You Aren’t What You Eat

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic


You Aren’t What You Eat Have you ever wondered why God gave us the ability to spit? Now, that may be a strange statement to start a story with but you kind of have to look at the mechanics and
theory behind it. If you get something unsavory in your mouth, what are you going to do?

Submitted: January 15, 2018

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Submitted: January 15, 2018

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You Aren’t What You Eat

Have you ever wondered why God gave us the ability to spit?  Now, that may be a strange statement to start a story with but you kind of have to look at the mechanics and theory behind it. If you get something unsavory in your mouth, what are you going to do? Open your mouth and let it fall out? Lick the sleeve of your shirt to get rid of it? Nooo…..you’re going to spit it away from you. Get it as far from your mouth and tongue as you can. That stuff is NASTY…Patooie!! This is a natural automatic reflex the good Lord gave us all similar to breathing, heartbeats, hiccups, ….you know, stuff like that. It is really not a conscious response but it can be subdued, kind of like holding your breath, not blinking, not passing gas. I wouldn’t recommend voluntarily stopping your heart, you may not like the outcome.

Society and the civilized world we live in now frowns on spitting and we actually teach our children to NOT spit. “Take a napkin and deposit the unsavory bit into the napkin”, yeah..right. In this day and age of “be natural”, I am a devout advocate of “if it’s nasty….SPIT IT OUT”, just like God planned.

There are several instances that come to mind where a napkin or other receptacle wasn’t readily available and what was in my mouth WASN”T going to stay there.

Everyone loves their kids and when they are babies, we all make the mistake of holding them over our head at arms length and making baby noises at them. Mostly the bottle fed ones that haven’t been conditioned to “formula” yet. I have no experience with those that were breast fed but enough about that. Invariably, these tiny humans will pick that particular time when they are directly above your face (and opened mouth) to regurgitate a small bit of “used formula”. If your reflexes are good, you can dodge the freefalling baby yomit without too much damage to the child (note: NEVER drop the baby. The welfare of the child should always be considered before the possible ingestion of baby yomit) (side note: yomit sounds so much less offensive than vomit, wonder why that is??) Please dear readers, do not insult my intelligence by saying “This NEVER happened to me”. If you have any children and they were bottle fed, this happened to you.

Why most things that are unsavory or just flat-out nasty are associated with children, I really don’t know but spitting something nasty out when you have children is more common than, say, when they leave home. Another lesson in parenting and particularly spitting involves the instance when you are walking around carrying your child and noticing, what appears to be, chocolate on your shirt or blouse. What is the first thing you do with chocolate? You taste it, right? No one wastes chocolate (I think that may be a sin like the 12th commandment or something) Now, most people learn their lesson on the first exposure. If you are holding a baby for more than 3 seconds….that ain’t chocolate!! If you have experience with this then shout your AMEN!! If you have children and say that you have no experience with this then you are obviously in denial and will lie to yourself about other things too.

For some reason, it doesn’t get better as the kids get older. Case in point: when your child gets to the age where they are using a “sippy” cup and are just about ready to graduate to a glass, they begin at ask it they can have a drink of your beverage. Being the good parent that you are, you say “Sure”. They get their drink and push the glass back to you. You happen to look down at your glass and notice there are large remnants of what we are having for supper floating on top of your iced tea. Oh my gawd!! There is mashed potatoes and gravy and even a couple of English peas floating on top of my beloved iced tea (made from bottled water from glaciers that have never been seen by mankind…remember?). You don’t really want to berate the child for the ENORMOUS amount of backwash this kid as spit back into your drink so you just say “keep it, I’ll give it to you”, get up and fix you another glass of tea. That episode broke me of ever drinking after my children, grandchildren, etc. My wife and I don’t even share drinks. (and this from the guy who sucked water from a west Texas stock pond through hand-fulls of moss as a kid).

The spitting reflex stays with you your whole life and mostly only rears its ugly head when we are surprised (or ambushed, as I like to refer to it). Another instance of reflex spitting involved my older brother. I had the privilege of living with my brother and his family in Louisiana when we were both on the same project. My brother is a phenomenal cook and we loved the Cajun food that we had never been exposed to growing up in west Texas. During crawfish season, he excelled at boiling the crawfish and adding new things to seasoned water. One of them was hot dogs. If you haven’t eaten hot dogs boiled in crawfish boil, you will die incomplete.

Big brother was boiling some crawfish one Sunday and he got the water boiling, crawfish seasoning in, and put some of the corn on the cob, potatoes, onions, and hot dogs in the seasoned water. The trick to anything in the seasoned water is to boil it and then let it sit and absorb the spices. In the backwaters of Pierre Part, Louisiana they use Chinese red pepper in their season mix for their crawfish boil which is much hotter than the standard cayenne pepper used by the Cajuns that swam the Sabine river to get to Texas. The point is, the food absorbs more spice the longer is sits in the seasoned water.

My brother’s wife would come out during the “soak” and get some of the vegetables and hot dogs out of the seasoned water so they wouldn’t be too spicy for the kids and apparently had done so this particular time. I was doing something in the kitchen when she brought the kids portions inside and a few minutes later, big brother comes strolling in from outside, walks up to the kitchen counter, sees the hot dogs, corn, etc. in a bowl there on the counter and gets a hot dog and bites into it

My sister in law SCREAMED “DON”T EAT THAT!!” The SPIT reflex took over and big brother spit the piece of hot dog out with such force that it sailed across the 16 feet of kitchen and bounced off the wall on the other side. “Wha…WHAT” big brother yelled back with a look as though he had eaten a fresh cat turd. My sister in law yells back “THOSE ARE FOR THE KIDS!!’. The look of relief washed over big brothers face when he realized he would not die from the bite of hot dog. “Geez, woman you scared the crap out of me, I thought you had dropped them in the cat litter or the dog had licked them! All of that because they are for the kids??” Sister in law just looks as him “got my point across, didn’t I?” The dog dutifully trots over and snarfs up the launched hot dog.

As I said, the spit reflex in ingrained in us and, no matter how well society trains you, it will come out when needed.

One of my duties as a good husband it to feel the animals, partly because the animals like me better (probably because I feed them) and partly because she told me to feed the animals. I could be a “real man”, throw my chest out and tell her to “feed them yourself” but I am nervous about coming home for supper and there is a large platter of unrecognizable fried meat on the table and the dog is missing. Just kidding, my wife would never do that……I don’t think. So, I don’t challenge her, I just feed the animals like I’m told.

That doesn’t keep me from griping about having to perform this chore every day I am home. This particular day, I was in the kitchen preparing to feed our dog, who looks at me the utmost admiration when she hears the can opener. She knows it is time for her supper and her whole butt is swaying attempting to wag a tail that was clipped off at birth. (I love springer spaniels and have had them for the last 35 years, no other breed will do). Holly dog loved the canned dog food and she gets a can every evening, dry food in the morning but she pretty much demands a can of wet food in the evening. I had been griping and commenting about how I was the only one that feeds the animals and how her or the kids could step up and feed them sometime and blah, and blah, and blah… I place the can of wet dog food in the can opener and it zips around the top. The little magnet on the can opener dutifully pops the lid off the can and we are ready to go. This time, when the little magnet pops the top off the can, some of the gravy from the dog food plops out on my thumb. Being in the middle of my tirade about how other people should help out around here, I lost my presence of mind and, you guessed it….licked the gravy off my thumb. The taste hit immediately and the spit reflex triggered immediately. I spit the gravy right out on the countertop and uttered “well, crap”. My wife happened to be looking at me at that particular moment and busted out in gales of laughter, she couldn’t speak for several minutes due to laughing uncontrollably. This went on for what seems like hours, she would get almost settled down and mutter “that look on your face” and bust out laughing again. Somewhat red-faced, I deposited the dog food in Holly’s bowl and took her outside. I could still hear my wife’s maniacal laughter outside. That was one I will never live down.

There was another instance where both my wife and I performed “synchronized spitting”. She found this recipe for a Mexican stew and it had all of the neat little vegetable cut a certain way, dollar corn on the cob, several pounds of a special beef roast that had to be cut a certain way, etc. Very involved recipe that took about 7-8 hours to prepare and feeds 12, so a LOT of fixins’. It really looked and sounded delicious based on the recipe. She worked so hard at making this stew. Somewhere along the line, I believe the amount of spices was in error because it called for a LOT of cumin and a little cumin goes a loooonngg way. I am not sure why the stew wasn’t taste tested during the preparation but it wasn’t. She simmered it till the meat and vegetables were to perfection, served it in her fancy ceramic soup bowls (you have to understand my wife has special plates, bowls, utensils, silverware, etc. for EVERY way to serve, cook, and eat. I eat with a fork, knife or spoon so there is always about 10 pieces of unused silver ware at my place setting after every meal, many of which I have never found out what they are for). The stew presentation was beautiful and all of the vegetables and meat were cut up just so-so for the most in presentation. We each took a spoonful of the stew and put it in our respective mouths…..you guessed it again, it came right back out. My Gawd that was the nastiest stuff. It actually tasted as if someone had boiled down a homeless guy complete with clothes that had not been washed in several years. We have been married for many, many years and I have never seen my wife spit. She is always the perfect lady. I saw her spit this time. Thank the Lord she had toasted some French bread so we could get the taste out of our mouth. We took one of the bowls and poured it into a plastic bowl and gave it to our beloved dog. The dog sniffed it once, turned around and kicked all four paws in an attempt to bury it. We both decided that it wasn’t just us. It truly was terrible. The rest went down the garbage disposal and I swear I think I heard it gag. I was thankful that my wife reacted in kind when I spit the spoonful of stew back in the bowl. I am not sure I would have survived having to eat the whole bowl out of respect for my wife’s efforts.

Life goes on and the spit reflex remains. I am sure there are many more instances of proper times to spit and you all will reflect on them. Instances like eating cooked turnips, putting a piece of freshly cooked pizza in your mouth when the cheese temperature is still slightly higher than that of the sun, when your grandkid stuffs baby fingers in your mouth and they are coated with cat hair or some other undesirable foreign object. We all have them and we all have the spit reflex. So, you are not necessarily what you eat because you spit some of it out.

Daniel Harry 01-15-18

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