Wednesday, September 10, 2008

If I Enter Connecticut, I'm Entering Every State Connecticut's Ever Been With.

I am not a finicky eater, as made testament by my drumstick-esque thighs. If I'm eating and someone warns me they're about to tell a gross story, I wave it off, proudly declaring that I have an ironclad stomach.

I think I get it from my dad, who, unable to let food go to waste, held an impromptu frying session for the packs of discolored bacon left in the fridge, unwrapped, for weeks. I distinctly remember distrustingly staring at a pile of fried bacon, while Dad happily munched away saying, "It won't kill ya. All the germs were killed by the heat." Then after further meditation, "People say they're starving...they can eat like kings if they want to! Just gotta get it out of their heads!"

And so it was I ate the once green-tinged bacon and learned frugality alongside morality.

So it's pretty astounding to me when the thought of certain foods can lead me to physical repulsion. Before this afternoon, the only food on my gag list was beets. Although, I have had them prepared well in recent months; it's just hard for me to get the canned dirt taste out of my mind from meals of yore. And liver is pretty gross. And curry...yeah, ANYTHING with curry is out of bounds for me. And pickled ginger. And canned meats. And I'm pretty leery of gelatins - the goo on canned ham, aspic made to gloss up baked goods and fish, some of that funky green Japanese seaweed. Relish. Mealy Red "Delicious" apples. I think that's it.

What happened today? One of my coworkers very kindly set out some homegrown watermelon for the whole office to enjoy. Now, I love me some watermelon, but this stuff came with a past.

She emailed the staff, telling us to enjoy the watermelon grown in her "backyard, home sweet home Des Plaines."

I know what you're thinking. What's wrong with that?

Nothing. I was really happy to have watermelon. I like this coworker. I have nothing against her backyard. But Des Plaines is another story.

Do you know what happened in Des Plaines? Uh, John Wayne Gacy lived there, murdered a bunch of boys and buried them in his crawlspace. Back in the 70s. Guy dressed like a clown, abducted teen boys...shiver. I watched the really awful movie about him, aptly titled Gacy, and I couldn't even watch it all the way through because I got sick to my stomach.

Me. Sick to my stomach. And every time I see Des Plaines, I think of Gacy, and how even after they bulldozed his home they still can't get buyers for the property.

So I hope you can imagine my stream of consciousness as I read the email. It went like this:

Dead boys...
Seeping into the soil...
Food grown in that soil...
= Gacy's victims!

Yeah. I know it's irrational to think that murder victims from the 70s can fertilize food grown in the same town nearly 40 years later, but it's not that much of a stretch. And yes, people are buried in graveyards all the time, so the likelihood of them being part of my food is pretty high, too...but it's different. It's the thought of that horrible, criminal, putridity that makes me gag. My stomach is turning as I write this, that's how freaked out I am by Gacy.

So, I can't eat that watermelon. I even hovered over it for a minute, contemplating the choice. I just cannot eat it.

So there you have it: more evidence that I am a fuh-reak.

So there's that,


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