You'll never guess what I had for lunch today?
Uh, based on the title of this posting I'd guess "beets."
Bingo! Yep, I ate a beet or more accurately three beet slices. Pickled beet slices. They were all dripping and red and tasted like dirt. I might have them again tomorrow.
Then, again, the wave of madness may pass and I'll go another 50 years (hopefully) before eating another beet slice. Fifty years is a pretty long time to hold a grudge. Especially against a vegetable, but there you have it in a nutshell. Many years ago I had a Bad Beet Experience that set me on a half-century of beetlessness. That's beet-less-ness not beetles-sness.
The Experience involved a young me, a beet and my uncle LJ who delivered the unwanted said beet to my little plate. I looked at the beet. The beet looked back. I picked up the beet and remember thinking "Holy Mackerel! This thing made my hand go red!" whereupon I dropped it on the floor.
To Uncle LJ it looked like I threw it on the floor and perhaps I did accelerate the beet's journey to the linoleum below.
Uncle LJ calmly picked the beet up, put it back on my plate and added a second beet.
What's this? They're multiplying! Even though I didn't even know what multiplying was, in any sense of the word, I did know that I had a bigger problem then before, so I tried an experiment. I took both beets and threw them on the floor.
Uncle LJ calmly picked the beets up, put them back on my plate and added a third beet.
Now, I never claimed to be a child prodigy but I remember having this distinct vision of a vast crimson mountain rising out of my tiny plate, bursting through the ceiling and reaching the moon.
Little did I know that the worst was yet to come. I was expected to eat all three beets. Up until now all I'd done is manhandle them. Under Uncle LJ's patient gaze I picked up my first victim, took a nibble and...
...well, I don't remember much after that. Apparently, it took me about an hour to struggle down three small beets. The Beet Story became family legend and I was the "beet" of jokes for years.
I managed to avoid beets since that fateful meal. I never bought them. I never ordered them in a restaurant. I would not eat them in a box. I would not eat them with a fox.
And there they were at the salad bar. A new item. Never seen beets at the salad bar before. Suddenly I had a real hankering for beets, so I took a couple of slices and, well, the rest is history.
Who knows what vistas will open up to me tomorrow? Maybe they'll have fennel on the menu. Ah, yes, that reminds me of the Great Fennel Fiasco...