Wednesday, March 3, 2010

If only those animals liked hamburger

My parents loved to send us to our Aunt and Uncle’s house on the Oregon coast during the summer when we were kids. My Aunt and Uncle did not have children. I think they liked children. And I know my parents loved a week without their children. 

During one visit, while my Uncle takes my older brother out driving my Uncle’s sand rails around the sand dunes, my Aunt takes me to the grocery store. I was five. In the store my Aunt relays to me that my Mom has sent a laundry list to her of all the foods I do not like. My thought: Excellent work, Mom! I was a highly finicky eater so I attribute this act as wise counsel on my Mom’s part. 

My Aunt asked me how in the world hamburger made my list? Future vegan? Not quite. But I did not like hamburger. So my Aunt buys hamburger much to my chagrin and tells me I just haven’t eaten her hamburger yet. I haven’t eaten mice yet either but I don’t need to in order to know I won’t like them. 

When it is your child being a coy smarty pants, that child is precocious. When it is someone else’s child being a coy smarty pants, especially when you do not have children, that child is begging for the Joan Crawford treatment. Thankfully, my Aunt was a pacifist. 

My Aunt makes lunch for me. And I sit at the table staring at some meatloaf-ish type dish. I can’t eat it. She subscribes to the theory of try one bite. I put the smallest fragment of meat on one tine of the fork. This does not qualify.  She also subscribes to this theory: you will sit there until you finish it. I assess my situation and get clever. 

They have cats so I began luring the cats over under the table and believe they will eat this entire serving of meatloaf surprise. I do not pay enough attention to my own cats at home to realize there is reason cat food is flavored like tuna and not cow. They also have a tiny dog. Or what I like to call a cat in a doggy costume. Her name is Myrtle and that foolish dog won't eat the hamburger either. Don't dogs eat meaty flavored snacks? What is wrong with these animals? We had two Airedales at home that would eat aluminum cans if you dropped them under the dinner table. 

So, I devise another plan. I am tiny but I can see the window about four feet above the kitchen table. The window is open so as my Aunt busies herself and turns her back, I catapult bites of my lunch out the window. I take my time as to avoid appearing too obvious in my sudden change of heart. 

She comes into the kitchen and I make deliberate acts of patting my mouth with my napkin. ALL done! Oh, SO good. She looks at me for a minute. “Did you get enough to eat?” she asks.
“I did. Thank you.”
“Are you full?” she asks with a smile.
“Pretty full. Not too full for a trip to Dairy Queen down the street for a chocolate dipped ice cream cone but pretty full of hamburger.”
“Ok. I have just one question.”
“Yes, ma’am?” I respond as my innocence sparkles through my eyes.
“Do you know why there is a pile of hamburger in the kitchen windowsill?”

What!?!?! My heartbeat races as my eyes expand. Early indication I have no poker face.

What I had failed to notice because of my tiny size was that in fact, the kitchen window was NOT open. Because our windows at home were all sliding windows, I didn’t know that awning windows can jut from the house and have a four or five inch windowsill. Sure enough, in the windowsill was a pile of hamburger meat.

“Sorry,” I say because clearly, I can’t blame the cats or the worthless meat-hating dog. And I am quite nervous she is going to tell my parents. And what I did was quite terrible. She agreed there would be no more hamburger testing. I promised not to do it again.


If only those animals liked hamburger my ruse would have met with great success. 

I am sure this reminded my Aunt of just one of the many reasons they chose not to have children.

86 comments:

the walking man said...

You know, JennyM, you are still fortunate. If it had been my mothers meat loaf it would have shattered glass and sill as it landed.

Jules said...

You CAN NEVER trust the animals.... EVER. They are ALWAYS out to get small children!!!! It's a conspiracy they have!

Mandy's Life After 30 said...

At least your aunt didn't make you lick it off the windowsill then shout something about "no wire hangers!" I could see that ending badly....

Good for you in trying your best to avoid the hamburger meat at all costs. Perhaps your aunt admired your spunk, even as a child.

And now, if you'll excuse me.... I must have coffee and get the image of hamburger meat out of my head since the Diva surprised me with an early morning phlegm puke.

Vodka Logic said...

My mother subscribed to the same tactics. I remember sitting at the table with a glass of milk until it seperated... [i'm sorta old].

Caught my sis spitting out beans in the toilet and mom says don't be a tattle tail... life never seems fair.. lol

How's your feeling on burger these days?

mbkatc230 said...

Well, let's face it. If the dog wouldn't eat it... Dogs will eat anything (I have the x-rays at work to prove it - how many pacifiers will fit in a Doberman's stomach? ALOT) Kathy

Secretia said...

My parents made my brother and me eat lots of stuff we hated, it wasn't that it was good for us, our parents liked it so they made us eat it. Why?

mo.stoneskin said...

I've always believed that small dogs are simply cats in disguise.

Brian Miller said...

grew up in a house where you had to try everything...used to take lima beans like pills...my borther coated his potatoes once in pepper...and they made him eat every bite....wish we had a dog i could sneak it to...

My name is PJ. said...

I laughed and laughed at this! I grew up a bit more Joan Crawford style.... but I look back on that and laugh too.

Lauren said...

I didn't like hamburger as a child either! And leave to cats dressed like dogs to foil your evil plans!

Will Burke said...

My wife calls those dogs Kick-its, Of course, a dog that doesn't eat hamburger is clearly a Princess!

Colleen said...

I have been forcing Punky to eat things against her will for many years now. Much to her chagrin, she has discovered that she actually likes many of the things I've made her try, so she no longer has any chance of getting away with not trying stuff.

Aunt Becky said...

Bwahahaha! You're a clever one! I was always too afraid of getting caught to do anything like that.

Mommakin said...

When I was a baby, I had an aunt who was always impeccably dressed and just a LITTLE BIT better than my mom, if you know what I mean, and I think you do. My mom told her that I did not like peas. My aunt cooed, "she'll eat them for me." My aunt shoveled the offensive peas into my mouth and, if my mother is to be believed, I stored them in my cheeks until they were quite full then spit them all over her without a thought to how expensive her outfit was. I was mom's favorite that day...

Liza said...

In my case it was an egg salad sandwich, tossed over the back patio fence of the neighbor who was babysitting me, and who left me alone for a brief time, thank goodness. I did not get caught. Due to a roommate who would not take no for an answer, now I like egg salad, but don't get me going on brussel sprouts.

BlueRidgeLady said...

How funny to visualize all of this! My Dad was the same way, he tried to make me sit there and endure a cold meatloaf sandwich onetime...I liked and still like meatloaf, but not cold meatloaf...ever!! Your experience reminded me of the time my Mom went shopping and Dad was watching us...he fixed us lunch and my sister didn't want her sandwich. He told her she had to finish it, and I guess he thought she did until he saw that she had thrown the sandwich remains under a damn Arborvite tree!!! That was a good choice Molly, since there are no branches around the bottom to hide them!!! ROFL, she got in soooo much trouble!!
I replied to your request in my blog, so glad you came by!

Susan Erickson said...

I don't think people could cook as well then as they do now. I know my mother didn't make one edible meal my entire childhood. I didn't eat a lot of foods either because of it. And if a dog won't eat meat .....there must be something wrong. If hamburger is greasy...Yahhhh!

The Boob Nazi said...

Hmm, I was never that creative!

Also, I LOVE the Oregon coast.

Laoch of Chicago said...

I must be very perverse because now I am desperately craving a hamburger.

ShellSpann said...

At least she didn't put it back on your plate and make you eat it. The women in my family didn't waste ANYTHING and they would've made me eat it!! bitches! lol

Taylor-Made Wife said...

That is awesome!! And what was wrong with that dog! Mine eats rocks!

Slamdunk said...

Excellent and funny story.

I was surprised that her pets would turn down your offerings though. Our family dog did get smart with us at the dinner table after we pushed our luck in dropping one too many lima beans, but meatloaf was an easy sell.

Jessica said...

So funny! Do you like hamburger now?

Karen said...

My little dog Sandy saved me every time.

Great blog! I intend to follow... and thanks for stopping by This Old House.

Christine Macdonald said...

I have no poker face either.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I love this story Jenny. Does your Aunt remember it?
It reminds me of the night I sat and starred at a plate of liver. I refused to eat it. And in the morning, it was back for breakfast.
What was my father thinking?

Shell said...

Do you eat it now?

Aunt Juicebox said...

This reminds me of a story my dad told me about throwing jello behind the bed when he was in the hospital for a hernia surgery when he was a kid. rofl

Eva Gallant said...

That is hilarious! You were a precocious one! lol

Jen J. said...

LOL, you are so clever! BTW, my dog eats EVERYTHING! Thanks for stopping by my blog. :)

JenJen said...

oh my....HAHAHAHA. Sorry you little stinker.

Andrea said...

I can't blame you a bit. Meatloaf is disgusting! Who came up with that anyway? Obviously, someone who couldn't cook. Gross!

SamiJoe said...

Well you garner points for sorta trying.... and at least, being consistent.

Do you like hamburger these days??

♥ Braja said...

I can't blame you. Or the dog. Or the poor cat.

love,
the Vegetarian
:))

KaLynn said...

well, all I can say is this: if the dog wouldn't eat it, it must not be worth eating! never, ever, have I met a dog that would not eat meat of ANY kind! so it must have a been a smart move of yours to try for the window toss!! =0)

Dumblond said...

I never tried flicking my unwanted food out of a window. I was...okay, am a picky eater and there were many meals growing up that I just couldn't stomach. Tater Tot Casserole,,,to this day, the mere mention of this dish triggers my gag reflex. My go to trick for cleaning my plate? Napkins, nice big napkins. I was eventually caught but not for awhile!!

AmyLK said...

Cute story! My Son just sits there and cries if I make him try something he doesn't like.

otin said...

My father did that crap with eating what was in front of you. My brother actually put food in his pant pockets when no one was looking.

foxy said...

Nice try, JM. I have to say, thankfully, I was never forced to eat anything I didn't like. My mom was made to sit at the dinner table, crying, for hours until she finished her liver and onions (which her sister finally took pity and ate for her), so i guess that's why she didn't force food on us. I consider myself lucky in that regard.

Vivienne said...

Holy cow, I am cracking up! (Pun definitely intended) "haven’t eaten mice yet..." is fabulous. I think The Walking Man's comment is completely hysterical!!!

Alicia said...

hahaa!! awesome! i bet your aunt secretly thought that was hilarious! i used to hide my sandwiches in the air vent in the floor. my gran plan worked fabulously until the house started smelling of rotten bologna.

Janet said...

Great story! I was a horribly picky eater as a child, and I have awful stories of people who MADE me eat things and lived to regret it for various reasons. I swear I will never force a child to eat something.

M-Cat said...

Once my mother cleaned behind the fridge, she found all kinds of remnants of food that I didn't like.

My dog wouldn't eat it either. Stupid animals

Stereos and Souffles said...

I spit the food I didn't like in my napkin, then would drop the napkin on the floor and claim to need a new one since it was now dirty. Worked pretty well.

Christiejolu said...

HA! I loved this! Do you like hamburger now? My 5 year old is a picky eater too. And she insists on having brocoli with every meal....even pizza.

Kathy Sprinkle said...

Fabulous! I remember a similar incident at my grandmother's. I packed my mouth full and popped into the bathroom and proceeded to clog the toilet with apple pancakes. I loved her giant apple pancakes but foolishly told her I wanted Five... no human could actually eat that many of the giant cakes and especially not an 8 year old... I din't want to tell her I couldn't do it. Yeah that wen really well!

Elle said...

This post is hysterical! I would cram as much offending food as I could into my mouth, and then would excuse myself to the bathroom where I would promptly spit the food in the toilet and flush.

I thought I was so clever; until the day the toilet got clogged and my grand scheme was revealed. (Though now that I'm older and wiser, I've gotta believe that my parents and grandparents knew what I was doing way before the toilet incident.)

Grand Pooba said...

Hahaha! Damn those animals!

Nonflammable said...

Oh how I remember those days. Dinner was sometimes torture.

I never make my kids eat what they don't like, but I do expect them to at least try it once to be sure.

If the animals won't eat it, it's not fit for human consumption, in mop.

Pricilla said...

Hmm, you needed a dachshund, I have never known one to turn down food of any kind.

carma said...

you were wise even back then!! (kinda ;-)

Tsquared417 said...

I bet your Aunt loves to tell that story!!

Simply Suthern said...

I have 2 cats for ya. They eat everything. They will reach and whack your elbow with their paws as you try to eat. Pathetic beggars. They are free. All I need is a mailing address. I ship next day. Shuush dont tell the wife.

DeNae said...

OK, that was hilarious. Apparently, we're opposite sides of the same coin. I was fine with the junk food, but I would store peas and corn in my cheeks, even while I napped, rather than swallow.

Finally, my husband said, "Honey, you're 40 years old. Why don't you spit that stuff out already?"

Ashley Stone said...

haha too funny

obladi oblada said...

A dog not eat hamburger? That is nuts...my dogs will eat cat poop if I let them. Im guessing that meat loaf might have been pretty terrible.

Kate@And Then I Was a Mom said...

You know, sometimes I sit back, look at my daughter, and think, "Why aren't you just visiting?" Might not be that bad to be the aunt or uncle for once...

Thanks for making me snort.

shortmama said...

That is hilarious!

My oldest never liked hamburger meat when she was younger....not in anything, spaghetti, burritos or even a plain ol' hamburger. Now she rarely eats a hamburger but she would eat spaghetti and burritos every day if I let her

Tracie said...

At my house you ate what my mother made or you didn't eat at all. Also, you wouldn't be sitting down for a week as she would as soon bust your butt as look at you. Yet, she has been known to feed her grandchildren cake and ice cream for breakfast.

Mighty M said...

Oh, that is fantastic! One of those things that you only try once. Actually, I think you have quite a few of those one-time experiences in your repertoire!

I had a habit of keeping food I didn't like in my mouth and not swallowing it until I had to...my mom used to call me chipmunk cheeks. I am not quite sure why I did that now of course, swallowing would have made the taste go away faster.

Cranky Mommy said...

Wow you had really good aim! If I was that good I could have chucked my grandmother's overcooked brussel sprouts directly into the houseplants instead of hiding them in the underpinning woodwork of the massive, carved oak table first.

HalfAsstic.com said...

Sweetie, you get extra points for inventiveness. Cats are seldom worth anything when you need an accomplice. The dog, however, should have been ashamed. ;-)
I can honestly say that no body ever put food in front of me that they knew I didn't want and didn't like and told me I had to eat the whole thing.
However, I certainly did have to taste everything.
So I have to know, do you still dislike hamburger?
Cause you haven't tasted MINE. HAHAHAHAHA!

MsDarkstar said...

If the pets won't eat it and it's meat...yeah... something wrong there.

Jenn@ You know... that blog? said...

Kudos to your aunt for not losing her cool! Can't say I would have been as nice about it had my niece done the same thing. (Although I don't know that I would have tried giving her something she hated, either).

I have a post going up tomorrow with your name on it. Stop by, k?

wendy said...

Well, THAT IS JUST DANG FUNNY,

I remember many meals at home as a young girl that I HAD TO EAT. It was eat what was before you or face the guilotine.
well, not THAT bad
but we ATE

and therefore I am not a picky eater at all. KETCHUP is the only thing I can't Stand.

J.J. in L.A. said...

My Oregon story involves my hippie uncle's girlfriend and Pork 'n Beans.

My youngest brother (12 y.o.) and I (10 y.o.) stayed with my (childless) uncle and his g/f for a week when the parents went to a conference in WA. They were vegans and mom had bought out food. No meat to respect their choices but my brother and I loved (at the time) P&B.

So the g/f and I are in the tiny kitchen. She opens a can, pours it into a pan...then fills the can with water. Before I can stop her, she pours the water into the pan and starts stirring. I told her it didn't need water and she asked, "It's not soup?"

I knew she could read because she eventually went onto to become a Paralegal. We survived on their homegrown lettuce (in a salad) that night but, believe me, we weren't happy about it!

T!nK said...

HAHAHAHAHA! Loves it!

Herding Cats said...

This story is precious! Do you still hate hamburger?

I used to push my food into piles to try to deceive my mom that I ate.

Manic Mother said...

Sounds like something my kid would do. I have 3 picky eaters..did you outgrow your food aversions? Please tell me yes...

ajm said...

My kids have become experts at slyly swiping broccoli and other undesirables onto the floor before I notice. I always clue in when I hear the dogs munching away under the table. Punks. But I'm a vegetarian, so I don't force the meatloaf/burgers! :)

Leah Rubin said...

Oh, Jenny, it's a really bad sign when the DOG won't eat it!

One question: was your uncle EXTREMELY thin?

Great story!

Ed said...

Girls.....geez.

Guys are soooo much better at hiding their meat.

I'm Jane said...

Love it! I used to hide my lima beans in the house plants.

Solidarity.

sharonheg said...

When I was a little kid, I was picky AND had no appetite, thanks to some medical stuff going on. Yet I was the daughter of a woman who had spent her life eating too much. My lack of interest in food drove her CRAZY.

Mealtime was a power struggle. I was told that I had to sit there until I was done and sometimes that meant 45 minutes for half a sandwich. Having no pets or even siblings to pawn the food off onto, and not being smart enough to throw it out the window (LOL!), I became a pro at stuffing food in my cheeks, much like a hamster, just so I could be done and leave the table. I'd still leave some over...which my mother then ate. And then, when I was an adult (who finally had an appetite), my mother blamed ME for her weight problem. HA!

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

Those ungrateful four legged friends...how dare they not eat the hamburger and rescue you!

Too bad the window was closed, you would've been enjoying the DQ chocolate ice cream cone.

LadyFi said...

Hilarious! And another good reason for your aunt not to try to force you to eat hamburgers?

Erin said...

It is a comfort to know that my children are *still* not old enough to stop throwing food they don't like around the kitchen.

lol.

Confessions of a Mother, Lawyer & Crazy Woman said...

Meatloaf. Ugh. One of my least favorites ever. Right up with stuffed peppers (meatloaf in a pepper). I am amazed I did not starve in the 70s.

Kato said...

Oh good lord you are too much!!

And are you kidding me? That would be one glaring reason for me to WANT to have kids! You were wonderfully clever, I love it!

xoxo

BlogRock said...

What happened to my comment?

This is such a funny story. You are a great writer.

BlogRock said...

This is hysterical. You tell a great story.

Intense Guy said...

:) You aunt didn't have a "real" dog that much is for sure! So you think you might of been the one that kept them from the "joys of parenthood"? That would be as bad as being the one that turned a guy gay.

I can emphasize with the tater tot hater.. ugh... and can recall my older brother "eating his peas" (he and I still hate peas) by slipping them into his tall glass of milk. He got caught and made to eat them "the way they were" before he could leave the table... he was still out there at 4 AM.

vinomom said...

I had (have) quite my own share of food issues. I did not eat a hamburger until I was sixteen years old. I specifically remember my mom's best friend's house and them telling me I had to eat a carrot before I could go play. I don't think I ever ate that carrot. To this day I have a hard time trying new things. It's a total mind block. I don't WANT to be picky I just am.

Ms. Salti said...

The dog's name is Myrtle? Sheesh! I can't stand meatloaf, but I'll eat hamburger. Pretty coy little one, you were! Now I sound like Yoda...

Ela said...

Wait, have you eaten a hamburger since?

GAH I have a bad taste in my mouth just thinking about the stuff I was made to eat (and finish - I was not as smart as you) as a child. Now I canNOT eat egg salad (that is NOT salad!!!) or potato salad or any other mayo based salads. Guck.

Sheila-rita said...

Oh, that story was hilarious. Reminded me of a childhood story but I flung a chicken liver that landed in my cousin's ice tea. At least I didn't have to eat it. :)