Saturday, September 23, 2006

Dry Heave

A major American theme park has decided to repeat a marketing gimmick that paid off big time last year. A Halloween promotion offers free tickets and cuts to the front of the line for anyone willing to eat a live Madagascar Hissing Cockroach. This is not a new phenomenon. There is big money in getting people to eat disgusting things. The Entertainment Industrial Complex struck that gold mine generations ago. Sociologists have said all they can say about what drives people to engage in this type of behavior. All of the angles, profit, attention, self-loathing, and sexual gratification have been discussed ad nauseam. So it is settled, some people eat disgusting shit, I don’t know why, they just do.

I think there are more important issues to be addressed here. I believe there are vast numbers of individuals among us who secretly eat bugs. As children, they sit cross-legged in the dirt, feigning interest in the social order of ants. As adults, they diligently label and mount their scrumptious specimens for future “examination.” They wait impatiently for the next contest or special offer that provides license to publicly indulge in their secret desire. As bug is pressed against tongue, some conceal their ecstasy by contorting their faces in well-rehearsed expressions of horror. Others hide behind exaggerated, and therefore unbelievable, displays of euphoria.

Your fingers twitch in anticipation of the obvious question. Has my New-World-Centric bias blinded me to the obvious? Absolutely not, I am aware that bugs, worms, grubs, etc., are considered delicacies in places far removed from my sterilized environment. I also know that my own list of personal favorites includes items that would wretch the most fervent eater of bugs in those far way lands. The fact remains, those born into non-bug-eating cultures would sooner gulp a gallon of warm lard before they would grind the crunchy shell of a beetle between their teeth. So, it is settled. Learned behavior or not, eating bugs is disgusting.

I said all of that so I could ask this question. What about those of us who share our lives with people who put disgusting things into their mouths? (Silver platter alert!) Smokers married to non-smokers come to mind, but they likely knew what they were getting into in the first place. A better example is a recent incident where I walked into the kitchen and caught Jilly furiously stuffing a chocolate filled doughnut into her mouth. Only moments before, this pastry product had taken up residence in the deepest recesses of the kitchen garbage can. It had, by mutual consent, been deposited there along with several other ancient, and very aromatic, containers of decayed food. Jilly stood wide-eyed and motionless, with chocolate sludge on her lips and doughnut detritus littering the floor at her feet. Her eyes shifted from surprise to embarrassment and then quickly assumed the familiar squint of defiance. The awkward pause ended with an enthusiastic resumption of mastication. I stood in utter disbelief, arm outstretched, the accusatory finger held aloft in lieu of the scream that had become lodged somewhere between my lungs and my paralyzed tongue. In a scene reminiscent of a Wild Kingdom episode in which an Anaconda unhinges its jaws and swallows whole the struggling boar, the doughnut was consumed. There followed a flurry of rationalizations as well as “irrefutable evidence” of physical separation between the pastry and the decomposing waste. Her feeble attempts at damage control were all in vain, for in the time that it took for my eyes to behold and my mind to accept, I became the husband of a dumpster diver.

Ok, so I’m being overly dramatic. Who hasn’t eaten from a garbage can? Is it any worse than stumbling upon your husband, fingers plunged deep between the cheeks in an attempt to exorcise that demon itch? Is it more detrimental to happiness than the reflection in the bathroom mirror of your spouse, finger buried past the second knuckle, burrowing into the cerebral cortex via the nostril? Yes, it’s a lot worse than that. Bug eating is a deal killer. If you doubt this, envision the kitchen scenario with minor revisions. You enter the kitchen unannounced. You make eye contact with your beloved at the very moment she thrusts a fistful of cockroaches passed her delicate lips into that beautiful mouth that you have loved with every inch of your being. She freezes, wide eyed, embarrassed and then defiant. The bugs are consumed and then she beckons, “come give me a kiss baby.” So much for the victimless crime.


Blogger Edukator said...

Wow. I mean wow. The doughnut. From the garbage to the mouth. Wow. Question though. What kind of doughnut was this? Was it an orange/cherry cruller. Cause these things could withstand a nuclear strike. I once left one on the dashboard of my car in the summer for a day and ate it happily as it was as fresh as the morning air. hadn't been covered in trash but I'm sure if you dusted it off...maybe washed it? I'm trying here I really am.

11:21 PM, September 23, 2006  
Blogger Stucco said...

I think a more common (and equally distressting) example of damaged foodstuffs is the variety of pet interference. This would be when your cat or dog licks your food when you aren't looking, probably after licking their own funk. At my place, one of our dogs drinks the missus' coffee. Disgusting times three- the coffee is gross, the dog's mouth is gross, and my wife keeps drinking it (you know- when I forget to mention what happened).


11:57 PM, September 23, 2006  
Blogger slaghammer said...

edukator, it was one of those doughnuts filled with some kind of a lard based chocolate substance the consistency of caulk. Had it been lemon filled with a thin layer of chocolate on top, it would have been me in that garbage can.

stucco, there is no escaping the logic, if a dog licks your food and you then eat the food, you are licking the dogs ass by proxy. When you kiss your wife, the proxy ass licking is passed forward. She puts a finger in her mouth and then pushes open the door at the supermarket. By the end of the day, hundreds of people have licked that dog’s ass. Realistically, by the end of a typical workday, I do not doubt that I have licked the asses of ten thousand dogs by proxy. But you know, who can resist the love of a dog?

2:05 AM, September 24, 2006  
Blogger Cheesy said...

Oh chill out Slag! Sometimes it takes a little dumpster diving to get just the right amounts of anti~venom to Kill the evil effects of the "bladder rats" ?!! Hehehe And sometimes???? you just have to bite off the head of a "cock"roach... make it hisssssssssss

9:01 AM, September 24, 2006  
Blogger Jill said...

Hummph. My account of the incident is here.

I'm seeing a dearth of nooky on the horizon.

11:53 AM, September 24, 2006  
Blogger ian said...


Slag, from the sound of things, there may be a real lack of disgusting things going into someone else's mouth real soon. That's all I'm going to say on the matter.


12:18 PM, September 24, 2006  
Blogger slaghammer said...

cheesy, you are a wise person. I will stand with Jilly at the trashcan but the bugs are a deal killer. It is in the contract, no bug eating.

jilly, it’s ok, all I need is the air that I breath and to love you. Just wipe that chocolate from your face & come over here and give me a hug.

12:21 PM, September 24, 2006  
Blogger slaghammer said...

ian, damage control is well underway. Faith man!

12:25 PM, September 24, 2006  
Blogger lastonehere said...

I am so thankful that my wife is a germ a phob even if it comes with a little public embarrassment. She uses an alcohol swab to clean here utensils when we go out to eat. No dumpster diving here. However I think that I fall into the dog ass lick category, I have a habit of sharing my food with my dog, his lips never touch the fork.

2:17 PM, September 24, 2006  
Blogger Bazza said...

I would still rather eat a crunchy bug than a Big Mac! I bet there's more natural goodness in the bug.

2:30 PM, September 24, 2006  
Blogger Bostick said...

I saw people eating those 'special roaches' on 'fear factor' and gross. I read in a book of facts that people accidently eat spyders all the time in their sleep. It said that they crawl in your mouth and instinctly you clamp down on them like a venus fly trap. However, little soft house spiders and hissing fucking grape sized roaches are two different things.

2:36 PM, September 24, 2006  
Blogger slaghammer said...

lastonehere, if everybody knew how restaurant kitchens were operated, they would be swabbing their utensils in penicillin.

No bazza, I don't believe you. Even if it's true, I still refuse to believe you. If you were standing in front of me eating cockroaches like popcorn, maybe I would start to believe, no, not even then.

bostick, those damn roaches are a hell of a lot bigger than grapes. They seem to be somewhere between a large lizard and a sewer rat. Ok, not that big but mighty juicy looking all the same.

3:58 PM, September 24, 2006  
Blogger Irene Tuazon said...

Great! There's goes my appetite....

9:08 PM, September 24, 2006  
Blogger slaghammer said...

Irene, sorry, I tried to be gentle by not using actual images of the Madagascar Hissing Roach. They are filthy looking characters. Unfortunately, there's only so much cleaning up you can do with a story like this.

9:16 PM, September 24, 2006  
Blogger Melanie said...

hehehehe!dont know what to say for you!!!!
but yea gross altogether!roaches and food from garbage can!!

yuck yuck and a double yuck!

2:17 AM, September 25, 2006  
Blogger Orhan Kahn said...

I could probably, maybe, you know kind of, eat a worm that was in pie form. Actually, I could probably eat anything that was in pie form. Pies make kittens edible, why not roaches.

Actually, ew.

8:46 AM, September 25, 2006  
Blogger Stucco said...

Actually Orhan, I'm not sure that a pie is the ideal masking food. You get through the crust and you're still faced with whatevere is within. I think if you want to hide an ingredient in a foodstuff, you should consider something with a variety of colors, textures, and flavors, like say... a breakfast burrito.

That or dice the target item up and batter fry it and serve it as worm/cockroach/kitten/whatever "poppers", a la TGI Fridays (who incidentally is advertising "macaroni poppers" here- This appears to be Kraft macaroni squeezed into small food-like pellets and battered and deep fried. What the hell is that about?)


10:38 AM, September 25, 2006  
Blogger Jill said...

I totally agree with Stucco. You can make just about anything edible by battering it, deep frying it and serving it with a mysterious dipping sauce.

We don't even need to go into possible ingredients for the "special sauce."

11:29 AM, September 25, 2006  
Blogger Kara said...

Well, I'll add this anecdote to example #853 of why I should never get married...but buy lots of shoes instead.

11:34 AM, September 25, 2006  
Blogger slaghammer said...

Melanie, yuck is a powerful word. I concur with your doubling of it.

Orhan, So, these kitten pies you mention, do they taste like chicken?

Stucco, I propose the raw oyster rule, if you have to hide it, you shouldn’t be eating it in the first place.

Jilly, you know I would do anything for you, but this is where I draw the line.

Kara, date as many and as often as you can. Cull the weak or otherwise defective units from the herd and marry the lesser of the evils. It worked for Jilly.

12:44 PM, September 25, 2006  
Blogger photo blog girl said...

First of all, as a vegan I have to say that the theme park should be ashamed of themselves. Bugs get no respect. They wouldn't have free admission for someone who would bite off the head of a chicken and eat it.

Secondly, I have to side with Jill on the food-in-the-garbage issue. Sorry slaghammer. But the fact is: we put so much disgusting stuff into our mouths accidentally every day (as people have testified above) that eating a non-compromised delicious chocolate doughnut is totally justified.

1:15 PM, September 25, 2006  
Blogger slaghammer said...

photo blog girl, did I mention it was a chocolate filled pork doughnut? No? Well, it was a doughnut made of pork with chocolate filling, sort of like spam but not as good. Yep, I made that up I guess.

5:11 PM, September 25, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I seen that fear factor before they made them eat a 'pizza' with the sauce made of coagulated blood and the toppings consisted of worms, spiders, big juicy blue bottles and roaches suddenly the hot dog I was eating which probably was made from pig nostrils and arse became very unappetising

3:30 AM, September 26, 2006  
Anonymous Ghostrose said...

You want disgusting foods? You need to check out this site: and look on the right for a feature called "Steve don't eat it." I spent a very pleasant dinnertime and sunsequent hour of the afternoon reading it and giggling in a horrified way. He's funny. :-)

As a footnote, eating a donut out of the bin. Gross, but not unheard of. I've eaten bread with blue bits on it out of desperation once.

9:31 AM, September 26, 2006  
Blogger slaghammer said...

Judith, by including the majestic hot dog in the same sentence as worms, spiders and juicy bugs, you have desecrated holy ground. The magnificence of that flawless culinary invention serves as a testament to the comprehensive genius behind the Fast Food Industrial Complex. It is not only the snouts and arses, but all of the best organs and appendages that are meticulously ground to a smooth paste and machine-excreted into that fragile casing. I love them with every last ounce of my being. I know you didn’t mean it that way so I forgive you.

Ghostrose, “steve don’t eat it” is hilarious. I agree with him on all counts except potted meat. This canned meat product is a close cousin of the hot dog and is therefore deserving of the same reverence.

12:47 PM, September 26, 2006  
Blogger csmc said...


yes I am aware they are a delicacy in some places and all that is available in others, but seriously... HISSING COCKROACHES?!?!?!


7:08 PM, September 28, 2006  
Blogger slaghammer said...

csmc, if I understand correctly, the hissing ones are clean and friendly and not at all like those filthy jerks that live behind the refrigerator. So, may as well eat them.

11:58 PM, September 28, 2006  

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