Tasty Thursday: You Don’t Know Fat

It’s always amusing to me when the government decides to tell us something about ourselves that we already know.  This condescension usually follows some expensive study or precedes some expensive program, paid for by our tax dollars.  So, today I saw the following headline, and I couldn’t help but share it with you: Massachusetts Proposes Weighing, Measuring Students.  It seems the state government there is concerned about rising obesity, and part of their plan to combat this includes height and weight measurements for all public school first-, fourth-, seventh-, and 10th-graders, to determine whether they are overweight. Results would be sent home to parents along with diet and exercise recommendations.”

 Oh. Heck. No.  Couple of thoughts here.

 Okay, first of all, in this strained economy, can I get a show of hands from those who think that this is something we need to be spending money on?  I mean, come on, who doesn’t know if their kid is fat?  Myrtle doesn’t need the school weighing and measuring her little Bubba Jack—she’s the one who has to keep his portly behind suited up in husky sizes.  Second of all, while this might be welcomed with open arms in Massachusetts, I guarantee you it would never fly in Terre Haute, Indiana, where the motto is “If you want my breaded tenderloin, you’ll have to pry it out of my cold, dead hands.”   In The Haute, parents would be like, “Ain’t nobody gonna tell me what to feed MY kid!  Why, if Pete’s Pride pork fritters and RC Cola were good enough for me, then doggone it, they’re good enough forhey, you gonna eat that?” Thirdly, this type of thing would only serve as something for kids to rebel against.  And can you imagine the peer pressure? “Come on, Harvey, all the cool kids are eating cheese fries.”  Poor healthy Harvey’d be gettin’ his butt kicked on the playground for packin’ rice cakes in his lunch.  How sad is that?

 Besides, I have a hard time believing that those east coast kids are really all that chunky anyway.  At least compared to the kids here in the Midwest.  While New England kids are growing up on seafood, and, well, whatever else it is they eat over there, young Hoosiers are busy giving the Chinese buffet a run for its money.  In fact, I bet if Massachusetts compared their fat kids to our fat kids, they’d find that they are sorely lacking in the cellulite department. 

 Amateurs.  Crying wolf over there with your “fat” kids.  We’ll show you some fat kids—just as soon as we get done eatin’.

Corncorncorncorn Part 2

You know, perhaps I was wrong about corn being boring, after all.  The Corncorncorn post has generated an amazing amount of traffic.  Apparently corn is more interesting than I first thought.  Or perhaps it’s just irresistible to all those folks who googled “Pete’s Pride Pork Fritters” which, much to my amusement, is the most common search engine term that brings folks here. 

Okay, so about cornin’.  As I’m sure is common throughout the country, in Indiana late October is the time of year when younger kids go trick-or-treating, and older kids run amok and pull pranks on the neighbors.  You’ve got your universal pranks, like soaping windows and toilet papering trees, or even the sinister egging.  But here in corn country, you have something else:  Cornin’. 

Now the uninitiated may think of sweet corn, or maybe even hominy when they hear of cornin’.  But we’re not talking about those things.  We’re talking about field corn.  The type that’s left on the stalk until fully mature and dry, and then used as feed for livestock.  The kernels are big and hard—Like candy corn’s roughneck cousin who just got out on parole.  Removing this stuff from the cob after having stolen it from the neighbor’s field involves thumbs and blisters.  Piled in ice cream buckets, it’s agricultural ammo for the night’s events.

First you need to choose a target.  If you choose a house, there needs to be someone home. Unoccupied houses are not acceptable because the possibility of getting in trouble is what makes cornin’ fun.   It’s best if you can find a house with a big picture window, and a curmudgeon with no sense of humor sitting right on the other side of the glass watching Jeopardy.  Sneaking in close not only makes for better contact, but also enhances the adrenaline rush.  Then on the count of three you and your friends—because NOBODY corns alone—jump up and throw the biggest handful of corn you can manage as hard as you can at that picture window.  Let me tell ya, that stuff is LOUD.  At this point you have two options, although you should have decided before you threw the corn, either to run or try to hide.  Either way, your curmudgeon will likely come out and yell threats and obscenities at you.  Mission accomplished.

Or, you can choose to corn cars.  This works best in dark areas where you have a ditch or a hill to corn from.   The victim will likely stop and once again you’ll need to choose whether to run or hide.  However, if you choose to run, it’s not a good idea to run down the road, especially if you’ve just corned Hubster who WILL chase you down the road with the car.  Also, it can be advantageous to corn in areas with lots of trees, which will decrease the likelihood that you’ll be chased cross country by that 4 wheel drive pickup with the redneck sticker and the rebel flag.

Of course, creative corners will also come up with variations on the theme.  One year someone threw corn in the open window of my dad’s Plymouth Duster.  We cleaned it out, but later when the car got rained in—apparently Dad left the window open on a regular basis—a few kernels which had remained hidden in the groovy shag carpet sprouted and we had little corn stalks in the back seat.  Or there was the time when someone dumped buckets or corn on our front porch.  So much that we had to shovel it out.  No one ever fessed up to it, but they should have because it was mighty impressive. 

I haven’t actually been corned in a really long time.  Maybe kids aren’t doing it anymore, or maybe they’re home cornin’ on the Wii instead.