I was a picky eater as a kid. Some people would argue I’m still a picky eater. Some people are idiots. Whether or not I’m still a picky eater, I’m a heck of a lot less picky than I was when I was a kid. I wasn’t the only picky eater in the family, either. I think most of us were at least a little picky, except for Ryan, and I could tell my Mom loved him more than the rest of us as a result. I don’t blame her. I can imagine the toll it must have taken to cook dinner every night for a family of eight, only to have six of them reject it for one reason or another. (My Dad either wasn’t picky, or was just smart enough not to give voice to his objections.)

On the long, long list of things I hated were baked potatoes. I know. I know. Baked potatoes are delicious. I know this now. But back then there was something about them that I really hated; I think it was the consistency. Anyway, one night at dinner my Dad told me I had to eat a baked potato. There was no “or else.” It wasn’t a pre-requisite for some reward, like dessert (which I probably didn’t like, either). There was no punishment attached for failing to eat it. He just said I had to do it.

I put a piece of the potato in my mouth and felt like I was going to throw up. (In my defense, had someone taught me to simply drown the thing in Ranch dressing none of this would have happened.) I knew there was no way I was going to eat it. I started gagging, which I felt certain was going to bring my Dad to his senses. It did not.

He told me to swallow it and then take a big swig of milk right after to wash it down without tasting it. I tried this but it didn’t really work. I chewed the potato, took a swig of milk, but panicked at the thought of swallowing so disgusting a food. And so I spit the chewed up potato back into my cup of milk. My Dad didn’t seem to notice.

And so slowly, over the course of the hour, I took a bite of the potato, chewed it up, acted like I was taking a swig of milk, and spit the chewed-up potato into the glass of milk. No one seemed to notice.

I polished off (i.e. chewed up and spit out into my milk) the last piece of my potato right as everyone started clearing the table.

I don’t remember exactly who noticed that my glass of milk was full of chewed up potato. I’m guessing it was Kook, who ratted me out. But I honestly don’t know.

I do remember my Dad being disgusted at what I had done, and more than a little offended by the deception of it.

And so he sat me down, slid the glass of potato/milk in front of me, and told me to drink it. It was then that I realized a baked potato is much less gross when eaten on its own then when chewed up and mixed into a glass of warm milk.

I can still remember what it tasted like.

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5 Responses to “”

  1. Jo says:

    Oh my goodness, that must have been disgusting. One great story though!

  2. Ryan says:

    Seriously? Like, really, really, he made you drink it? If true, my respect for the man is profoundly deepened. You deserved every starchy drop.

  3. Eliza says:

    That is so funny and so disgusting and so admirable all at the same time. I love what a silent battle of the wills it was. Good for Dad for making you drink it, I don’t think that would have occurred to me. Good form.

  4. Danica says:

    So awesome. This is the kind of thing that as a kid I vowed to remember to go soft on as a parent, but it rarely happens now.

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