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Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Gotta love kids.

Kids and puppies-- for most normal people, they're both too cute to kill. And that's a good thing. God knew what (S)he was doing when making kids and puppies: make them as cute as possible so only the real dregs of society will put bullets into their brains or smash their little skullettes.

On Saturday, our puppy urinated all over our couch. Fortunately, it's an Ikea couch, so it has a slipcover. Said slipcover went into the washing machine and backup slipcover was utilized in its place. Not two hours later, she let loose all over backup slipcover.

Today's Tuesday, and she's still alive because, let's face it: she's pretty fucking cute, and would look decidedly less so with all four of her legs broken, her asshole sewn up with piano wire, her ears tied together in a bow and her teeth shoved into her eye-sockets.

We don't have a kid but, when we do, I'm sure (s)he is going to raise all kinds of hell-- it's going to eat my favorite pocketwatch and shit in our bed and rearrange the t-shirts in my t-shirt drawer and vomit in my antique hats, and chances are the kid will survive relatively unscathed. Because, let's face it, discipline is just so draconian and 1950s.

One thing that kids are notorious for getting away with is being picky eaters. I used to have a friend whose sister would only snack on sour cream, which she ate, right out of the container with a big wooden spoon. For the first decade-and-a-half of his life, my brother-in-law subsisted almost entirely, it seems, on any number of pasta products smothered in sauce, french fries (only from fast food establishments-- the ones cooked at home never got crispy enough) slathered in ketchup, chips and salsa (noticing the tomato theme?). According to my wife, he still eats pop-tarts schmeared with cream cheese, every day for breakfast-- a holdover from his tempestuous youth.

mMmMMMMMmMmmmMmmmMMMMMMmmm, right?

I went through phases as children do, too. For all of high school, I would eat a challah roll, cut in half, toasted, buttered, with a cup of tea for breakfast-- my Jewishness and Anglophilia meshing smartly at the breakfast table. In middle school, every Sunday, I would watch auto racing with an enormous bowl of Doritos piled up to a tenuous, pre-overflowing state. And then, immediately afterwards, there would follow another bowlful. In elementary school, the only candy bar I would eat was a "5th Avenue Bar." Once, my father went to the 7-Eleven and came home with a "Butterfinger" stating confidently that "it's the same thing, mummy." I took a bite and spat it out into the toilet. This might have been the first time I decided I didn't always trust him.

When children exhibit food quirks, it can be trying for parents, I'm sure. But it's also kind of charming. "Oh, he only eats brown bread! Isn't that cute?"

When adults exhibit food quirks, well, it's not cute anymore.

It's Foodspergers.

That's right, bitches, I coined a term. Give me money and prizes and such.

Foodspergers (n - fud/SPER/gurz) is defined as "a clinically diagnosable inflexibility displayed by certain portions of the 18+ community surrounding food that is typified by socially unacceptable requests, demands, preferences, proclivities and/or behaviors that fall outside normal, acceptable limits."

On Sunday, my wife and I were in New Hope at a small, hole-in-the-wall pizza joint. Like normal people, we picked slices of pizza from the selections that were on display at the counter. Had we desired a more fru-fru dish, we would have ordered one, you know, from the choices contained on the menu.

In front of us, I heard,

"Do you have whole wheat pasta?"

The chippy behind the counter blinked twice.

"I want whole wheat pasta. Don't you people have whole wheat pasta?" the voice insisted or, rather, whined.

The clerk looked at someone else at one of the ovens. The someone else shrugged and shook her head in the negative. The customer belonging to the whining voice looked utterly exasperated and crestfallen. She looked at her husband.

"I just don't understand how they can't have whole wheat pasta."


By the way, said customer was definitely 60 or older. An obvious sufferer of Foodspergers. You don't walk into a place and ask for something that's not on the menu, and then get all crybaby and indignant when they don't have it. You don't walk into McDonalds and order a porterhouse with garlic butter au jus and then throw a fit when they give you an Angus Assburger with some anonymous schmenksauce on it.

That is the other component of Foodspergers: the inability and/or unwillingness to adjust one's gustatory expectations to their comestible environment. Linguists might refer to this as code-switching, and most of us are facile enough at food code-switching so that we do not attempt to order a Double Mocha Java Chip Frappuccino from the bewildered Indian service attendant at the Mobil Station Grab-n-Go Snack Shack.

A while ago, Mrs. Apron and I passed a pleasant morning at a local farmer's market. You've been to a farmer's market before, right? We're talking big-shouldered Amish women with ten thumbs who gut whole chickens right in front of you with all those thumbs. We were ordering our breakfast from a greasy-spoon lunch counter type place. There is a menu, and it is very simple: any possible type of permutation you could possible desire, so long as it has to do with eggs, cheese, and/or ham, bacon, sausage, pork-roll, or scrapple (let's face it: this is Pennsylvania, motherfuckers). Standing in front of us were two gangly homosexuals, probably in their late forties. They were dressed in black, carrying designer man-purses, and the one who opened his purty little mouth to order was wearing Versace sunglasses and copious amounts of hair gel.

"Do you have faux-meat?"

The guy in the apron that looked like it had been lovingly coated in placenta stared at him.

"You know, vegetarian sausage?"

Some of the non-Foodspergian customers looked at each other with the, "Where does this guy think he is, Soho" look in their eyes. The proprietor was nonplussed.

"No," he replied flatly, "we don't."

And then came the exasperated, homosexual sigh. That terse, barely restrained, almost tweeny exhalation of disappointment. I mean, are you kidding me, Renaldo?

True, we all get disappointed when we don't get what we want in this world, but, fortunately, most of us are non-syndromic enough to cope with those disappointments and put them into the proper perspective.

That said, I will never forget the day my father brought me home that fucking Butterfinger. God, I should have broken his legs and shoved that hyper-sweetened, messy-assed candy bar up his hairy Israeli orangutan ass.


  1. I have a cousin who is 30 and still subsists on chicken strips, macaroni and cheese, plain hot dogs, and mashed potatoes. I don't know how the woman doesn't have scurvy by now. Forget about trying to eat anywhere that doesn't serve one of the four things she'll eat.

  2. Anyone who has ever worked in food service has had to deal we these people. This post brought me back to the days I was working at wendys and people complained because we didn't have fish sandwiches.

  3. I nearly cried laughing. And I greatly appreciate your swearing style. definitely adds to the effect.

  4. my expectations are reasonable for the establishment, but my favorite bartender informed me last week that my drink and lunch orders are dead wringers for a difficult woman.


    is it too much to ask not to use pepper vodka in my bloody mary, and to put bacon on my chicken sandwich, or to bring me a little cup of mayo for any sandwich I might order and remember that I prefer to leave the lettuce off?

    oh. guess it's a good thing i'm pretty cute, huh? ;)

  5. I adore this post. I…have very mild Foodspergers, I think, the kind where I expect to have my every whim catered to…but I stop short of like…whining about it when I can't get it. I just leave.


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