Root of all evil |

Root of all evil

Jon de Vos/Friday Report
Grand County, CO Colorado

The coolest thing about George Bush Senior was that moment when he looked his wife, Barbara, right in the eye and said, “Babs, I am President of the most powerful nation in the world and I’ve decided I will never eat broccoli again.”

That’s what wealth and power is all about, not so much what you get to do, but rather what you no longer have to do.

I like vegetables. Well, let me qualify that I’m largely okay with vegetables that stand tall in the sunshine and scrub their little faces in the rain. I especially like them associated with cheese and butter.

But what I cannot abide are those cowardly, creepy vegetables that grow underground. Who knows what goes on down there? What horrific process turns dirt and chicken residue into a beet? Beets taste weird and they’re all red and stuff. Incredibly, my wife claims to love them, a fact she hid from me while we were dating. She has dozens of different, stomach-churning ways to serve beets. I get pretty vocal about things, but when we have company, the guests all turn to sheep, muttering false praise like, “Yum.”

Fakers! Maybe if they grew a spine and stood beside me, we could eradicate the world’s beet problem in our lifetime.

Did someone say parsnips? Why would anyone mention parsnips? Was there ever a bigger waste of dinner plate acreage? Space that could easily be taken up with chicken nuggets or tacos is being wasted on parsnips. Even the Amish don’t like parsnips, yet inexplicably, my wife cooked some the other day. I coaxed my dog to eat a bite but she yelped and hightailed it through the dog door.

When I was a kid, my mom raised chickens and every week I had to rake their pen and dump their . . . residue, onto the garden. So you can’t fool me, I know what root vegetables munch on all day.

Potatoes are different. They’re okay because they can be turned into butter and sour cream canoes. But sweet potatoes? They’re orange. Orange just isn’t a good food color, more so when you’re eating roots.

Not all green things are good to eat, either. Take okra. Please. Take it all. Okra is that suppository-shaped vegetable with no viable use outside of Cajun gumbo.

A benevolent God would grow Buffalo Chicken Wings on vines. But no, we get squash and zucchini. What kind of a cruel hoax is that? I’m not alone in this vegetable thing. Have you ever, ever, seen anyone stand in front of an open fridge, hands on hips, and exclaim, “Doggone it, who ate the last of the parsley root?”

My wife announced we were having French fries for dinner. I began applauding this second-greatest use of a vegetable when she placed a dish full of sweet potato fries in front of me. A raised eyebrow challenged me to raise a squawk.

“These are . . . orange,” I said. Turns out I shouldn’t have said that, and I would have been a whole lot better off saying nothing at all. I slipped a limp fry to the dog while my wife had her back turned, but the mutt yelped and raced out the dog door.

The dog door leads out to the doghouse, a domicile I am thoroughly familiar with.

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