Specialists in different biological fields organize the world in different ways. Generally this boils down to romanticizing the critters you study and denegrating all other critters. Passion should drive your career choices, I’m not saying this is necessarily a horrible thing.
Well, sometimes it is. A case in point would be psychologists who romanticize primates as a way to pretend that all negative human traits are learned.
“Look! The chimp is smiling at me!”
“Chimps know perfect love.”
“Look at those teeth. Look at that innocence.”
“He’s such a noble creature.”
“Yeah, he’s smiling all right. Why don’t you get a little closer, it’ll make it easier for his noble ass to rip your face off.”
But I digress…
I realized recently that I also have my own handy little way of categorizing nature. My categories are simple: Tasty. Not Tasty.
Basically, I’ll eat anything. Once. (Let’s be reasonable and work on the assumption that by “anything” I mean “anything prepared in a safe manner.” I’m not going to try 5 day old roadkill prepared in the back of a van). Anything shrimpy is out of the question. I’m allergic to those slippery bastards.
I’ve eaten all manner of insects, reptiles, sea creatures, land animals and flying beasties. I haven’t tried Fugu (puffer fish) because it seems a little crazy to me, and also because there’s some question of cross-toxicity for shellfish-allergic individuals. My neighbors tell me I’m not really missing much.
What I find a little odd is that I find eating insects less creepy than say, eel. A termite looks like a termite. I know exactly what I’m getting. It’s a termite. This is what it looks like alive. This is what it looks like dead. A piece of eel only hints at what the sucker looked like alive and allows my imagination to run wild and creep me out.
Having said that, the cricket incident still ooks me out a bit.
At the end of some event or another I’ve long since forgotten, a dignitary from a country in Africa that’s changed names so many times I’m not even sure what the proper name is came to my office to thank us for our assistance. I think he was assassinated later, but probably not because of his generosity with snacks.
He brought us a present. A big bag of crickets. These weren’t chocolate covered crickets. These were crickets. Dipped in a sugar syrup and flash-fried. They looked like crickets. Big crickets. Big, big crickets.
We didn’t want to create An Incident, so we all had to be polite and eat a cricket. Even the vegetarians. Trying to explain vegetarianism to a man from a country where people are starving is a losing, not to mention arrogant, proposition.
I managed to pretend I enjoyed the crickets a little too well and he insisted I take the crickets. All of them. I called Husband and told him I had a surprise for him and took the bag home. When I got there, Husband had a surprise for me. His Excellency the Cricket Man had paid him a visit too.
We gave one bag away, but we were stuck with the other one. We just didn’t have the heart to throw it away. Eventually I put it in my in-laws refrigerator while we were housesitting.
This has been a test of the MT blog management system. It is only a test. In the event of a real post there would have been something even less-lucid here. That is all.
Even my test-posts are too wordy. Sheesh.