What's With the Name?

When you're young(er) and you leave home and go out into the world, you often are confronted with the idea that your "normal" is not normal to others.  I'm not talking about the big things like politics and religion and overall world-view; I'm talking about the little things.  Like when I found out that some people won't eat any brand other than Peter Pan peanut butter, or who think nothing of making Campbell's tomato soup by adding water to it instead of milk (honestly, that one still makes the hairs stand up on the back of my neck.  Sorry if I offend).  Or those turns of phase that people from other places or other families have that make you cock your head and think, "Huh.  I see what you did there, but I've never heard that in my life.  Where did that come from?".

I started dating my now husband when I was 20, so I still had a lot of "normal" things to be confronted with.  He liked to point out my "non-normal" things rather relentlessly (but, like, totally lovingly.  Hi, Sweetie!)  Like the term "piecing" for snacking ("I'm not too hungry for supper; I've pieced all afternoon").  Or keeping the potato chips in the oven (where else would you keep them???).  Or the very existence of an actual, distinct "wh" sound (Oh, do not get me started...).  

Food is often a great player in the battle of "my normal vs. your normal".  To this day, Gator refuses to admit that grits are actually food.  He calls them a by-product in the processing of feed-corn (He likes to think that being from Iowa makes him a great expert in corn.  Yeah, like being from Missouri makes me some great expert in crystal meth, or something, but I digress).  But the one thing that made his eyes bug out, his mouth drop open, and then made him never shut up about it for, like, days was the way I eat, courtesy of my sweet, ever-lovin' Papa, canned asparagus.

Step 1:  Open can of Green Giant asparagus.
Step 2:  Drain liquid.
Step 3:  Pour asparagus onto a plate.
Step 4:  Smother with Miracle Whip Salad Dressing.
Step 5:  Nom nom nom.

Now, I never claimed this was healthy.  I simply claimed that, if I were to eat canned asparagus, this is the way it has always and will always happen.  The end.

Gator was/is horrified.  In fact, when he once took a creative writing class that focused on children's literature, he wrote a story based on the topic of his culinary nightmares.  And now I offer this story to you in its entirety, since every children's publisher he sent it to in 1997 rejected it.  Big ol' dummies.  Oh, well.  Your gain, I suppose.

Bad Asparagus

Once there was a kingdom where people and chickens lived happily together.  The chickens could laugh and talk and even dance.  Every week the people and the chickens had a big party and everyone was invited.  

King Cluck, the King of the chickens, always came to the parties.  He was a big white rooster and he always wore a red vest with shiny brass buttons.  On his head he wore a golden crown with a picture of himself on top.  

King Cluck liked the parties because everyone blew the kazoo.  He especially liked the kazoo the he blew because it had a picture of him right on it.  

He also liked the pretty balloons that went pop when he pecked them and the bubbly punch that made him sneeze like an old buffalo.  Kerchew!

But most of all, King Cluck liked asparagus.  Yes, asparagus.  He thought it was wonderful stuff and he ate it all the time.

"Chomp! Chomp!"

"What was that noise?" thought King Cluck.

"Chomp! Chomp!"

He turned around and saw little Suzy Fopinpop eating the biggest, juiciest piece of asparagus he had ever seen.

"Little Suzy, can I have some of your asparagus?" asked Cluck.  "I will make you a chicken princess!"

"Yes," said little Suzy, "you can have some of my asparagus."

King Cluck bowed to the little girl and then he took as very big bite of asparagus.  At first he smiled but then he turned green.

"Oh, my!" he cried.  "Oh, dear!" he howled.  "This asparagus is bad somehow!"

Little Suzy Fopinpop laughed at the big chicken hopping around in front of her.  "My mother was right!" she giggled.  "I am the only one who likes mayonnaise on my asparagus!"

Then she danced and danced and blew the kazoo.

The End

When I started this blog and was trying to come up with a name, this story was stuck in my head.  Granted, I am a Miracle Whip over mayonnaise kind of girl, but that just didn't have the same pizzazz.  And so, forever after, my online presence will be dominated by my (by Gator's standards) most non-normal bit of normalcy.  And the inexplicable sound of kazoos.


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