Monday, September 08, 2008

My Last Meal:
It was squash that I couldn’t stand yet Mom always grilled it up because Dad liked it. Each time she did, we would be in for a long night. My sister and I weren’t picky eaters. We’d eat outside the bread, cheese and pasta food groups, but we were kids and food texture was a big factor in what we eat. Anything too slimy and it wasn’t going down right.

We’d eat the chicken with the strange leafy blooms-- artichokes I believe they are called and we tasted the salty balls that looked like rabbit pellets. Even the cottage cheese which resembled curdled, lumpy, spoiled milk slipped down the hatch. Yet when it came to the squash I just shook my head and sealed my mouth shut. It was a no-go! The last time I attempted to force it down I chased it with milk and gagged so my eyes watered and my throat croaked in reverse. I wasn’t going to let that happen again.

While my sister and I took turns distracting our parents with silly questions and bombastic stories, we’d make magic disappearances with the squash. Under the table, I’d first try feeding the squash to the dog. No matter how much sauce was on it, the dog wouldn’t touch it. (You know it’s bad when an animal that will lap up its own regurgitated food won’t even eat it.) When that didn’t work I’d quickly throw it under my placemat.

Then it was my turn and I’d put the parents in a frenzy about an exaggerated rumor I heard, while my sister hid the detested veggie in her milk glass. Another limp squishy piece of squash would be shoved under her chair’s seat cushion. But this was usually a desperate last resort because it was often forgotten for a few days before Mom would come screaming from the kitchen red in the face with a threatening wooden spoon in hand.

For the last few morsels of gooey, seedy squash we would drop it into our mouths- careful to move our tongues out of the way and race to the bathroom- spitting it up in the toilet. One time I tried the sink but that just made a horrible mess and I nearly gagged again just touching it with my bare hands. It feels like yesterday that we would sit at our table plotting the squash escape, but it’s since been the last meal I’ve had to turn down. Luckily squash isn’t in season for many of us.