Friday, September 4, 2009

Prairie Oysters Times Ten

You can walk into any Chinese restaurant in New Brunswick and order chicken balls without any trouble. It's on every menu, unless the food they're cooking is actually Chinese. These oily orbs are called chicken balls because finding a piece of chicken inside is about as easy as finding a rooster's nuts...not that I've tried.

If you order oysters in Prince Edward Island, you'll get oysters. If you order oysters at the Calgary Stampede then you might get prairie unpleasant surprise. Prairie oysters rank right up there with shamrock shakes, pickled eggs and headcheese. Some things weren't meant to leave one body only to re-enter another. God only knows what goes into a shamrock shake. The last time I had a one was the day my taste buds died.

My tongue is not fond of pickled ovulation or cheese that is mysteriously meaty. On the hundred mile diet I've enjoyed eating healthy food that's grown locally. I like food that's eminently recognizable. I've eaten many items that I love, and a few that required a 'getting to know you' period of acclimatization. Take beets, for example. Historically I've never gone wild over beets, but on the hundred mile diet I've embraced them like old friends. Yesterday, Julian and I tried to enjoy a few beets after a feast of baked beans.

I had cooked the beets the day before, boiling them into submission. I hadn't sliced them up, so they were lurking in my fridge au naturel. I put a pair of big ones on a small plate and then thought to myself 'these look like bull testicles'. They were uncomfortable looking; big, crimson, almost swollen. They looked angry.

Prior to retrieving the beets I had been playing a game with Julian. In my attempt to prepare him for university life, I had him partaking in a silly, fill-in-the-blank word game.

You've just eaten a meal and you need to clean your teeth. You're looking to buy a paste to clean your teeth. You go into a pharmacy and ask to purchase some ________? Hint: teeth and paste.

Julian's answer was 'teeth paste'. Not bad, he might survive in the big city, on his own, I thought.

I kept the game going when I presented him with the two beets on a plate.

These look like ________ testicles. I was certain he'd say bull or buffalo.

After a few careful seconds of deep thought, Julian came back with the response "Barney's." "These look like Barney's testicles." You know what? He was right. They did. I could barely eat them after his comment. It's amazing how thinking about Barney, or his testicles, can put you off your meal.

The scary part of the whole exercise was that Julian didn't come up with just one hilarious and brilliant answer. He came up with three.

His second and third choices were Dino The Dinosaur and Grimace.

Julian has proven to me that he's a clever, quick-witted thinker who sees the big picture. He'll do well when I drop him off at Dalhousie University on Sunday. He can fend for himself with ease, I'm convinced, and he'll do it with humour or intelligence, hopefully both.


  1. Hopefully he'll hit the room mate jackpot like you did...

  2. I agree that I hit the room mate jackpot!