Monday, June 12, 2006

Peanuts, Tomatoes, and English Catholic Royalists

It must have been hard to be a Huguenot. To live each day as a radically-political protestant in a land of cranky Catholics. Ironically, it must have been very much like being a Jacobite, a crown-minded catholic in the land of perturbed protestants.

Their relative experiences must have been really quite similar, yet they would each be unable to find commonality with the other, as they were spiritually-bound mortal enemies.

Have you ever felt this isolation? Have you ever been the tall blonde Caucasian in the Mexican taqueria? (Yes, Carl, yes... We know...) This question is mostly for those of you who have not wandered the the crap-strewn alleys of Manila at night. For Carl, this should mostly remain a rhetorical question...

Perhaps, however, the measure of belonging can be fluid.

I was sitting on a hard plastic bench this afternoon, wolfing down a Whopper for lunch. Yes, normally I avoid fast food, but I was short on time, and needed my food to be, well, uh, FAST. The Whopper, for those of you who do not know, is a burger. It is not particularly good, nor is it particularly bad.

The pressed burger patty has the diameter of a CD, and the thickness of a pencil. The sesame seed bun is steamed, and it is garnished with mayonnaise, lettuce, pickles and tomato.

The tomatoes are never good. Though, as a point of fact, I don't believe tomatoes are ever good in anything. However, today, as I scanned the front page of the Oregonian, I peeled open my Whopper without thinking to remove the offending fruit, when I discovered to my surprise that the two tomato slices were fresh and firm and red and juicy.

I stopped, stunned. Regardless, I removed them from my sandwich, and placed them aside, but continued to ponder them nonetheless. I don't dislike tomatoes. In fact, I rather like them. They make great sauce, and they go well with fresh Mozzerella and basil. The problem is, in something like a sandwich, or even a salad, they just become a big fruity watery distraction. In my mind, they do not belong.

Upon returning to the office, I found myself in need of a late-afternoon snack. Depositing my two-bits (six bits, actually...) into the cardboard cash box, I reached for a Snickers. However, my gaze and my grasp were directly diverted by the site of a Milkyway. The difference?

The Peanuts. Snickers has them. Milkyway doesn't.

I love peanuts. I eat them by the handful. However, like tomatoes, they simply don't belong.

But everyone has their own criteria for what belongs, or not. Some folks are offended by pickles; others by olives. I know one person who is offended by both. There is even one regular reader who picks out (or around) strawberries, of all things...

Most surprising to me in recent months, I must say, is the Monkey's aversion to cheese. Mama and Daddy are freaky cheese bitches, but the baby will have none of it.

This was demonstrated effectively over the weekend, when I presented the tot with a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch. This was an experiment on my part, as she is not completely comfortable with whole sandwiches. She went right to it, to be sure, but really only the grilled bread. In fact, she ate all of the bread, top and bottom, right around the orange-cheese mass in the middle, leaving little more than buttery crumbs and a slightly congealed cheese wafer resting on her plate. To her, the cheese, simply did not belong.

To me, on the other hand, it was CHEESE! So, I ate it.

Reading for comprehension
1. What are the odds that we'll get a dazzling tale of international wandering from Carl?
2. How retarded do you have to be to not like strawberries?
3. Yes, I referred to my wife (and myself) as a "freaky cheese bitch." I'm sure she would be the first to admit it...


  1. Brian, I have two words for you: Soggy Bread. Hee hee hee.

  2. Lets go over the dietary restrictions for the diabetic one more time... fast food, candy bars and alcohol not so good for ya. I just figured now that you dont believe in God anymore(maybe never did)lets try to prolong your life a little.

    Either that or I will have to put a half-digested peanut on your arm.

  3. Well thank god they don't serve Kahlua at Burger King...

  4. My favorite Burger King story consists of the following:

    I was stationed twenty minutes outside D.C. at Ft. Belvoir, in Virginia. I was smoking outside the hospital with my usual lunchtime smoke brethren, when the subject of the BK located out the back gate came into conversation. Howard, a stocky older engineer project manager type with a thick head of grey hair and silver overgrown moustache, chuckled and said that he would never go to that place again. "Why not?" we young soldiers asked. He told us of a visit that he and his girlfriend had made there.

    One day on the way home, she had been hungry, and although reluctant to stop, as they lived only twenty minutes further, he succumbed to her CD thin burger needs and pulled in. Now, the BK was situated directly across the street from the back gate. On the same side as Ft. Belvoir's back gate, just across the tall, barbed wire fence on the street, was the Eleanor Roosevelt homeless shelter. There were transients of all types walking to and from there (from miles away! up and down Hwy 1)and always lounging and lingering about on the lawn. Basically, this establishment was located directly across the street from the Burger King. This may explain the following.

    Howard and his missus go into the Burger King to order her something quick, something FAST. He didn't want anything, and told her to order while he went to the john. He walked around the front desk, around to the back of the dining area, and pushed through the door with the little stick figure dude on the door. He took a few steps and stopped short. The walls were smeared from corner to corner with human feces. They were everywhere. He could tell by the appearance of "brush strokes" that someone had done it using their hands, for their were trails of five fingers through the muck, with dark brown handprints on the mirror. It was very pungent and for some reason he could tell that it was not particularly fresh, as in not having been "applied" within the past hour or so. It had been there awhile. He fought back vomiting and went back out to the counter where his girlfriend was in mid-order. He said, "Let's go. We're going. Let's get the hell out of there." The purple shirted cashier looked confused.

    As they exited and got in the car, he quickly relayed what he had witnessed. She asked why she couldn't of at least got a sandwich, and he explained that if the staff were dirty enough to tolerate feces wall paper for god knows how long, then who knows what the hell they permitted in their food preparation!

    She agreed and they then went to Dairy Queen.

  5. Your last two blogs have been AWSOME. I think you just metion me so that I will post about it on Anna's page.

    As for cheese, yeah. I am right there with you.

  6. Are you refering to me with the strawberries? I mean you forgot to mention the rather uncomfortable allergic reaction that goes along with eating them. Nothing tastes better than clustered hives and shallow breathing...yum

  7. Yes, Tom, the strawberries refer to you. I mean, who else in the world hates strawberries?

    Perhaps your allergy is natures way of telling you that you do not belong...

  8. There is a salad I like that has blue cheese and strawberries in it - it's almost too good to be real.

    I really hope my next boyfriend whispers "freaky cheese whore" in my ear......that's hot!


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