“Morning, class. Welcome to Culinary Education. Coach Wicker was supposed to go over this orientation, but the Bulldogs are getting ready for the Championship. How about them Bulldogs, huh? Anyway! Ok! I’m Coach Dobbett. Ok. I know the Fillmore High quilting club had a lot of yarns to spin about Ms. Grazinski and why she was let go but let’s put a lid on that bubbling cauldron, shall we?

“Heads butted over a budgetary matter. Simple. The ball of bull rolled down from the County and landed on your Culinary Education class… Ah, you kids don’t care. Anyway, Ms. Grazinski? Her little experiment with Eat Ed went kaplooey when she started planning some free-for-all end-of-semester potluck party. IN-appropriate! IN-and-OUT-appropriate!

“Oh, I know some of you were all googly about Ms. Grazinski. I never met her, but I know those pervy types. Did she swish around chirping: ‘Ooh, let’s give in to the joy of food! Yummy yummy nom nom! Oooh, let’s learn exotic dishes from other cultures! I’ll introduce you to obscure butter churning practices! Let’s SPICE things up with Panang curry! Have any of you tried tempura mint ice cream?! Isn’t being a foodie FUN?’

“Sure, sure. It can be. IF YOU’RE TWELVE AND LIKE TO PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD! Culinary Education is serious business. Ok, pass the permission slips to the front. This is going to get controversial. Weissenberg, we WILL get around to the whole Kosher thing, so keep your undies on. Oh, geez. Where to start.

“Ok. The F-word. FOOD. F-O-O-D. We all eat. We’re all here because somebody ate something. It’s true. The truth isn’t funny. Your mama scrambled some eggs, your dad chomped down on a donut at some point. It is NORMAL. Ok? It happens. Without it, we die. Let’s be mature.

“Let’s talk about mastication.

“REAL MATURE, Ramirez! How many of you masticate daily?

“The truth is, everyone does it. It’s fine. Turn to Fig. 6. 9. Cross-sectional diagram of teeth masticating. What happens is that when a body is ready to accept food, it’s going to happen (vegetable matter or animal matter, look, I ain’t judging and the County ain’t judging, all I’m saying is I like my meat dead and red and right before bed.) Eyes on your own diagram, Vera! What happens is that as you masticate, salivation is produced, it sort of oozes and seeps out of the tissue in your oral cavity. This highly toxic saliva envelops the food that is entering the oral passage, breaks it down and… let’s see what the book says… something about a ‘bolus’ that gets swallowed through the… Oh, damn, this is one of them Greek words. Is… a… Is a… Fag? Us. Is-a-fag-us? What’s so funny, Wendell? Are you going to be laughing when you get gastrointestinal cancer? When your gastric juices tear right through that wispy little paper bag you call a stomach? What else do you find funny? Polyps in the colon? Defecation? Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Yeah, yeah, laugh it up, you clowns, get it out of your system!

“Culinarily Transmitted Diseases. You knew we had to talk about those. They can happen to the best of us. The dreaded CTDs. Look, this is the 21st century. We are adults. This is what we’re doing here. We are learning a whole lot! Going from the kiddie corner to the big buffet. But to do that, you have to be aware. You have to be socially responsible. You. Jennifer. Ever get a CTD? Don’t get shy on me now. A little acid reflux? Diarrhea? Yeah, yeah, there’s that little blush of recognition. You throw up a little every now and then? Maybe even do it on purpose? Maybe get off on it a little?

“Bulimia.

“Anorexia.

“Diabetes.

“Razors hidden inside apples.

“Famine. Bloating.

“Mad Cow Disease.

“Throat cancer.

“Artery blockages.

“You don’t have to be afraid of food. But maybe you SHOULD be a little afraid. All the time.

“Let’s be adults. Let’s look at the cow right in the horns. If we don’t know what you’re doing, it is very probable that food will kill us.

“You think you’re smart? You know who thought he was smart? A fat little fellow called Buddha.

“How did he die, you ask? Ate too much damned pork!

“Ah, you like that, Weissenberg? I KNOW you like that, Ahmil.

“Food has taken so many great people from us. Elvis. The culprit? Peanut butter banana sandwiches. 3 out of 4 Americans are suffering from a CTD RIGHT NOW. This is what happens. Once you start eating, it all changes. There’s no turning back.

“But hey, this isn’t one of those fasting-based classes. We’re all men and women now. We KNOW eating is, overall, perfectly fine as long as you do it carefully, sensibly, moderately.

“Turn to page 45 of your textbooks. See these gentlemen? Top of the page: wearing striped pajamas. Bottom of the page: same group of gentlemen, out of the pajamas. Hey, Weissenberg, is that your grandpa? Just kidding just kidding.

There’s three gentlemen in the picture. Combined poundage: 157 lbs. These people went too far the other way. They did not eat. Eating. Is. A Serious Business. If you don’t do it, this could happen to you. On the other hand… turn to page 362, class. That’s Mary Lindsay Archimerry. 991 lbs at the time of her death. That’s one sexy mama, isn’t it, Wendell? Hell, that’s seven or eight sexy mamas rolled up in one.

“Eating isn’t evil in and of itself, of course. There’s a right way to do it. You bend over, you say Grace or whatever prayer you say to God in your religion, small portions with the family. It can be perfectly fine. Some people enjoy it. Hell, me and the wifey, she gets the grill out and barbeques the shih-tzu out of my hot dogs…

“Ok. That’s the bell. We’re out of time. Look, you’ll mess up. You’ll throw up. You’ll shit yourself. Food is gross. It’s life. It is what it is. I’m Coach Dobbett and I’m also gonna be taking care of Driver’s Ed in the summer. You all gonna be ganging up for that one, ain’t you? Eat Ed, Driver’s Ed. I’ll be doing American Government in the fall. Man, I get all the winners, don’t I? Just kidding, just kidding.

“Alright. Now you know all about food. You’re regular good old foodies. You’re educated.

“Try not to choke.”

 

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