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Charlie Hatton
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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
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Keep Your Eyes on Your Own Dinner, Dammit

Ahhhh, Fridays. You gotta love Fridays, don’t you, folks?

I just finished a couple of beers and nearly half a pizza; I’m sitting in my living room floorin sweats and a T-shirt, and I’m watching the Red Sox kick the Yankees ass on the ol’ boob tube. My wife is curled up on the couch, the dog is nestled under her cover on the floor, and I don’t even have to think about work — or anything else, for that matter — for at least two full days. Life is good, folks.

The pizza, in case you’re wondering — and I’m almost certain that you’re not — was the one that the missus and I almost always order. It’s the ‘special’ put together by the Italian joint a few blocks away. They throw pepperoni on the thing, and sausage, and green peppers, and onions, and I think there are some mushrooms on there, too. Maybe some other stuff, too — it all tends to run together when you suck it down as fast as I do.

(Yeah, let’s just agree to not think about that last sentence too hard, or take it out of context in any way, all right? I’ve got enough nasty rumors circulating as it is, thank you very little.)

The one thing that I know is not on our pretty pizza pie is tomatoes. Tomato sauce, sure. But cut-up, glommed-on, oozy tomato slices? No. They’re part of the special, but I always have them substituted with hot peppers. One of my very least favorite ‘how the hell can you call that food?’-stuffs replaced with a whole big bunch of eye-watering, mouth-beckoning three-alarm goodness. Almost poetic, ain’t it?

See, you’ve gotta understand — I absolutely hate tomatoes. Just the recognizable ones, though — tomato paste is fine, as is pizza sauce, and even ketchup. (Or ‘catsup’, if you prefer, though I always picture that as being made from ground-up tabbies… which I’d probably have an easier time eating than raw tomatoes, frankly. Kitties taste like chicken, don’t you know.)

Anyway, the point is that I can stomach tomatoes, as long as you have the common decency to pulverize the nasty things beyond recognition before plopping them on a plate in front of me. If I can’t figure out what the hell it was, then I’m okay eating it. I imagine I’d be okay with soylent green, too, if you served it on a bed of rice, maybe with a nice salad, or a veggie medley.

But if there’s anything I hate more than a glistening, pulpy hellish slice of tomato sitting on my burger or pizza, it’s the people who give me bitchy grief for peeling the damned things off and slapping them on my plate, never to be tasted by human lips.

(Yeah, yeah, I know — the lips don’t really taste anything. Look, I’m trying to be all flowery and shit here, okay? Cut me some goddamned slack, for once. And doesn’t the tongue get enough press time as it is, anyway? Sheesh.)

Now, don’t get me wrong — I don’t mind if someone at the table asks if they can have my unwanted bit of ass-tasting-fruit-posing-as-a-vegetable. I’m more than happy to spread the gag-inducing things around. And better that the turdbag mooches I’m with ask me for something I’m not gonna eat anyway than try to sneak a French fry or pickle wedge off my plate. That’s how bitches lose fingers, you know what I’m sayin’?

No, the people who really get my undies in a bunch are those who get seemingly offended that I’m not gobbling up my nasty tomatoes like a good taste bud-impaired little boy. They smirk, and they groan, and in the end, they always end up saying the same thing, in between eye-rolls and disappointed ‘tsk tsk‘s:

But… but… you have to eat those! Tomatoes are good for you!

Yeah. You know what? If everything that was ‘good for you’ was tasty and good and even remotely tolerable , we’d all brush our damned teeth twelve times a day, and spend our lunch hours with our heels splayed in the air, getting high colonic cleansings for ‘fun’. Because they’re ‘good for us’. Right.

But life’s not like that, people. Just because something’s ‘bad for you’ doesn’t mean that we’re not going to do it. Or even that we shouldn’t do it, dammit — we’re big boys and girls. We know what we’re doing. And the converse is also true. Or, um, the inverse. Or counterverse, or antiverse, or… oh, for the love of crispy waffles, you know what the hell I mean!

Namely, that just because something is good for you doesn’t mean that you’re gonna run out and buy it, or eat it, or use it to flush out your heinie-hole. For instance, I’ve heard that sperm does wonders for hair conditioning, but no one — and I mean no one has ever asked me to hop in the shower with them after they shampoo to help them develop a ‘full-bodied shine’.

(Oh. Wait. Actually, a girl did ask me to do just that, using almost those exact same words. But to be fair, she wasn’t talking about her hair. This is one of those cases, admittedly rare, where having a sexual euphemism handy just confuses the issue. There are ‘full-bodied shines’, folks, and then there are ‘Full’. ‘Bodied‘. ‘Shines‘. Yeeeeah.)

(Or, um, so I hear, anyway. I don’t remember exactly how that story ended, but I vaguely recall falling asleep in the shower stall at some point. Some rather early point. Ahem.

Look, the point was… uh, it was… well, it was something about sperming up hair, I think. I don’t remember why that was the point, exactly, or what the hell has happened to my life that would lead me to have a virtual conversation where that became the point, but I’m pretty sure that’s what it was. Let’s focus on the point, and not my inappropriate sleeping habits in the bathroom, okay? ‘Cause I don’t have all night for this shit. We’d be here for days.)

Anyway, I seem to remember that the original point was that I don’t like tomatoes. And that my preference for foods other than tomatoes seems to be personally repugnant to certain people, who seem to believe that I should stuff the hideous things down my piehole, my taste buds and gag reflex be damned.

Well, those people can just go to hell, frankly. You want to let me pour a barrel of cod liver oil down your yappy throat, or feed you a bucketful of crispy, protein-packed dung beetles, then maybe, just maybe, I’ll let you tell me that I should try tomatoes for the hundred and nineteenth time because I might have finally developed a ‘taste’ for them. And because they’re ‘good for me’. Otherwise, though, take your smug look and your stupid advice and colonicize yourself with them, would you? Because I don’t give a damn, I’m not eating that red gushy crap on my plate, and I’m not even remotely interested in your opinions on the matter. So unless you’d like a ‘tasty’ tomato-flavored enema, courtesy of my jackbooted foot, keep your yap zipped and mind your own business. Because doing that is what’s good for you. We clear, there, skippy?

Permalink  |  2 Comments

2 Responses to “Keep Your Eyes on Your Own Dinner, Dammit”

  1. Jeff A says:

    Hey are you gonna eat those tomatoes? I love em! I forgive you for having no taste though!

  2. P says:

    *rolls eyes*

    they’re good for you, you know…

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