As I have noted already, I don’t like the taste, texture, or smell of vegetables. Why would anyone want to eat something that is squishy, or slimy, or shot full of seeds? I suspect tht many people, deep down, share these views. Does anyone honestly believe, for example, that broccoli smells wonderful? If they could make an independent, guilt-free choice, would anyone really choose a forkful of cauliflower over a spoonful of Frosted Flakes?
I admit, however, that there is more to my anti-vegetable stance than just my physical revulsion at the thought of eating vegetables. I freely confess that, as time has passed and more people have learned about my curious eating habits, my refusal to eat vegetables has become a noteworthy part of my persona. I’m otherwise an unremarkable person, and at least this trait is somewhat memorable. And I’ve gained some unusual skills — just hand me a fork and watch me use the tines to deftly remove banana peppers, chopped celery, or other botanical foodstuffs from my plate and see if you disagree. I’ve also developed a useful set of rationalizations to help to explain why I’ll eat some items but not others. Corn, for example, is technically a grain, like wheat or barley, so corn on the cob is an approved menu item, and potatoes and yams are tubers, so french fries are okay.
I also enjoy the reactions I get when I explain this all to people. Years ago, when I worked at Alpine Village in Lake George, New York after my freshman year in college, one of my co-workers was a nursing student named Ceal. My eating habits plainly disturbed her. After I told her that I didn’t eat vegetables, she asked what I took for “roughage.” When I told her I did not take anything, she unconsciously backed away from me, as if I might experience an abdominal explosion at any second. So far, at least, it still hasn’t happened.