Column: Get me a cherry pie, I'll time you
January 4, 2023
When I was a little kid, I sat down to eat a cup of tapioca pudding when someone told me it was made with fish eggs. From that moment on, I was horrified by the dish, and it took me about 30 years before I tried it again and realized it did not involve seafood.
Unfortunately, I still cannot enjoy tapioca because I’m afraid I’m eating caviar pudding.
Looking back, I was told many things growing up that took me a while to figure out were not true. One of the ones that always stuck with me was swallowing gum. Every time I purchased gum as a child, whether it be the Fruit Stripe variety, whose flavor lasted for about six seconds, or a pouch of Big League Chew -- I was always warned that if I swallowed it -- the gum would remain in my stomach for seven years before it digested.
Anytime I accidentally swallowed the gum, I was horrified at what I had done. Years later, I would find out this is not even remotely true and was probably just an old wise tail to prevent kids from chewing so much gum and ending up in hair or stuck under a school desk.
The same can be said for swallowing a watermelon seed. I was probably 20 when I figured out an entire watermelon wouldn’t grow in me if I swallowed one. I spent a few nights worrying about what I had done after a picnic and seeing what my belly would look like in the morning. It’s scary as a kid to think you will be half gum and half watermelon.
I spent a lot of time swimming as a kid at Little America in Salt Lake City and was always told to wait two hours after I ate to get into the pool. And I would always wait it out. While it probably isn’t a good idea to swim directly after eating, this was just another myth that ended up costing me some quality swimming time.
I can still remember the first time I turned the dome light on in the car while one of my parents was driving, and I thought I would end up in the boy’s home. There was screaming and yelling as I was told how illegal it was. While I’m sure it is inconvenient, I’m not sure it is illegal, even if it probably should not have received such a reaction.
It was not until I was in my 30s that I realized how amazing cats were; there is one big reason for this. My mom always told me that both of us were allergic. Now we both have cats and seem to be doing just fine. I cannot believe I missed out on that many years of such a wonderful and exciting pet. My mom gets a copy of the Voice in the mail and will probably read this and insist we were both allergic, but she will be fibbing.
One of my favorite “fibs” was from my sister Jennifer who liked to use me as her personal assistant.
My dad lived about a mile from a little convenience store called “OJ’s,.” She would always want me to ride my bike there to get her a Hostess Cherry Pie or some other snack she was craving. She would always tell me that she would “time me.” I would always get so excited to see if I could break my record.
I would run in the house sweating after going so fast and usually getting hit about once or twice by a car because all I cared about was my time.
She was never timing me at all, and she would see me running towards the house and start counting down my time. It took me a long time to figure out she was just hungry and not concerned about my personal fitness goals.