Food Writing Contest Finalist: Bob Emmons

And beer doesn’t go well with it either


What’s the deal with women and salad? I can understand eating it for health benefits but women seem to actually enjoy it.  They can make a whole meal out of the stuff. The only guy I ever met who truly likes salad believes that three of the last four presidents of the United States were actually cleverly disguised lizard creatures from another galaxy. Well, maybe.

Salad does serve a function when eating out at a restaurant. It’s something to do after you’ve ordered and are waiting for your meat entrée. However, if you have a good waiter or waitress, he or she will refill the bread basket with more bread or rolls and then the salad course becomes unnecessary.

When considering the relative desirability of salad look to the animal kingdom. Do lions eat salads? No, unless indirectly if the antelope or gazelle has been grazing on the savannah immediately before the lion chowed down.

Who does eat lettuce? Rabbits and slugs. They’re not two animals that generate a lot of respect. I know a person who bit into a slug when eating salad at a fancy restaurant. Apparently this is not an uncommon occurrence. He was so traumatized that to this day he won’t sit within 50 feet of a salad bar.

I’ve eaten some nasty stuff in my life. Snakes during my Army days and when I was teaching Entomology I had students prepare insect recipes found in a book titled ‘Butterflies in My Stomach’. And of course I had to sample them. Delicacies such as grasshopper soup, caterpillar cookies, and my personal favorite- cockroach pudding.  But even with extra croutons and gobs of salad dressing I wouldn’t eat a slug.

And don’t forget all the bacterial pathogens found in salads. People who eat salads probably lose weight because those bacteria cause them to leave a lot of pounds behind in the bathroom.

Yeah, salads can be healthy. But remember the old joke- a doctor tells a middle-aged man that he must stop drinking, excessive partying, and eating red meat, and instead get lots of sleep and eat salads at least twice a day. The fellow asks the doctor, ‘If I follow your instructions will I live longer? The doctor replies ‘Not necessarily, but it will seem longer’.


— Bob Emmons