Saturday, July 17, 2004

This week's homework: Icky Food

This week, Scalzi sticks with the food theme and asks:

Weekend Assignment #15: Tell us about the the most disgusting food/drink you've ever had in your mouth. Please note that I'm emphasizing the words "food and/or drink" -- No fair talking about the time you ate an earthworm or Play-Doh, or drank antifreeze, or ate something else that doesn't actually constitute food. You know what I'm talking about, here. Let's all be grown-ups, shall we. Real food, please: It can be badly prepared, strange and awful, accidentally rancid or whatever, but it's gotta be something someone somewhere recognizes as food.

Ohh.  You had to ask that this week.  While I'm still (mentally) trying to get over last Saturday's Unfortunate Incident with the salmon.  Yep.  A few hours after enjoying a lovely dish of undercooked (and perhaps not too fresh) salmon from a very nice restaurant, I sent that salmon swimming back upstream, as it were.  And it was on a date* too.  Yeah, nothing says "kiss me, you fool" quite like spewing chunks.

But, for some reason, when I read this question, my mind immediately started wandering back to The Great Twiglet Experiment.  Perhaps you've watched "Whose Line is it Anyway?"  The American version of the show (with Drew Carey) is actually a reasonably good copy of the British version of the show -- which used to air regularly on Comedy Central.  And on that version of the show, they were always making jokes at the expense of Twiglets.  Whenever they'd do the game "Party Quirks" -- in which one of the improvisors, Tony Slattery, would pretend to the be the host of a party -- Slattery would always take a moment to pretend to "set up" the party, and he would invariably do this by setting out a bowl of Twiglets, to great audience amusement.  At first I'd thought they must have been some sort of licorice, but -- upon further viewings, came to the conclusion that they were, in fact, some sort of snack food that wouldn't be your first choice to put out at a party.  Perhaps, I thought, they were the equivalent of, say, "Sun Chips."

So, when I found myself in London, I made a point of stopping in a convenience store and buying a bag of Twiglets.  Just to give them a taste.  Because, really, how bad could they be?

Never, never ask "how bad could they be?"  Twiglets are apparently called "Twiglets," because they are made of little tree limbs.  I jest, of course -- but where I'd been expecting something vaguely pretzel-like, I got something that tasted kinda like bark (or how I imagine bark must taste) heavily seasoned with a vile combination of spices.  I didn't actually eat one -- I couldn't bear to -- I just tentatively licked a tiny bit of the season salt (the way those cops do on TV when they're checking to see if that white powder in the bag is really cocaine) and cautiously took a little nibble off the end of one.

I coughed.  I gagged.  I downed a can of coke.  I threw the bag away and ran to the other side of the street, just to put a greater distance between myself and Satan's Snack Food.

But now when I watch British "Whose Line?" I laugh right along with them during Party Quirks.  I have experienced the pain that is a twiglet.



*My mother immediately perks up at that.  Yes, mom, I actually went out on a date.  With a nice man.  Who is straight.  And has a job.  Don't get to excited.  Nothing to see here.  Move along.


olddog299 said...

So sorry to hear about your experience with the salmon.  Like your mother, I await the news - is he married???  If so, when will the divorce be final?  Has he got kids?  Is she going to join the ranks of instant Grandmothers?  You know those Instant Grandmothers™ -- just add vodka and vermouth, shake and Voila! you have an embaressing scene.  LOL  Best of luck to you.  Next time try the steak.  Forget about trying to impress with your eating habits -- most guys WANT to know that you enjoy a good steak, so show him.  Just don't go on the Ferris Wheel afterwards...


nzforme said...

That would be:  no, not applicable, no, no, and my mother thanks you.  :)