Harmony County

2011 & 2009 Winner of "Best Humor Column" awarded by the SC Press Association

Don’t ask, don’t tell

leave a comment »

   I have had the good fortune to travel a good deal, mostly at the behest of our Uncle Sugar. However, like most things there was a downside. I was never put up at the Ritz. As a matter of fact I usually found myself as far away from the Ritz as one could get. This put into the original interpretation of the military adage, “Don’t ask, don’t tell” It had nothing to do with one’s sexual preference, but with food.

   When you are out stumbling around in the ‘tall and uncut’ menu choices are extremely limited. They are “Eat what is in front of you” or “starve”. Trust me, more than once the thought went through my mind, “You know, I have been meaning to lose some weight.”

   Here is a rule of thumb, the hotter the climate the hotter the food. Not temperature hot, but pepper hot. This is due to the lack of refrigeration. In poor countries ice and an icebox are luxury items. Consequently when the chow is on the line between eatable and poisonous, folks had no recourse but to pepper the daylights out of it. Nowadays food preservation is much more common, but the traditional taste lingered on.

   I was once down Mexico way, on pleasure not business. I was at a seaside restaurant and I asked the waiter to recommend something that would not burn. He said he had just the thing, assuring me, “Oh no senor our children eat this.” After the first bite I was rolling around on the floor, crying my eyes out, sweating like a race horse trying to pull my tongue out. Whether he was serious or he was pulling one over on the ‘gringo’ I do not know. But he was running back and forth from the bar bringing cold beer to extinguish the fire for the better part of an hour.

   In Thailand the team and I got some time off for R&R. I walked into a local place where some of the lads hung out. In there were a couple of the boys. They too were doing the sweat and eye thing and their faces were as red as a fox’s butt in choke-cherry season. One of them gasped, “Mac You got to try one of these,” holding up a small green pepper “They’re great!” I politely declined.

   It is not always to do with the seasoning. I was in Honduras working with the local yokels way out in the toolies. We were very lucky if we got meat once a week. Beans, rice and tortillas was the standard fare two times a day every day of the week. (There is no such thing as three squares a day.) Anyway, the go-rillas had a stew going on the fire. It did not smell too bad. While eating I asked what kind of meat they were using. The reply was that the critter lived in the tree tops, swung from branch to branch and had a fondness for bananas.

   Don’t ask, don’t tell. © 2014, Jim McGowan





Written by harmonycounty

August 22, 2014 at 4:42 p08

Posted in Americana, Humor

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: