Hell of a Guy

I Never Saw My Dad Eat Tomatoes…


This morning I was awakened at 4:10 with a nature call.  As I laid back in the bed, half asleep and half awake, the title of this piece popped into my head – “I never saw my dad eat tomatoes.’  Well, as luck would have it, or rather not have it, my mind continued to ruminate about my dad’s gastronomic peculiarities, and there were many.

To repeat myself, for sure, I never saw my dad eat tomatoes.  Why this popped up in my ever decreasing cerebral awareness, I have not a clue, but it did.  My dad ate some weird shit (forgive me, Dad, I had to say it).  Allow me outline for you some of the weirdness that was Russell Anstine White.

My dad loved cantaloupe, especially freshly picked cantaloupe from my Great Uncle Ellis’s garden.  Uncle Ellis lived in Marshallberg, North Carolina, where, as our great fortune would have it, we vacationed almost every summer for a couple of glorious weeks.  This seaside town (population about 100) had soil perfect for growing melons, big melons.  We would occasionally raid it, with my uncle’s blessing, of course, for a cantaloupe.  Dad would clean the cantaloupe and eat some.  It never seemed to fail, but within an hour or so after ingesting the melon, Dad would throw up.  He did it time after time.  I suppose his love of cantaloupe outweighed his disgust of getting sick because of it.  Weird, but that was my dad.

Peanuts – my Dad loved roasted peanuts.  He loved to pop a handful in his mouth and chew away.  And chew away he did…for what seemed to be an eternity.  He apparently had difficulty swallowing them and would chew for them minutes, much longer than it took any other human to chew up some nuts and swallow them.  Dad got more than his money’s worth out of a few peanuts.  Weird, but that was my dad.

My dad didn’t drink or smoke.  He didn’t cuss, either, though I thought I heard him say “hell” once.  He did, however, eat some strange stuff.  How does this one grab you?  Dad would allow milk to curdle (i.e. sour) to a state where it solidified and hardened.  He would sprinkle sugar over it and eat away.  He said it was good, and I took his word for it.  Weird, but that was my dad.

If the milk thing wasn’t bad enough, this one is.  Mother would sometime prepare lima beans with a hunk of fatty ham.  Mother never threw any leftover food away.  If we did not eat it, it went in the fridge.  Lima beans leftover… into the fridge they went.  One morning I saw my dad take a bowl of leftover lima beans out of the fridge.  The liquid the beans were in had congealed into an off-white disgusting looking mess.  It did not matter to old Dad. He got a spoon from a drawer and “yummed” his way through the cold beans until they were gone.  Weird, but that was my dad.

Dad didn’t care for spaghetti.  Both he and mother could not get into it as a meal.  They thought it okay as a side dish, but a main course, no way.  They did not ever eat pizza to my knowledge, but their idea of a really great meal was an order of French fries, a Fish Filet and a cup of coffee at McDonald’s.  Weird, but that was my dad (and mom). 

I suppose one day, hopefully way in the future, one of my children or grandchildren will write a piece for their blog describing all the weird crap I ate or did, though, quite frankly, I do not have an inkling as to what might be found that I did that could possibly be classified as weird.

And that is all I have to say about that…

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