It is raining in Bostonia. Nay, it is pouring. I am huddling in the dark hole that is my bedroom, safe from the disgusting humidity thanks to my beloved air conditioner. I ventured out of the room once to go get breakfast and a glass of water and I dearly regretted it as soon as I realized I was essentially swimming through the air.
Now, I regret it for entirely different reasons.
As soon as I got back to my computer, I received an email from my father. Contained within was a link to the blog of one Robert Krulwich. Krulwich is an NPR science correspondent and the cohost of WNYC’s “Radiolab.” He is one of the great heroes of my geeky little heart (a geeky little heart whose science aspects I inherited almost entirely from my father, as it happens – he is to blame for the the science and music geekery, my mother for the bird and textile geekery).
The post my father hyperlinked me to was “Food On a Plate Shouldn’t Move.” This is a sentiment I wholeheartedly agree with. [Read through that post and be prepared to never want to eat again.]
Here, we come to one of the most striking contradictions in my life: I love this shit.
Were I there in person, pouring soy sauce over the tentacles of a dead squid, I would be fascinated. There is a very good chance I would call the waiter back over and order a second helping, purely for the opportunity to repeat the cephalopod!dance. Watching the video, however? I recoil in horror. Nothing about that is okay!!!
My peanut butter toast is sitting particularly cement-like in the bottom of my stomach now.
And then, we move on to the second set of legs. I have never found frogs’ legs to be a particularly appetizing concept but damn is it a terrifying thought now. I know for a fact that I would be utterly enthralled if those suckers were on a plate, twitching away in front of me.
I acknowledge that I am a sick and twisted human being. Pertinent flashbacks!!
Seventh grade: “Now, we’re going to dissect the frog. Team members with the scalpel, cut off the head of the frog.” Meg, never taking her eyes from the corpse, snatches the blade from her teammate’s hand and digs in. The belly is bisected and the organs are being lifted out before the teacher even opens his mouth again.
Twelfth grade: “So, here we have a fetal pig. Who wants to cut it open? (Football team captain’s name), you want it?” Football team captain says, “Uhhh…” and Meg interjects, “ME!”
I know I would do this thing. I would take those freshly skinned frog legs and pour salt on them with a maniacal snicker and a grin. I would love the heck out of it. Twitch, twitch, ~cackle~, twitch. Dance, my puppets, dance!
But somehow, there is a world of difference between “this is so gross, I can’t wait to get my hand on it” me and “this thing happened half the world away but look at it,” me. I cannot stand the thought of watching an autopsy video – not even the famous alien!autopsy video – but the concept of going to a morgue and standing nearby while the coroner works is delicious. [I might even get to put the liver in a tray!! …No, I haven’t given this prior thought, what makes you ask?]
I know this post will make my father’s day. My parents are currently on the other side of the country, visiting my sister, and I can hear the delighted, high-pitched little giggle my father emits when he’s particularly proud of himself. Twitchy frog legs don’t have much in common with toast but the fact that I have eaten anything at all this morning is highly regrettable, so far as I’m concerned. There’s a part of me that wants to see more but most of me wants to go jump out a window.
No matter how old I am, no matter how mature I’m become, no matter my career or my hobbies or the physical distance I have put between myself and my forebears, my father will still be able to torment me.
I don’t have any brothers, I suppose someone had to do it? I certainly filled the role for my sister…
Congratulations, Dad, you continue to scar me. Bleargh.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go call a therapist and then watch Kermit escape the fate of turning into deep-fried frogs’ legs. I think it’s the only way to heal myself…