Jun 6, 2009

Local Man Relives Painful Childhood Trauma At Recent Town Dinner Party

A local farmer/rancher, Festus Bodine, age 59, suddenly began hyperventilating and stammering incoherently at a recent gathering when cooked carrots were placed on the table just as the chicken Parmesan was being pulled from the oven. This vegetable-related trigger event unleashed decades of pent up frustration and anger long suppressed under the steely fa├žade of an otherwise seemingly normal and solid citizen of good standing (by Lamont standards, that is). "Well, needless to say, we were all a little shocked at the sudden outburst!!" said an attendee at the dinner function. "The minute the baby carrots were placed on the table, a long stream of invective just spewed forth - and once the whole story came out, it really had nothing to do with carrots at all" he said. "I did not catch all of it since the suddenness caught me off guard and I was just trying to figure out what the heck was going on, but I guess the poor man has harbored deep seated resentment for his mom who, during his childhood some 40-odd years ago, tended to, like most Americans, cook vegetables until they were soft and mushy - thus destroying all food value and rendering one of the 4 major food groups "a living hell" for 10-year-olds across this great land" he said sympathetically. "Although details are still fuzzy, I guess a family staple was that somewhat dubious frozen concoction of peas, diced carrots and lima beans that were so popular at the time. He just kept droning on about hating carrots and peas his whole life because his mom's cooking technique rendered these two items limp and lifeless while this same 'over cooking" tended to make the lima beans hard, dry and chalky - and thus totally unsuitable for human consumption. I just think that the discontinuity of cooking several vegetables in the same pot for the same amount of time - and two of them turning to mush and the third becoming a dry, chalky nightmare just overwhelmed his formative understanding of how things worked. The poor man/child was confused - and this confusion led to anger and resentment that has lasted for all these decades. It was really very painful to watch, to be sure. Let's just hope he got it all out of his system!" concluded the diner who could go on for days about the moral unsoundness of Brussels sprouts.

"Oh, the anger I still feel at the thought of those horrid lima beans breaking apart in my mouth and draining every last bit of moisture (and thus making it darn near impossible to swallow) is oftentimes overpowering" said Festus. "First off, why anyone would mix two perfectly good vegetables with something so dissimilar and disgusting as the lima bean is beyond me - but they did. I think my family ate them more than most, but I still remember eating at my best friend's house and dreading the arrival of that evil medley of vegetables - because in order to be polite I had to eat them there without complaint. Even their dog would spit them out - leaving a pile of lima beans under the table right by my chair. They never said anything to me, but I am pretty sure his mom had to know what was going on at some point. The dang dog wouldn't even eat them!!! That says volumes, if you ask me! How can something become harder and chalkier the more it is cooked? That is just so wrong!" he bellowed, placing his hand over his racing heart in an attempt to calm himself and avoid some sort of stroke or seizure or whatever. "I know I have been unfair in my continued hatred of cooked carrots and peas, but once a person associates one thing with another, separating them into individual components and appreciating the relative value of each and judging them on their own merits is easier said than done. I have wasted a large portion of my life living in fear of the common lima bean - and thus missed out on many satisfying meals that included peas and carrots. It is really quite tragic if you think about it - but that childhood memory was so painful that there was really no other option for me, I guess." he concluded.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

boy can I relate! I started hyperventilating just reading about Festus' horrible backflash. My nightmare was peas--cooked soft and mushy and that somehow grew when placed on your plate. I would separate them all in the belief that distance would keep them from mating and thus forcing me to eat more as dinner wore on. Oh the horrible memories.....