometimes she chews it and sometimes swallows it raw. No smacking, straight down the throat and the sponges are set for digestion. For more than two decades, she has been eating sponges as such. She enjoys the taste of it more than any food.
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Emma Thompson from Wallsend had the first taste of sponge at the age of 3 and the habit picked up gradually and continues till today. She is now 23 and eating sponge is now her staple food. She eats 20 of them at one time.
“I soak them in apple flavored washing up liquid before popping them into her mouth,” she says.
She admits this is becoming something of an issue for her but says sponges are her guilty pleasure.
Even before enjoying her bed tea, she takes the overnight soaked sponge one first thing in the morning.
Even the tonsillitis disorder could not prevent her from eating sponges; though doctors told her that it was because of her bizarre habit.
It costs her six dollars a week to buy sponges and bottles of apple flavored Fairy but the cost does not bother her because of her intense crave for sponges.
Even at the mere mention of the name sponge, Watson starts craving for it.
“My mouth gets full of foam as soon as someone mentions it or when I am washing the dishes or see a packet of sponges in the shop. My friends take the Mick out of me, they say, ‘Are we going to have a sponge and chips for tea,”? She said.
“I am definitely addicted to it. I have tried to quit, but I just can’t, there is no cure for it,” she added.
Doctors say Thompson is suffering from an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) condition Pica. Pica is an uncommon disorder, but it happens more frequently in young women and children. People suffering from this disorder sometimes even eat nails and iron. This is extremely harmful and dangerous, and surgical intervention is needed to remove them.