Thursday, August 15, 2013

This Story Will Definitely Make You Barf

When I was a kid and we were gathered around the table eating dinner, sometimes there was a thing I didn't want to eat. One time it was spinach souffle. Another time it was a weird salad with a bunch of things in it like apples, poppyseed dressing, raisins, onions, cornbread, fish tacos, herbs, spices, and human flesh probably. I could only glare at it with loathing and hope the house would burn down.

And if there was one thing my dad totally hated, it was when we wouldn't eat a perfectly good food item. He hated it so much that he had a foolproof method for making us eat. Here is his method. I hope you write it down to one day use on your children, if you do not yet have children. If you do have children, I hope you make something gross and use it on them tonight. And if you don't have children and have no desire to ever have them, I hope you use this method on your pets or butler instead.

Here goes.

My Dad's Foolproof Method for Making Children Eat Things

1. Tell your children they are "picky." Imply that being "picky" is a very, very bad thing and they should be totally embarrassed to be labeled as such.

He still tries this on me, and I say to him, "Shut up, Dad. Aren't you the one who banned tuna from the house because you hate it so much? I REST MY CASE." (I went to a special law school I invented for throwing things back in your parents' faces.)

2. Remind them of a time they were proven wrong. For instance, "Remember that time I made that liver and onions, and you loved it? You ate it up like it was candy. Clearly, you love liver and onions and should eat everything on your plate right now. I REST MY CASE. " 

My dad went to a special law school he invented for remembering useless Dad information that he can use against his children later.

3. And the final step if all else fails. This is important!!! TELL THEM THAT YOU WILL TELL THEM "THE STORY."

"What story?" you're asking? Well, let me enlighten you.

My dad told us that if we didn't eat our [gross food item], he would tell us the story. The story that was so gross it would definitely make us barf.

"That's impossible!" we would taunt.

And Dad would say, "No, I'm serious. When I heard this story the first time, I barfed, so I know."

"What's it about?" we would ask.

"I can't tell you that," he would reply. "Just know that it's so gross, it will make you throw up for sure."

"Is the story about dead, rotting animals?" I asked.

"Maybe," Dad said.

"Are there maggots in it?" my brother asked.

"Possibly," Dad replied.

 "Is someone already barfing in the story?" I asked.

"You're going to find out if you don't eat that green bean hot dog surprise," Dad said.

Well, I hated barfing. This would never do.

We all looked around at each other. Did we want to risk it? Should we all just eat our macaroni and cheese "with peas in it for color because color is important in your meals" as our mom would say? 

"One final question," my older brother would say, recent graduate of a law school he invented where you ask lots of questions to delay Dad telling us a story that would make us barf. "Is there really a story that will make us barf or are you just making things up?"

At this, Dad would become indignant and look at us over the top of his glasses. "Yes, there's a story, and if you don't eat right now, I'm going to tell it to you."

"How much time do we have?" I asked. I had decided that barfing was not worth it.

"Fifteen minutes," he said, "Starting now."

At that point, I would force down the sweet and sour horse face curry as fast as I could and then run to my bedroom, get into bed, and cover my ears with a blanket, lest I risk overhearing the story that would make me barf instantly.

My dad still won't confirm or deny if there was an actual story that would make us throw up for sure, but every time I see something gross, I mentally file it away so I can ask my dad, "Was it about pus? Is there pus in the story? What about diarrhea?"

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