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Thursday, April 14, 2016

No Coffee or Bananas, Please

When I was a lad I marveled at my grandfather, who could eat anything. I was kind of a finicky kid, so a person who liked everything was amazing to me. Of course, my grandfather grew up in hard times on a farm, when you ate what was put in front of you or you didn't eat at all. There was no fast-food alternatives, or filling up on snacking. Once I asked him if was anything I didn't like. He admitted, sheepishly, that he didn't much care for parsnips.

I've never had a parsnip, and I'm not sure I've ever actually seen one in the flesh. But, over the years, I've grown far less finicky. When I was a kid I was convinced I didn't like eggs or cheese. I didn't have a cheeseburger until I was in my 20s. Now I can't get enough of either of them. I can eat pretty much anything, but I do drawn the line at two items--coffee and bananas.

I don't know where my antipathy for coffee began. It wasn't drank much in my house--I don't think we had a coffee maker. I've never known my mother to drink a cup and my father only rarely, so it wasn't a presence in my life. But when I became an adult I ran into people who drank it like water. I remember a guy who used to fill up two cups at once just to save time. I've never liked the smell, and the few times I have tried it my disgust has been confirmed--it tastes like something burned in an engine. For a while when I was working at a company I found myself getting very sleepy in the afternoon, and after trying Five-Hour Energy and other remedies I figure maybe this whole coffee thing was just in my head. So I tried a cup, and it was awful. I had to put in about six creams just to make it palatable. No, coffee is not for me.

I'm not a big fan of fruit. I grew up in suburban America, where the fruit we ate came out of a can, so I'm predisposed not to like fresh fruit. But I can eat an orange or an apple, and can manage a peach or pair (though I prefer the canned kind, where I don't have to deal with things like pits or seeds). But I have never been able to eat a banana.

Bananas are insanely popular--their consumption is greater than apples and oranges combined. I can stomach things that are banana flavored, but the actual eating of that squishy fruit is impssible for me. Maybe it's the texture--it tastes, in the mouth, like something dead and rotting. I know they're great for you, but if you put a banana in front of me you might as well be laying a freshly-laid turd. This has made it impossible for to enjoy a banana split, or bananas on top of cereal. Just not going to happen.

I suppose we all have things that we don't like that would make other people shake their heads. My girlfriend is very finicky--doesn't like pasta or chocolate. I know a lot of people who don't like mushrooms, which I love, or sushi (that took me a while to try, and I love it). In fact, I can eat any sea creature, including squid and octopus. But no coffee or bananas, please.

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