It’s ok, I can stomach it.

I am a huge lover of food. Most people like food a lot, so do I. I’m not really much of a food snob, I like the cheap stuff on up to the gourmet stuff. I can eat those hostess chocolate covered donuts that taste like plastic and a $40 steak in one sitting. I will not discriminate. However like most people I do not like foreign objects in my food. Unexpected things buried deep inside a mound of food are not welcome treats. Most of the time the ‘things’ are harmless. Things like hair, plastic, the mysterious crunchy and the occasional finger have been found in food. I think we can all relate to the sick feeling upon discovery, feelings of sinking stomachs and the sudden loss of appetite. I remember years ago working at my first job at a buffet restaurant. I was on break enjoying a mediocre noodle dish when in between the noodles I spotted a long black hair. I immediately felt ill, hacked and gagged and felt miserable the rest of the night. Of course I was fine, but in my mind I thought I might die because of the grossness factor.

Today I was just finishing up with work when my mother called on the cellular telephone. Since I was by her place she offered to bring home a little lunch for us to eat together. The nearest food place in her area was a Wendy’s so we agreed on salads. “And a baked potato!!” I blurted, right before she hung up the phone. I was feeling saucy, I hadn’t had a baked potato in awhile and given the fact they take so long to make, who knows when I would have the chance to have another one? As I drove to our rendez-vous point I thought of Mitch Hedburg’s quote:

“I like baked potatoes, man. I don’t have a microwave oven; it takes forever to cook a baked potato in a conventional oven. Sometimes I’ll just throw one in there, even if I don’t want one, because by the time it’s done… who knows?”

Mitch is so right and I didn’t want to miss an opportunity to have an already made baked potato. Lunch was grande, the mandarin chicken salad was delicious and I got to enjoy the entertainment of watching my mother hold my 18 month(I’m not sure how many months) old niece as she was trying to grab for every bite of food my mother tried to eat. I was nearing the end of my baked potato delight when I looked down and noticed something weird in my tater tray. I examined it, poked it, smooshed it around to make sense of it. Part of it looked like potato goo with sour cream and butter residue and the other part of it very much like a dead cockroach with with sour cream and butter residue. Hmph.

Mom: What’s wrong?

Me: I don’t know.

Mom: What is it?

Me: I don’t know, what does that look like to you?

Mom: Well? I don’t know. Potato?

Me: Doesn’t that look a lot like a sort of bug, namely a cockroach?

Mom: ……

Me: Tell me it’s nothing, just tell me it’s nothing.

Mom: It’s nothing.

Me: Ok.

I was sad becaus there was one good bite of potato topped with sour cream and chives that I really wanted to eat. Amazingly I really wasn’t grossed out. I mean, it was gross! But I didn’t have that sinking sicky feeling in the pit of my stomach like I used to get when I’d find hair in my pasta. I think all the Fear Factors and Survivor shows have taught me that you won’t die if you live bugs, let alone if a dead one touches your potato. Just to be sure, I topped off my cockroach potato with one of my sister’s delightful pecan dessert things. And for added insurance against any bug disease I ate a taco bell taco tonight which will either burn out the bug poison in my stomach or give me diarrhea which helps cleanse out any bad stuff.

Now all this food talk has made me hungry, Wendy’s chili doesn’t sound too bad right about now.


  1. Phil said,

    October 8, 2007 @ 10:00 pm

    I made it out ok after the T-Bell.

  2. mego said,

    October 11, 2007 @ 6:18 am

    i was really surprised how calmly you handled the whole situation. i was waiting to hear a high pitched little girl scream “Whewww!!!”.. but i hardly knew what going on, because you were so matter-of-fact.
    and YES, she is 18months old- good guess.
    bro, you really need to write more, seriously….. it’s so good and you’re funny, too.

  3. momma said,

    October 17, 2007 @ 3:11 pm

    Believe me, I was not going to look any more analytically at the mysterious substance in the dregs of your potato boat. My imagination was working a little bit overtime as it was. Someone else can do Fear Factor - not me!!!

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