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Damned fish

I am sitting here munching on some baby carrots, having had some baby spinach on a sandwich about an hour ago, and it strikes me something isn’t right about using “baby” as an adjective to describe vegetables.

It’s the proverbial slippery slope, you see. Next thing you know, we’ll be eating “toddler” asparagus. Anybody for teenage artichoke hearts? Young adult celery? Middle-aged green peppers? Senior citizen cabbage?

Suppose you prefer adolescent celery to the Gen X variety. Or maybe you like septuagenarian potatoes instead of fries. Fries. As in small, as in young — Wait! The dictionary doesn’t say anything about fries being vegetables. It says fries are fish! Of course they are. Fish fries. The great regret of my life is that I never got to go bowling and have a fish fry with the late Princess Diana. Or bowling and french fries, for that matter. French fries: I’m desperately trying to steer this back to vegetables …

Bear with me here. I can’t get back to vegetables. No, wait, I can. This is desperate, like wresting with a rutabaga, playing rock-scissors-paper with a Caesar salad, cribbage with a cauliflower, golf with broccoli. But it’s a struggle. My brain train has jumped the vegetable tracks again and now I’m trying to work “smelt,” as in fish, into this — damned fish! — but now I’m starting to hear a voice in my head, and it’s the late Frank Zappa, and he’s saying, “A prune is not a vegetable. A cabbage is a vegetable,” something he really does say on at least one record, and now I’m not hearing just a voice anymore, I’m hearing music, and Zappa and his band are playing the song “Call Any Vegetable,” no, wait, it’s instead the end of “Invocation and Ritual Dance of the Young Pumpkin,” at the end of which Zappa recites lyrics from “Call Any Vegetable,” vegetables being one of the themes of this particular album, and Zappa is singing, “Call any vegetable/call it by name/you’ve gotta call one today/when you get off the train/call any vegetable/and the chances are good/that the vegetable will respond to you.”

Wait. I’m back. Where was I?

Oh, yeah. Baby carrots.



( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 3rd, 2008 06:57 pm (UTC)
I really like you.
Jul. 3rd, 2008 07:04 pm (UTC)
Thanks! It must be that mutual fear of cheese that's the texture of plastic.
Jul. 3rd, 2008 07:14 pm (UTC)
So. Very. Wrong. In that page I linked to about the processed cheese food, the guy says, when musing about all these fake-cheese substances, "How were they different from just plain old American cheese?" I could hardly restrain myself from shouting at the computer "They don't!" It always bothered me that, as with so many other American things, Americans seem totally oblivious to anything other than the American variety.
Jul. 3rd, 2008 08:16 pm (UTC)
haha, man, you're super cool.
Jul. 3rd, 2008 08:34 pm (UTC)
God, I hope you're not being ironic.
Jul. 3rd, 2008 08:39 pm (UTC)
I'm not good at being ironic on purpose. So, no, I'm just saying I think you're cool.
Jul. 3rd, 2008 08:49 pm (UTC)
Jul. 4th, 2008 02:06 pm (UTC)
My brain froze in fear at the concept of senior citizen cabbage... wrong and bad, of that I am fairly certain. What were you saying? I managed to come back for a minute to ponder the pluralization of fish fry and then I was off again.
Jul. 5th, 2008 06:03 pm (UTC)
My brain checked out somewhere around the first mention of Zappa, at which point it switched to "Zappa Plays Zappa is at Thursday at the Square in a few weeks. . . must attend that one." Shortly before that, the baby (baby?) carrots I was eating started to seem a lot more mature.

Food for thought (har har): are old or expired baby carrots considered senior citizens then? What does that say about our society's treatment of the elderly?

Oh goodness. . .
Jul. 5th, 2008 06:13 pm (UTC)
I saw Zappa twice; he was, hands down, the best guitar player I've ever heard. His son Dweezil is fronting Zappa Plays Zappa, but I'm not familiar with his chops. Here's a good read on the tour:


As for aged baby carrots, I think they all wind up in a salad bar someplace. Vegetableuthanasia or something.

"Food for thought": I liked it!

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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