Monday, November 30, 2009

Gotta Give It a Try

Tonight I ate something that someone “found” somewhere. No, it wasn’t old gum from under a desk or half an Aunt Annie’s pretzel from the food court floor. It was an enormous wild mushroom that an amateur ‘shroom hunter we know found in the woods this weekend. Why he didn’t eat it himself, I don’t know (I’m trying to not think sinister thoughts right now). I’d like to tell you the conversation that transpired as we fried this sucker up in olive oil and garlic, but it was SO funny that I had to write it into a script instead of finishing dinner. When I was done, I started thinking about all the other weird items we’ve put into our mouths throught the years. (Note: I know five Jennifers on Facebook, and I can guarantee that right now three out of the five are giggling…while the other two are praying for us.). I’m thinking more along the lines of:

Play-Doh: What kid hasn’t eating this? It’s colorful. You can make it look like food. It’s soft. Sure it smells like absolute crap, but the eyes trump the nose when you’re three. Why else do you think Hasbro makes sure the formula’s non-toxic? They know diapers and pull-ups are going to be coated in colorful #2s the day after Christmas and birthday parties. Been there. Eaten that.

Ex-Lax: Now granted, it’s been years and they may have finally wised up on this one…I hope! But back in the day, the highly intelligent makers of Ex-Lax decide it would be a smart move to make their intestinal drano the same shape/color/texture/taste as chocolate. Genius! Every child on the planet got into their parents secret medicine cabinet candy stash at one point, only to double over with the runs an hour later in the car. Been there. Eaten that. And later, every high school pothead thought it would be funny to bake some into brownies and give them to a “frenemy.” Been there. Baked that. (What are they going to do with that confession, take away my diploma? Good luck. Even I can’t find it.)

Un-labeled alcohol: Back in the underage day. When you’d gather what you could from the cabinet above the family fridge, and all meet at a friend’s house on a Saturday for Space Invaders, pizza and petting. Maybe it’s Jack Daniels, maybe it’s cooking Sherry, maybe it’s Manischewitz (only a possibility when Larry Schwartz was invited). It didn’t matter. They all got thrown up exactly the same. Been there. Drank that.

“Fit in” food: Now we all learned our lessons from youth to stop eating things from the medicine cabinet or toy box, and drinking things without first asking their proof, but this is the category that even the most respectable adult still deals with on occasion. Mostly when meeting new people or at business dinners. Examples? Say you’re at a dinner at a Korean restaurant with a group of highly successful business women, and a good friend (who sometimes reads this blog) says, “Would you like to try the raw spicy crab? It’s delicious!” Your heart might be saying, “Right! Would you like to try this tube of Vaseline Intensive Care hand lotion in my purse?” But your head says, “Moron, put the uncooked crustacean in your mouth immediately.” So you do. And it’s not bad. And you fit in. And you may even try it again. Or you may be handed monk fish liver two days later at the world’s greatest sushi restaurant by the same good friend, and your heart is saying, “Orange Play-Doh…have you learned nothing?” But again your head tells you to put it in your mouth immediately. So you do. And it’s not bad. And you fit in. And you’d even try it again. (You don’t know any places that serve Rocky Mountain Oysters in LA, do you, Kiddo?)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Um, you heard of "dancing sushi"? Fugu liver? No, I haven't tried either. I don't have the guts. You?