Jon de Vos: Killer Squash Soup
Grand County, CO Colorado
(Dream sequence) “What’s this thing on the table? It’s shiny and orange, hot and in a cup. I don’t like hot orange things. Eating an orange frog will kill a hippopotamus. This cup in front of me looks like blended orange frogs. I don’t wanna go out like the hippo. The only fate I can imagine worse would be having to eat squash soup.”
(Reality) “What’s this thing on the table? Don’t tell me you made squash soup again?”
My wife looked up at me slowly, “Again? The last time I made squash soup was December 2006. I know because I dated the recipe. I also noted what a fuss you made about poisonous orange things in front of my dinner guests. Guests, I might add, who have never returned.”
“No, no,” I protested, “I positively love your squash soup but you know I’m a bit squeamish about all things vegan.”
“How did I know you would say that before you had even tasted it?” she said. “For your information, the soup is loaded with Italian sausage. I added it just to soothe the Meat Lovers Pizza in you. Surely you will enjoy some, won’t you?” She stared at me expectantly, eyebrows raised, a dangerous sign among Komodo Dragons.
I crossed my own eyes, staring at the spoon before me. Then I refocused and looked down at the dog. The mutt stared off into the distance as if searching for Apaches on the horizon. I put the spoon in my mouth. My throat was dry. The glob of poison didn’t help. She’s staring. Staring. I swallowed, wondering how long I could cling to consciousness. Her eyebrows arched even higher, raising the threat level to Crimson. “Well?” she said with a vague aura of menace.
I had to say something, anything. So I did, “Say, this soup is mighty, um, full of a squashy flavor,” I said with a theatrical smacking of the lips, “entirely squashful on the palate. You know how normally I don’t care much for anything orange, except sometimes the round citrus type of orange. Now soup, on the other hand, well, I’ve just got decided feelings that soup should be browner.”
“You’re nuts,” she proclaimed, “this soup is delicious. And before you start ranting about the giant differences between your Los Angeles palate and my Lincoln, Nebraska tastes, I’ll have you know this recipe came from Sunset Magazine.”
“You think I don’t like squash,” I said, “I’ll have you know there’s only one thing I like better than squash.”
She stared at me as if scientist examining a curious specimen, “Didn’t your mother ever talk to you about vegetables?”
“I’m not anti-vegetable. I like vegetables. But squash is a waste of arable land. If all the farmland currently squandered on squash were converted to corn and fed to cows, it could produce a nice crop of good, healthy T-bone steaks.”
She threw up her hands and ran out of the room, leaving me to admire my end-zone victory dance in the mirror. I didn’t even have to concede that the sausage really offset the poisonous aftertaste of the squash.
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