Friday, September 19, 2014

Eat your soup!

Mankind has puzzled over the eternal question, where did life on earth come from?  I know where life on earth came from, it developed in the primordial soup my mother used to make, that I was forced to eat.  This was the life-giving potion that took generations to create, involving chicken and a lot of fat and some spaghetti type material called "lokshen."  It was known to cure all ills, but it caused even very healthy people to break out in a sweat and collapse gurgling onto the floor.
What I didn't know then, but took many years of research and suffering to find out, is that the fat is a killer.  It caused my intestines to tie in knots and made me scream in agony.  At the time it was diagnosed as a psychological aversion to good food.   But, it took me years to realize that it was poisoning me.  Every Friday night, instead of enjoying the Shabbat dinner I would be writhing in anguish. It took me years to get up the courage to actually refuse to eat it.  My mother cried and my father called me an "ungrateful bastard."
I shouldn't blame this entirely on my parents, because we lived next door to a poulterer, and if we didn't buy a chicken from them every Friday the wife would be broigas (a very painful complaint).  Also, if she was broigas she wouldn't let her son give us lifts in his black Morris Minor car, that sat gleaming outside their shop all day.  So we had to eat it, whether we liked it or not.
Ever since then I have had a pathological aversion to chicken soup.  Much like that Alexander Portnoy had with liver.  Of course, I know intellectually that a chicken bouillon made by a French chef is different from the concoction that my mother made, but I still can't face it, even though it looks like diluted pee.  There must be a cure for this "chicken soup syndrome," known in the profession as CSS, but all of them taste disgusting.  Some witch in Scotland once proposed "eye of newt and toe of frog, wool of bat and tongue of dog," but nothing, it did nothing, and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.
Once my wife and I were eating in a Jewish restaurant in New York and as we were nearly finishing the meal, the waitress came over and said "you didn't eat your green beans."  It sounded familiar.


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