Scram, You Words!

Eating Over The Sink

Here I am, up on my soap box again. And, you might notice that I’m up here a little later than usual, this month. That’s because I’ve been very busy trying to get all the politically Incorrect words off my word processor and out of my dictionary. Not to mention, out of my vocabulary and conversation. And, what a job it is! I should have made life easier for myself, and simply engaged the help of the THEY who decide what words can be in textbooks used in the public schools.

New rules have emerged. Now, keep in mind I’m not talking about so-called four-letter words. Everyone knows those words are just fine. We hear them all the time on TV and in movies, and they’re in every fiction book on every book shelf in America. We’re talking here about classroom textbooks. Some of the words that may no longer grace the pages of the books that teach government, history, social studies, math, English, or other subjects are: old, senior citizen, yacht, devil, Middle East, snowman, founding fathers, and Mt. Rushmore. Why, you ask? Yacht, because some poor children may not relate to an expensive boat. Snowman because some of the icy fellows aren’t men. The Founding Fathers were all men, but that doesn’t seem to matter. The new word is Framers. Mt. Rushmore? Who knows. Used to be you couldn’t say someone was ‘an old person’; you had to call him a ‘senior citizen.’ Now senior citizen is out, and you can only call him ‘an older person.’ But, don’t say ‘old’ because that isn’t allowed either. Old is out, but older is in. Go figure.

This game is encroaching on food as well, especially here in California, where personal image, health issues and quasi-health issues are king. Words for foods that are thought by the mind police to be “unhealthy” can no longer be used in books to teach kids anything whatsoever. No more hot dogs. Math textbooks will no longer be able to teach arithmetic with paragraph problems like “Jane had four hot dogs. She gave one to Pete and one to Sam. How many hot dogs do Jane and Pete have in total?” I suppose we’ll see problems like “Jane had four packages of tofu. She gave one to Pete and one to Sam. How many packages do Jane and Pete have in total?

And, pie charts or pizza charts can no longer be used to describe parts of a whole, or to teach economics. Not referring to pizza is going to keep children from wanting to eat pizza, don’t you know. And, maybe those students who have never seen a yacht will grow up never knowing anything about pie, either. I suppose the pie chart will have to be renamed something like ‘slice of lemon’ chart.

Ice cream and soda pop are among the new no-no words. Well, that suits us in the low carb world, but the words ‘butter,’ ‘bacon,’ and ‘sausage’ are also on the taboo list. Now here is where I draw the line in the sand!!

The Standard American Diet is now to be promoted in every aspect of school life, not merely in the so-called Health classes. Only “healthy” foods are to be mentioned in books for kids. Much mention of pasta, bread, and sugary juices; no mention of some object cutting through something else “like a hot knife through butter!” When they teach small children that milk comes from cows, what will they say comes from pigs?

All of which brings me to Vegetarian Chickens.

Glorious Spouse and I were in a specialty market that we like, looking at their “gourmet” sausages. Note that there are no sausages at all in this market that are made from the aforementioned pigs. None with beef, either. Only chicken and turkey. We are reading the labels on the chicken-pesto sausage, primarily for carb count information. We are stunned. The label declares that the sausages in the package have been made from vegetarian chickens.

What, I ask you, what in the world are vegetarian chickens? Does eating sausage from vegetarian chickens somehow rub the vegetarianism off onto the diner? But, wait! Don’t chickens eat bugs, larvae, and all manner of things when they scratch around in the dirt?  And, don’t the chickens convert these things into great-tasting meat that goes for higher prices because the birds were ‘free-range’?

Abracadabra and presto: words take on new and opposite meanings. The wordsmiths in advertising are implying that caged chickens on vegetarian feed should sell for more because they’re not free-range, and therefore aren’t eating any meat. Now it is more politically correct for the consumer to eat meat from a creature that never tasted anything but grain and antibiotics, living in the confines of a two-square-foot cage.

Ah, but, there’s hope. A Swiss sports car called the Rinspeed R has been developed that can run on fuel made from kitchen and garden waste, as well as from other leftovers in the food chain. It has been reported that the Rinspeed R can run for some 60 miles on 220 pounds of waste. This fuel, referred to as bio-gas or bio-diesel, is essentially methane, and a whole lot of it can be made from recycled kitchen grease. There’s a lot of this used-up grease lying around, enough to make more than 400 million gallons of fuel that smells a little like French fries. We need to promote the idea that with some vegetarian chicken scraps mixed in, freeway driving can be like cruising past your favorite restaurant or maybe even like going to Aunt Bertha’s house for dinner.

Zack Grady eats his butter, sausage, and bacon in Southern California.

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Eating Over The Sink

ZACK GRADY writes from Southern California. He reads cookbooks, but mostly, he just adds garlic and hot sauce.

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