Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I Like Every Other Kind of Nut, Though

I've had to explain several times in the past few days that I don't eat walnuts. I know that sounds odd because I'll eat just about anything else (even McDonalds, if need be) but I draw the line at walnuts. And here's why:

When I was seven years-old or so and my sister Jessy was five, our mother decided that the family should fast for a day in honor of World Hunger Day. Because, you know, it's very important that seven and five year-olds really EXPERIENCE hunger in order to truly grasp the seriousness of famine. Of course we had no idea why we weren't eating, only that we couldn't, and we were too scared to rebel outright. We lived in an old farmhouse that had a root cellar. Because the house was built on top of a ridge it could also function as a tornado cellar, or, if need be, a nuclear fallout bunker (this was the early 80s). Mom used it to store bulk foods that she bought from the natural foods warehouse. So Jess and I snuck down into the dank, clammy room and started checking out our options. 25 pound bag of rice? No, not raw. Same went for the bin of oatmeal. And millet. But we found a gallon jar of walnuts and being very young and very hungry, we ate those walnuts until we were sick, which, I'm sure, is exactly what a famine-stricken orphan would have done on World Hunger Day as well.

So don't try to convince me to eat walnuts. The memory and experience of that day are too much a part of my DNA now.

It's probably not a stellar idea to make kids fast, for whatever reasons, either.

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