Pass The Vegetables

November 18, 2005

It’s been said that the first person to eat an oyster did so on a bet, that the first person to eat escargot was really really hungry, and that the first person to eat mountain oysters was, well, insane. When you think about it, though, isn’t this really true of just about everything we eat? Someone, whose name will never be known, looked at a cow and said, "I think I’ll carve out a big piece of that thing and eat it." And we’re all familiar with the famous scene in the movie ‘2001’ when the apes discover a big black vending machine outside their cave, realize they don’t have any change, and take their frustration out by beating a pig with a geosynchronous orbital satellite and eating it – the pig, not the satellite. Why did they start with a pig, though? For one thing I can’t think of a less appetizing looking animal, unless you count the oyster, and you don’t find many of those in the desert. For another thing keeping kosher might seem like a silly, arbitrary thing, but when you live in the desert where meat spoils in about thirty seconds it is a good idea to stay away from pork. If the origin of man had really happened the way Stanley Kubrick envisioned homo sapiens would have been wiped out by trichinosis and high cholesterol before the discovery of fire.

But I digress. The strange thing is that when we eat a piece of cow or a pig and eat it we don’t say, "Mmm, this is good cow." We say, "This is a good steak" or "This ham is delicious." Chopped-up cow is called "beef", and there are specific parts like "brisket" or "chuck". At least there’s a pork butt, but to make things really confusing that comes from the shoulder. Do we call meat "beef" and "pork" instead of "cow" and "pig" because we’re uncomfortable with eating Miss Piggy or Bessie The Cow? Do we give animal parts these weird names because we’re afraid of anthropomorphizing them? Would it be too weird to say "This is tasty shoulder of cow!"? I thought that, but then remembered that chopped-up chicken is still called chicken, and you can get a leg or a thigh or breast. Chickens also have wings, but most people don’t eat chicken wings unless they’re dipped in hot sauce–the wings, not the people, and also when they’ve been drinking–the people, not the wings. But I digress. I just hope I’ve given you something to think about this holiday season when you’re carving a turkey or, well, eating some leg of pig.

Enjoy this week’s offerings.


A girl asks her boyfriend to come over Friday night and have dinner with her parents. Since this is such a big event, the girl announces to her boyfriend that after dinner, she would like to go out and make love for the first time.

Well, the boy is ecstatic, but he has never had sex before, so he takes a trip to the pharmacist to get some condoms. The pharmacist helps the boy for about an hour. He tells the boy everything there is to know about condoms and sex.

At the register, the pharmacist asks the boy how many condoms he’d like to buy, a 3-pack, 10-pack, or family pack. The boy insists on the family pack because he thinks he will be rather busy, it being his first time and all.

That night, the boy shows up at the girl’s parents house and meets his girlfriend at the door. "Oh, I’m so excited for you to meet my parents, come on in!"

The boy goes inside and is taken to the dinner table where the girl’s parents are seated. The boy quickly offers to say grace and bows his head.

A minute passes, and the boy is still deep in prayer, with his head down.

10 minutes pass, and still no movement from the boy.

Finally, after 20 minutes with his head down, the girlfriend leans over and whispers to the boyfriend, "I had no idea you were this religious."

The boy turns, and whispers back, "I had no idea your father was a pharmacist."

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