We humans are a tough lot.
“Slack-cutting” is not one of the things we’re very good at.
People can bet pretty tense and “in-your-face” at times.
So why is that?
Well, following exhaustive research and my own personal study of the human species (I look in the mirror from time to time) I’ve discovered the problem may be in our diet.
But maybe not just our diet but the way we look at the stuff we consume.
Take the shelled effort of the somewhat docile chicken.
We crack it, beat it, whisk it, place it in a pan over a hot fire and scramble or fry it.
Why are we so aggressive?
What did that little egg ever do to you, except cause you to gain weight or raise your cholesterol.
I did always think that the bravest person on earth was the one who said, “See that thing coming out of that birds’ behind? I’ll bet that would taste pretty good with some chunks of ham and some cheese mixed in.”
We’re pretty rough on potatoes , too.
We scrape all their skin off, chop them up, toss them in boiling water and then we either beat ’em, whip ’em or mash ’em.
We even gouge their eyes out when they sprout.
We’re a tough crowd, I’m telling you.
But it’s no wonder.
Because the celery stalks us.
Speaking of fruit, have you tried to pare a pair of pears?
When someone’s losing control, we say they’ve “gone bananas”.
We “squash” revolts.
We don’t like someone, so he’s referred to as a bad egg.
(We’re back to picking on chickens.)
See how all this food lingo is putting edibles into a category that we feel compelled to lash out at?
When we have a disagreement with someone, we claim to have a “beef” with them.
When our daughters were young, wife Neav would often slow cook a pot roast.
Did our daughters call it “pot roast”?
It was “tear-y” meet because they didn’t have to cut or slice it; they would just “tear” off a hunk.
Someone can’t get the job done?
That’s due to the fact that they don’t have the “chops”.
A show-off, lousy actor is a “ham”.
Something’s not good for us if it doesn’t stick to our “ribs” and yet we clean the meat off a rack of ribs, with BBQ sauce up to our armpits, and that’s supposed to be good.
We squeeze grapes until they “wine”.
Or, even worse, we toss them in a big vat and let barefoot humans stomp them…until they “wine”.
Bare feet on your face and head? I’d “wine” too.
Well, it’s no wonder.
We take peanuts and remove them from their shells and smash them and smash them and smash them until they become peanut butter.
Then we cram it into a jar and no matter how well you scrape with a spatula, there’s always a little bit of the spread that just gets washed way after enduring all that smashing.
It just seems wrong.
(And this is from one of the all-time serious peanut butter jar scrapers!)
But nature occasionally tries to even the score.
That’s why we have cauliflower, asparagus, turnips and beets.
Years ago, my wife found a diet that requited me to eat beets a couple of times a week.
I think it might have been the Marquis de Sade diet.
Now, I like asparagus but I can’t convince anyone else in the family that it does not taste. like an unripened cattail reed.
We tear its head out of the ground, and after drowning in water, we tear it or cut it up before we eat it.
Have you ever heard of “honeymoon salad?”
Just lettuce alone.
(Sometimes you have to allow the good ones sink in before you have that “Aha!” moment.)
We also whip butter and cream and we burn pieces of bread, in the name of “toast”.
We stab forks into our cooked carrots and use those same utensils to keep the meat from moving before we slice a piece off.
We grind the juice out of oranges and toss the peels away and yet I’ve learned they apparently make good skunk repellents.
We slice our cheese and jam it between two buttered pieces of bread while smothering it under a pan lid over an open flame in the name of a toasted cheese sandwich.
We consume angel hair spaghetti, giving hardly a thought to all those bald angels and yet we’d scream if we found a human hair in our salad or soup.
We subject coffee beans to intense heat before grinding them up and jamming them into little plastic cups so we can scald them with boiling, hot water so we can add sugar and cream to cover the taste of the beans.
Better yet, let a west coast coffee conglomerate do the same thing but add lots of fluffy, sugary sweet stuff to the coffee and we’ll pay lots of money to burn our tongues every morning.
But maybe the way we deal with food is actually therapeutic.
Perhaps all this mashing, smashing, cutting and tearing of food keeps up from doing even more damage than we already do to one another.
Probably just another reason for me to “chew the fat” some more.