June 20th, 2012

Bravery Takes Different Forms

I am not a courageous man. I do not take risks. I rarely even watch a movie or TV show without knowing what I’m getting myself into. I can’t remember the last time I got mad at a spoiler – even if I wish I hadn’t heard it, it isn’t the end of the world for me.  Knowing how magic tricks are done is more enjoyable to me than the viewing of the actual tricks. I don’t like surprises. This is just how I’m built. It leads to as much stability as a person can have, but I do know that the accompanying danger is that you can get stuck in ruts.

A few years back, as a byproduct of improv, I made the conscious choice to say “yes” to more things. I wasn’t going to get all crazy about it and say yes to everything, just more things. To the outside observer, it probably wouldn’t look like I’ve changed much, but from in here, I can see some big steps I’ve taken.

One of the steps has been with food. I’m a meat-and-potatoes guy, always have been. “Fancy” food is wasted on me, and there are plenty of tastes and textures that make me gag. A while back I said yes to trying some salad, and now there’s a salad at Texas Roadhouse that I actually crave every so often. I still don’t like lettuce on my burgers, but it’s something, at least. I eat broccoli on occasion now, but I still despise peas and asparagus. It’s a process, and I’ll never like everything you want me to.

This calendar year has had me trying some new things that apparently gross a lot of people out. Here’s the thing: I don’t think you can be all “Hey, you should try more stuff!” and then be all “No, I meant this other stuff, not that gross stuff!” That pretty much tells me you don’t really want me to try new stuff, you just want me to like what you like. Secondly, the next thing out of your mouth is going to be, “Ugh! that is SO unhealthy! You eat terribly!” I will grant you that these things are not the healthiest, but I will also tell you that these are not my normal day-to-day diet. Yes, I eat things that aren’t good for me. No, I don’t only eat things that aren’t good for me. If you’ve ever eaten and enjoyed ice cream, pizza, candy bars, or crème brûlée, than you’ve done the same thing I have here.

(I don’t mean to sound jerkful here – I just take a LOT of guff about what I like and don’t like. It doesn’t bother me that you don’t eat steak, so why should it bother you if I don’t like beets or mushrooms?)

So here are three new things I have tried this year:

    • Doritos Locos Tacos – And, apparently, I’m not the only one. These things have been selling like the dickens. You know why? Because they are super tasty. My wife makes taco salad for us occasionally – ground beef with some spices that we put over Fritos and put cheese and sour cream on (she also puts tomatoes and other things on hers). This? This is kind of like that, only with Doritos. It is really, really tasty. I have eaten, to date, nine of them. But you know what? I don’t think I’m going to have any more of them, because they kind of play havoc with my stomach.  Too bad, really.
    • Twinkie Wiener Sandwich – Inspired by UHF. I had wanted to try it for a long time, I just had never gotten around to it. So, on the occasion of my 40th birthday, with friends gathered around, I tried it. And it was… not bad. The Twinkie tasted like a sweeter hot dog bun, really.  And having cheese on your hot dog isn’t that strange.  I’m not going make a habit out of eating these, either, but if I needed to, I could eat more of them.
    • Bacon Sundae – Just tried this one today at Burger King. It was okay. Nowhere near as good as the previous two entries. Honestly, if they had smaller, crispier pieces of bacon that were mixed in rather than on top, this would be a lot better.


Burger King’s Bacon Sundae. I went with four coworkers, one was too chicken to try it.

I’ll leave you with one last discovery. I was picking up some things at the grocery store last week, and my eyes landed on some WhoNu? cookies. I decided to give them a try, because why not? You know what? Not bad. Not bad at all. I can eat these things, and they satisfy my sweet tooth.  Take a look at that link there. Turns out, cookies might be the healthiest experiment I’ve undertaken.

Nice work, cookies.

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