I had the reputation of being somewhat of a “picky eater” as a child. I would say that on average, my mother uttered to me at least twice a day, “There are children starving in Africa who would love that food you are trying to hide from me with your napkin. Now clean up your plate.”
Believe me, if I could have afforded the UPS or FedEx charges I would have gladly shipped those starving kids in Africa my mother’s creamed corn, lasagna, lima beans, liver and onions and corned beef and cabbage. Although, I really doubt if they’d have eaten it either.
Eggs are my all-time least favorite food and my mom was always trying to sneak them in on me, like in French toast or cake batter. But an egg is an egg and I could smell one a mile away.
Every time she’d serve one, I’d innocently ask, “Do you know where that egg has been?” or, “Do you know what orifice of the chicken that egg came out of?” Comments like that ruined the dining experience for everyone and, I think by the time I left home, I’d almost convinced my mom that eggs were the Devil’s doing.
I didn’t even like my mom’s famous apple pie – and believe me, my mother’s pies were known far and wide for their goodness. It’s just that I subscribe to that old cowboy adage, “Tromp on my corns and tell me lies; just don’t pass me no apple pies.”
It wasn’t that my mother was trying to feed me universally recognized yucky food like rack of raccoon, or filet of Fido fondue. No, my mom was a fabulous cook. It’s just that I’ve always had a highly sophisticated palate with a refined sense of good taste.
I must admit, she didn’t buy that line of B.S. either. But recently, I discovered I’m not nearly the picky eater that some folks are.
My wife’s best friend, Vicki, told us about a recent experience in which she and her beautiful daughter, Erin, were eating large pretzels dipped in mustard for lunch. (To which I say, “Yuck!”) Vicki had half of a large pretzel left in her doggy bag when she passed a homeless person.
Vicki, being the sweetheart she is, said, “Would you like the rest of my large and delicious pretzel?”
To which the so-called “hungry” man replied, “No thanks. I’m a vegetarian.”
Even that homeless guy doesn’t take home the prize as being the pickiest eater on the planet. A while back, I was visiting with my friend Tony Branquinho. If the name sounds familiar, it might be because his brother, Luke, has been the World Champion Steer Wrestler several times now.
Tony was telling me about John W. Jones Jr. who was also a World Champion Steer Wrestler three times; not to be confused with his father, John W. Jones, who also won the buckle as World Champion Steer Wrestler. It just so happens the Jones Ranch is only one ranch away from a ranch I leased for many years. As a neighbor, let me tell you, the Joneses are World Champion people, too.
The closest I’ve ever been to the flame of fame was the night I was given the responsibility of holding Katie Jones’ sister, Shannon, while Katie sang the National Anthem in front of a packed house at the NFR in Vegas. If I recall correctly, Katie was five years old at the time. Now she’s all grown up and engaged to Bear Pascoe, a great ranch kid and team roper who plays football for the New York Giants.
But enough name dropping and back to my story about picky eaters. According to Tony, John W. Jones Jr. saw a gap-toothed, poor-looking lady with a dog by the side of the road, and she was holding a sign that said she was hungry. Real hungry! John, being the great human that he is, drove up the highway to the Burger King and bought her a Whopper or two and some fries.
When the World Champion Good Guy returned to the poor lady by the side of the road and handed her the free feast, Tony said she took one look at the bag and said in a condescending manner: “I don’t eat fast food.”
And you thought I was a picky eater.
The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of Farm World. Readers may log on to www.LeePitts books.com to order any of Lee Pitts’ books. Those with questions or comments for Lee may write to him in care of this publication.