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It was one of those weeks where I was totally brain dead. Though the news was popping with predictably stupid news I just could not find the gumption to write, they call it writers block. So I went down to one of my elders for a visit and more inspiration. Those old buzzards have already lived through what we are about to. They were always filled with stories of survival during the Depression. This evening was no exception to the rule.
When I entered the living room, the old-timers were watching *Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern on the Travel Channel. They were all commenting on some of the bugs this guy was munching on. My ma commented on how she used to hunt down grubs for supper. Another old timer described the various spices they used in cooking up these little bugs. Knowing my place, I sat quietly as they all began to oooooooh and ahhhhhhh over some of the other exotic fare Andrew was eating. I’ve learned survival among other things in my early years but never thought my mom was much of a commando or survivalist. So I was caught off guard when my elders reminiscently discussed bugs and other squiggly creatures while watching Bizarre Foods.
After the show I commented on how I was amazed they ate some of the denizens of the insect world and that they watched Bizarre Foods. My mother chimed in “We also like to watch *Man vs Wild, Bear Grylls seems like such a nice boy” with a twinkle in her eyes, gads. She then described how they used to survive during the depression and how many people used to live in make shift tents and enclosures. Then they talk about survival and how some older people simply starved to death in their homes, forgotten by their children. Someone mentioned how the poor used to forage through the trash of the more opulent people in some communities. The desperation and futility during those days caused many people to all but loose their minds my ma said.
I was informed or reminded of how I used to relish grubs when I was a little kid. In a way I remembered but time had melted those memories away. I was caught in a quagmire of though as my relations reminded me of how impoverished I was when I was a little guy. I remember eating fuzzy woodland creatures of a wide variety. But I just did not remember the grubs and other assorted urchins though. It is not to say I have not eaten squiggly critters. Maybe that’s why I don’t mind eating traditional food whence I visit different cultures and served their delicacies. But all in all I guess I’m more prepared for hard times than I once thought though. I’ve done my share of surviving and have eaten many socially unacceptable creatures on many occasions. Guess I now know where it came from, course I never thought about it much.
Now I find myself watching Bizarre Foods and wondering if my ma ate that. Though I doubt my elders ever were left stranded in the heart of the Amazon basin. Their tales of survival in a bankrupt country was equally as harrowing to say the least. I’ll never forget how my mom was placed in an orphanage where she almost starved to death because she was a native though. She told me she was so hungry at one point but eventually the hunger pains went away and she was no longer hungry anymore. Hmm, I remember when I was in foster care where I was not allowed to play with the other kids because people thought indigenous kids bred lice or something. I ate and played alone. Though I did not starve I was served tuna fish casserole 6 days a week. To this day I can’t hold down tuna in any way, show or form but that’s another story.
In any event the old timers thought it was a good thing these shows were on the boob tube since they were teaching people how to survive. Man vs Wild was an obvious survival show but I did not consider Bizarre Foods as was one of them. Guess I’ll have to load up on garlic salt just in case I have to fry up a larva or two in the ole Hibachi whence the Earth Changes are complete. Bon Appetit