Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Johnny Damon leaves the Red Sox for the Yankees. $52 million for 4 years. Johnny Damon was on my fantasy baseball team a few years ago, when he was on the A's and had a lousy season. He's not allowed to be on my fantasy baseball team anymore because of that season. He's banned. Along with Moises Alou and Luis Gonzalez, for similar reasons. I'm sure Damon's a lovely person, but I don't like him because of the season when he screwed my fantasy team.

There's similar reasoning behind the fact that I don't eat halibut. When I was in 4th grade, I was in the district spelling bee, and I got out on the world halibut. How many 9 year olds have ever been to a fish store? How was I supposed to know how to spell halibut? The moderator pronounced it like hal-ih-biht. So I spelled it h-a-l-i-b-i-t. And I was out. The winning word, as it turned out, was refrigerator. I could spell refrigerator. Stupid fish. So I don't eat halibut. I think I've had it a couple of times, by mistake or out of menu desperation (nothing else looked good). But I've hated it each of those times and generally try to avoid it. Stupid fish. Stupid moderator. Stupid spelling bee.

Things like this linger in my head for a while, especially when they involve food. Last week I had a milkshake in a restaurant for the first time since I was about 12. Last time I'd had a milkshake, it was at a diner near my house, after I graduated from middle school. The night of graduation, I think. I got a chocolate milkshake. As I type this, I'm reliving the moment. I found chewed up food in the milkshake. At least it felt like chewed up food. It came up through the straw. I vomited. All over the table. It was pretty disgusting.

When I was 14 I found some hard plastic inside a black-and-white cookie. I don't eat black-and-white cookies.

When I was about 16 I was eating a mozzarella stick and it pulled apart and I was holding onto one end while the other end was dangling down my throat somewhere. That was kinda frightening. I don't avoid mozzarella sticks, but I'm really, really careful with them.

After college I went to Europe with some friends and we were at a hotel buffet breakfast in perhaps Vienna. From a metal tin, I took a piece of flatbread with oats and seeds on it. As I took a bite I noticed one of the oats was moving. Then they all looked like they were moving. The flatbread was infested with maggots. My friends didn't believe me at first, if I recall. I had to poke at it with my knife a few times to prove this wasn't my imagination. I had taken a small bite already. I brushed my teeth for about 10 minutes and rinsed my mouth out about a hundred times. Luckily avoiding flatbread is pretty easy, although I don't actually think I avoid flatbread. I am very, very, very wary of hotel breakfasts now, and avoid anything that looks like it was sitting around in a container for any length of time.

In college, the theater group I was in toured around the country over winter break. We got to stay with alumni most nights, in small groups. One morning, the story going around when we all gathered back on the bus was that at one house, the alumni had put some snacks on the table. People were eating them and one girl made a comment about how good the apple chips were. "Those aren't apple chips," the host said. "That's the potpourri." Since that wasn't me, I haven't developed any sort of avoidance of apple chips. Or potpourri, for that matter.

I don't know why all these food stories tonight. How did Johnny Damon signing with the Yankees lead to me emptying my mind of traumatic eating experiences?