Playing with Fire

I like all kinds of foods. In fact, I have often said, “I’ll try anything once.” People have challenged me on it and that statement has come back to bite me more than once. Still, I like to sample new things.

But the body changes as we age…

There are still repercussions of the garlic allergy of 2006-2012. Even though it seems to have passed, I am banned from several Italian joints around here.

Now something new seems disagreeable. Something dear to me.

I love authentic Chinese food. Yes, I have tried some odd stuff and I enjoy the regular fare as well. I know it is Americanized, but I really like a certain chain represented by an endangered bear… a black and white one that eats bamboo. Recently due to some changes, the friendship between myself and this species of Chinese food has become somewhat strained. I don’t know if there has been an ingredient change by them or a new gastric change by me.

We are eating out more these days since my wife and little one are gone for treatment during the week. This chain is a favorite in the family and I am always one to flaunt my impressive chop stickery, so we went there a few weeks ago. I enjoyed the meal but the night was… shall we say, restless.

A quick check of the other diners confirmed that I was the sole recipient of bad food. I ran through my dinner and vowed not to eat shellfish at fast food anymore. That would be the most likely suspect.

A week later, we returned to said restaurant where I carefully ordered a different entrée only to experience similar issues. This is precisely the place where the problem started. Most people would examine the facts and easily determine that the best course of action would be avoidance. Experiences such as these have caused me to go down perilous paths all my life. I’m like a beagle trying to stay on an unscented path, it just won’t work. Rather than draw a line in the sand and distance myself from this place, I became intrigued and decided to conduct a very personal science experiment. I won’t be posting the results on green foam-core board and standing nearby while judges inspect my findings.




No, the judges are my family and they are insufferably critical. Since I have yet to tell them the root cause of my discomfort, they don’t know to bar the door to the restaurant. When it is suggested, they happily acquiesce and bounce to the car like little, happy lambs to the slaughter.

They will figure it out soon enough, of that I am sure. Anyone who knows us knows that I am by far the densest of the family. I can’t keep my secret for long. No, one of these mornings they will sit around the breakfast table discussing the odorous interruptions of the night, pin me down as the perp, and build a chronology of events that leads right to the monochromatic bear.

Until then…

“Anyone for Chinese?”  (Insert maniacal laugh here)


Photo attribution: Arjit Chowdhury

8 thoughts on “Playing with Fire

  1. I Would Bet That It Is The Preservative They ALL Use In Their Cooking Called MSG…Or I Would Make A Second Guess That You Have Become Allergic To One Of The Five Spices In 5-Spice For Most People It Is Either The Star Anise, Or The Chinese Cinnamon..Here Is A Link…
    I Can’t Eat At Chinese Or Arabic/Middle Eastern Restaurants Of Any Kind Due To My SEVERE And Almost Lethal Allergy To 5 Spice. EVERY SINGLE Chinese, Japanese…ANY ASIAN And Middle Eastern Restaurant Cook With It. The MSG However Not All Restaurants Cook With It…And Those That Do You Can Ask Them Not To Use It. I Just Don’t Take Any Chances Whatsoever Because Of My LETHAL Allergy To ALL THINGS SHELLFISH! When It Comes To MSG…I Have Such A Sensitivity To It…It Almost Makes Me Feel Like I Am Having A Heart Attack. But Should You Want To Know More…Here Is Another Link For You 🙂

    Hoping ALL Is Well In Portsong My Mayor Friend!! 🙂 Hug That Sweet Family Of Yours!! 🙂

  2. A man’s life is divided into two phases: Pepperoni and after Pepperoni. In the second phase, his wife leans across the table and picks the pepperoni out of his pizza. “You know you can’t handle that, dear,” she says before feeding the little wafers from hell to his grandchildren.

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