Sunday, June 04, 2017
Lee Pitts: Something to chew on
I'm not much of a world traveler. Outside of a dinner in Juarez and a week of giving speeches in Alberta, the only other country I've been to is Australia. The only thing foreign to me there was vegemite, a salty, bitter, wood putty-like substance they slathered on everything they ate. It smelled like a pair of gym socks that hadn't been washed in a month and tasted like what gets in your mouth when you work cattle with your mouth wide open.
On the opposite side of the world-traveling spectrum we have some friends who are always bragging about how adventurous they are, as if Scotland is the New Frontier and they are Davy Crockett or something. I've heard their story numerous times about how they survived a week in Croatia, surviving on nothing but food and water.
My friends are always off gallivanting all over the world, trying to eat a bigger slice of life than us homebodies. They have scrapbooks documenting how they had their stomachs pumped on three continents. The cosmopolitan couple brag about having eating zebra, fried cockroaches, lutefisk soaked in lye, boiled sheep eyeballs and stewed pig intestines all while trying to make me feel small because the most gutsy and dangerous foods I've ever consumed were my mom's leftovers.
I have no desire to travel abroad or to eat the food the natives do. No thank you. I'll stick to my good old mononitrate, monosodium glutamates right here in the U.S. of A. I'm not going anywhere, especially with all the terrorism going on around the world.
But my friends shrug it off and say, "But Lee you should have tasted the fried scorpions and grasshoppers we had in Thailand, the stink bugs we ate in Africa, the tuna eyeballs, wasp crackers and fried spiders in Japan, the witchery grubs in Australia, the silkworms in Korea, the congealed blood in Europe, the birds-nest soup in Vietnam and the deep-dish haggis in Scotland."
"That sounds like real throat ticklin' grub all right. I've never met anyone who enjoyed bad food as much as you two. But was any of that stuff any good?"
"Heck no," admitted my friend. "It was the most god-awful stuff I've ever tasted. But those dishes paled in comparison to how bad the camel hump and sweet and sour yak was."