Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Hippie astronaut food

Hello all,
I'd like to take a moment to thank all of you for supporting both Emily and myself in our whole adoption process. Your prayers and words of encouragement have lifted us up and carried us through some pretty tumultuous times these last 10 months. It is truly humbling to think of the love we have received along this journey, and so it is with a heartfelt thanks that I announce that I have nothing new whatsoever to share with you at this time.

I would however like to point out a grievous injustice done recently that I believe deserves to be brought kicking and screaming out into the light. I am of course referring to my wife's comments about my eating habits.

I am hurt and offended that she insinuates that I will consume just about anything around. I present for your review a rather extensive list of items that I would not in this lifetime ever consider eating**

-Bark mulch
-Bicycle tires
-Car tires (radial)
-Car batteries
-Any batteries (non lithium ion)
-Fruit cake
-Glass (safety excluded)
-Lima beans
-Lima, Peru
-Large stones
-Elephant tusks
-Stuffed animals
and last but not least, raw pork (though medium rare might be a treat)

Granted, there are many foods that I enjoy that for some reason my wife finds morally repugnant (steak fat for one), and I can to some degree understand her avoidance of certain, how shall we say, exotic tastes of mine.

However, there is one food; one, dare I say, nearly perfect food that I will not allow to be slandered (or is it libeled?) in such a vicious manner.


It really is quite tasty. Once you get past the gooey jelly-like substance on top you find yourself in semi pork-laden heaven. Come on, think about it. What invention could ever top meat in a can? Not only can you eat it, but because of its ingenious shaped can, you could actually build with spam. Think of it: if the Romans had built the Coliseum out of sturdy, durable cans of spam instead of mere stone, maybe it wouldn't have been so structurally unsound. I mean, how long did the thing last before collapsing; a couple of hundred years? Heck, spam has a shelf life longer than that.

And since I'm acting the part of misrepresented, oft-maligned food product defender, lets talk about another wonderful gastrological treat: SlimJims. Those little pieces of "beef jerky" put me into a nearly euphoric state of digestive bliss whenever I eat one or six of them. Granted, they're not actually beef but rather mechanically separated chicken, but let's look at the big picture. Some folks may balk at the term "mechanically separated," but let's consider what this actually means. Simply stated, it means that the chicken meat has been removed from the bone by means of something other than human effort.

It's what the industrial revolution was all about. I'm sure that back then, one of the forerunners of the revolution had it in his head that there must be a better way to enjoy chicken than having to rip the meat from the bone with such primitive tools as one's hands. Remember the most important part of "mechanically separated chicken": CHICKEN! It's not some made up food or artificial concoction from a lab (though I do love a good twinkie or three every now and again). It's chicken; ergo it's good for you.

Don't be fooled by my wife's criticism of my tastes in foods: there're one or two things on her menu of preferred food items that I can't abide, nor should you. OK, only one item that I wouldn't touch with another person's ten foot pole: tofu.

What's tofu, you may ask? Well, I'll tell you in one word what it is: Nasty. If you want a more specific and less jaded definition of what tofu is, then it could also be called soy. Now all the "natural" food lovers out there will tell you that soy is very good for you: high in protein, low in fat, yadda, yadda, but I'll let you in on something that those people won't tell you. You know what soy really is? Bean curd. Curd. What the heck is curd? I don't know either but I can tell you what rhymes with curd.... now you know what I'm talking about. Who in their right mind would eat a "food" that rhymes with something you'd flush down the toilet? I don't know that either.

When you were a kid, did you ever get duped into trying those foil wrapped packages of "astronaut ice cream"? Remember the taste? Something between Styrofoam and cardboard, but with nice vanilla, chocolate and strawberry colors all over it. Evidently in the space travelling world, flavor isn't something you taste, it's something you decorate for color. Tofu is a lot like that, except rubbery. And without the colors. And without the foil wrap, because that's bad for the environment. I guess the immediate expulsion from my body of said hippie astronaut food (I won't go into details how my body expels it) must be good for the soil or something.

Man, you wouldn't believe the lengths my wife went to to get me to eat that stuff. She'd put it into everything: stir fry, casseroles...you name it, she's tried it. What does tofu taste like, you ask. Nothing. Not a single thing. It comes in these disgusting gelatinous cubes (it doesn't even have a natural shape) which can be found in "health" food stores, soaking in water in 5-gallon buckets in the fridge, next to the fake ice cream and fake cheese.

There are all kinds of tofu-laden foods out there, but it seems that this soy product has a bit of an identity crisis, because it tries to pass itself off as any other type of food but what it is: gross. There are tofu burgers, tofu chicken nuggets, tofu stir frys, tofu buffalo tenders, tofu ice cream, tofu cheese, and, yes, tofurkey: tofu trying to pass itself off as turkey.

Though the foods I eat may not be for everyone, they are at least honest about what they are, disgusting as that may be to some. They don't try to fit in with all the other cool foods by trying to be like all the rest. C'mon, soy, just be who you are. Look at the bright side, if you didn't try to hide your nature all the time, you'd live a long (however long beans live) life free from the worries of coming to an early demise by consumption.

** Oh BTW, the asterisks used above were to indicate that if money were wagered, there isn't much I wouldn't eat. I once chewed the gum left over from under the tables at MacDonald's just for lunch money. As a little bonus, I'd also inform everyone which kind of gum it was.

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