Laugh

Laugh
Click any letter for a look at my prize-winning essay from the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition. You don't even have to buy a vowel.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Food Fight

My previous husband, the Man Who Salts Everything, was basic in his tastes. He wouldn’t touch tuna with a ten-foot fishing pole and industrial strength test line. He liked beef, well-done, with a side order of sodium. His ideal woman was Lot’s wife.

This particular husband, The Defendant, didn’t believe in frills such as spaghetti sauce, salad dressing, or any vegetable that didn’t get stuck in your teeth. Through a careful catch and release program, I attempted to educate his palette. We eventually settled on two vegetables, corn and broccoli, two fruits, apples and bananas, and any red meat, provided the red was banished in flames hot enough to give the sun a smart case of prickly heat. This kind of selection makes it hard to get your money’s worth in a buffet restaurant. Unless they had sirloin on tap, we lost money. Over the course of our thirteen years, I managed to introduce a few delicacies. He has a finer appreciation of Oscar Meyer as a result of our years together.

By comparison I will eat anything that doesn’t require a greater output of energy to prepare than it takes to consume. Therefore, it never occurred to me that I would have children with food issues. That sort of thing happens to other people, loners or postal workers with a grudge. But it happened to me, so it could happen to anyone who is careless with entrees that come in boxes festooned with the words “Ready in Minutes!” or “Turn Your Meat Into a Meal!” I'm a sadder but wiser girl. Exclamation points should not constitute a major component of the food pyramid.

Son One will eat any food item that does not come into physical contact with another food item during growth, processing, or preparation. Except for beans. Beans are unacceptable for consumption at any time. If he were in a comatose state heading toward the light and I touched a bean to his lips, he would return to the Land of the Leftovers long enough to call emergency services and report me for abuse. Most other food is satisfactory, excepting, of course, the standard internal organs, as long as no other food compromises its integrity by intersecting its boundaries. Once the corn touches the potatoes, you may as well call the dog in to lick the plates, because supper is over. Son One’s favorite food group is any carbohydrate that is available in bulk quantities.

Son Two eats only attractive food. Grill marks and stray condiments are unacceptable. Any crust-bearing foods, cheese varieties that are unwelcome at the pizza buffet, or items swathed in juices recycled for extended durations in a crock pot are unacceptable at mealtime. Vegetables, while handy for use in slingshot weaponry, are not welcome offerings, except for the fluffy treetop parts of the broccoli which may be served in alternating months that contain an R. Son Two has grown to teenagerhood on sweetened cereal, cheese pizza, and filet mignon that drips blood like an open wound. Artificial flavoring is his favorite food group.

The latest Surgeon General reports stress that family bonds grow as a result of mealtimes spent together. Odds are the Surgeon General never had to cut the crust off the biscuits while making sure the gravy didn’t create an alternate route through the potatoes. Frankly, that’s more bondage than I can stand.

3 comments:

auria cortes said...

This is a well-written post. I laughed the whole time reading it.

I was always a picky eater. My mother didn't feed into it (no pun intended). If I didn't like what she cooked, too bad. She wasn't going to cook a separate meal.

Most of the time I went without eating.

the Bag Lady said...

The Bag Lady knew there was a reason not to have children...

wordsmith said...

I have no idea why I'm hearing George Carlin's voice saying "picky eeeeater!" LOL My husband and I are both picky eaters...but not so much specifically for cuisine...for both of us, we can't have our food touch, and oddly enough, our son's the same way! (Stews and soups are the only exception.)