Quirks are what make people interesting– if it weren’t for quirks, we’d be pretty dull—like ants or republicans.
Probably the quirkiest thing about people is their taste in food. Food should just be sustenance, right? There’s no reason to be fussy—we need to eat, so we should be happy to chow down on anything organic and non-harmful, but that’s not the case. Just try eating root grubs or liver and onions if it’s not your bag, and you’re talking instant boomerang effect—you eat it and right back up it comes.
I happen to be one of the fussiest eaters I know—partially because of the taste of certain things or their texture is alarmingly hideous to me. Let’s examine what I consider non-food.
Raisins. I guess my hatred—no, outright fear—of raisins goes back to my father convincing me as a child that they were bugs. Having a father who liked to play such practical jokes on his kids was a real gas—what a card. I’m really busting up, here. My mental scars are small. I could be much worse off—Dad convinced my brother Steve that shredded coconut was hair. He wouldn’t eat German chocolate cake if you held a gun to his head (I’ve tried—it’s okay, the gun wasn’t loaded).
But I digress.
You have to wonder about he origin of the raisin, though. I mean, why would anyone choose to mummify a fruit? Was some cannibalistic Egyptian tomb-robber sampling canopic jars and accidentally impressed by the fruity-pulpiness of some grapes sent on by the priests of Anubis to feed pharaoh in the after-life?
There’s something sneaky and underhanded about raisins. Honest fruit does not have to lurk inside cookies and cakes waiting to spring out and surprise you with its dried eyeball-like pulpiness—you just eat honest fruit. But not the raisin—oh, no—it’s got to destroy perfectly good muffins, and cereal. I don’t know how many times I’ve had to paw through a bowl of raisin bran on a search and destroy mission just to make my breakfast edible.
Hidden Fruit in general should be outlawed. My grandmother used to utterly destroy Jell-O by hiding fruit in it. I know what you’re saying—it’s not hidden, you can see into Jell-O. It doesn’t matter—it’s the attempt at hiding fruit that is sick and twisted. There are 12 step programs for such people.
Craisins are ok. I don’t know why, but they are. It’s a quirk of mine.
Tomatoes. I swear I must have been an Aztec in a previous life, because biting into a ripe, uncooked tomato is exactly like biting into a still-beating human heart. There is no difference. None. It’s not the taste—I love the taste of tomatoes. I love tomato paste, tomato sauce, tomato ketchup; but that’s only because they don’t have the texture of the whole tomato.
I have since recanted on my stance with Tomatoes. I eat them now, but I still hate a raw one…
Pickles. So what kind of sick, twisted person thought that soaking a cucumber in a strange chemical bath would produce anything edible? A pickle is simply a cucumber made worse—if that is imaginable. I’ve got to give the person responsible credit for originality, but we’re talking about one sick puppy here.
Imagine the idea of the bizarre transformation which a cucumber goes through in its picklization– it starts out crunchy, it’s soaked in a bitter, acidic liquid for a non-specific period of time. You’d think that the pickle would come out of the process softer– much like hands having been soaked in Palmolive—but no, the pickle emerges crunchy—doesn’t that scare you? I mean, EVERYTHING gets softer after soaking in a liquid, right? Cereal does, you do when you soak in the bathtub, even auto parts and concrete soften in liquid (if you wait long enough and use the right liquid)– but not a pickle.
Picklization is not natural, it’s an other-worldly phenomenon. Watch the movie Alien—if you look at the alien’s head from the top or the side, there’s our old friend Mr. Pickle. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
And the taste. Great God Above! Hideous! Grotesque! Who would want that strange flavor mix of vinegar and stale vomit in their mouths? Someone must have been starving when they tried the first one. Maybe they ate it on a dare, and to not look like an idiot they convinced everyone else in the tribe that it tasted pretty good. Next thing you know—pickle eating fad! Nobody has the guts to say, “hey everyone, this is sick!” Peer pressure is a terrible and powerful thing.
Thousands of years later I have to ask to not have a pickle put on my burger. If I forget to ask to have it left off and I have to remove it myself, there’s still pickle corruption on the hamburger. Is that right?
Cereal. Who ever said that they wanted their cereal to stay crunchy? Why did they get to vote for all of us? If you like your cereal crunchy, don’t pour milk over it. I don’t like crunchy cereal. I figure it’s first thing in the morning, I’m not fully awake, I don’t want that load crunch or the sharp edges of the cereal cutting into my gums and tongue. Aren’t mornings tough enough?
Before breakfast cereal was invented, people drank beer for breakfast– even children. Breakfast cereal was originally made from the dried malt waste product of beer. Look it up. And beer is not crunchy unless there is something seriously wrong.
Professional Ice. The ice you make in your freezer is not professional ice. It’s amateur ice. It crunches wrong. It melts wrong. It feels wrong. How does a restaurant do it? It’s not like there’s a secret recipe or something. It takes water and a temperature below freezing. You don’t get much simpler than that unless you want to boil water, but why doesn’t the ice I make in my freezer turn out the same as professional ice?
Eating habits. My father has the unfortunate habit of just mixing all of his food together on his plate before he eats it. He says that it all gets mixed up where it’s going anyway. I figure—why rush it?
I’m not one of those poor souls that has to be served dinner on a partitioned plate so that different foods don’t touch (my dearly departed brother in-law was one of these, but for some odd reason, he loved the KFC “bowl”), but it you mix it all together you can’t differentiate. If someone asks you what you ate last night, all you can answer with is “food”.
Clothing. I like Hawaiian shirts. I like tie-dye. I like “uniform” shirts with other peoples’ names on them. I love it when I wear a Conoco golf shirt with another name on it over the pocket into a fast food restaurant and see how many times the server calls me “Vince”.
When the boys still lived with us, I put X’s on the toes of my socks so that they won’t get mixed up with my stepsons’ socks. Those kids could really work dirt into socks down to the sub-atomic level, and once they’d done so, I’d have rather eaten razor blades than put my feet in them. Your feet, fine. My feet, NFW. You never know what kind of trench rot I’d be exposing my flesh to. Teenagers are disease vectors far worse than small children because at any moment they may graduate from a snotty nose to VD.
I like custom T-shirts with sayings that only mean something to me and see people’s reactions:
“Let me find someone talented to help you with that”
“Test subject #23”
“I <heart> Chia Earth”
I wear shorts year round. I abhor clothing. Before I met my wife and was expected to attire myself like a grown-up, I would go home from work to my bungalow in Washington park and (because there are such things as curtains and blinds) toss off every stitch. I had a bathrobe hanging on the front door should guests arrive.
My favorite color is plaid, with paisley running a close second.
My wife is a magnet for bad drivers.
Talking in Theaters. It’s not your fucking living room. Shut up.
Cell phones in theatres.
Ungagged children allowed off-leash in public places. That means up to the age of 18.
Bodily Functions and Higene
Everyone eats. Every sleeps and drinks. Everyone picks their nose. Everyone burps. Everyone spits, farts, pees, and poops—everyone, even Queen Elizabeth, even Jesus and Mohammed. There are no exceptions. Why all the fuss?