Gag me! I was enjoying a nice bowl of chili for lunch today when I discovered my only food nemesis – the yellow bean! The site of it made my stomach churn. I was almost rendered incapable of swallowing the yellow-beanless bite of chili I had in my mouth. I forced my way through it and savoured the piquant taste. I have not had a yellow bean that close to my mouth for close to 30 years!
I was probably about ten years old the last time I was served canned yellow beans, or string beans as we called them, on the plate with the rest of my supper. I had eaten them for suppers before, and hated every mouthful of them. Remember in our day the rule was to “eat everything on your plate”. This was an awful rule for a picky eater like me and the most cruel rule I could ever think of as far as canned yellow beans were concerned. Each time these beans ended up on my plate, my stomach reacted. It warned me that it did not want those pale, waxy, yellow vegetables anywhere near it. Each time, however, I forced them into my mouth, often having to plug my nose in an effort to reduce the awful taste. Next step was to move them from my mouth down my throat. This is the step that always proved to be near impossible. I had the same difficulty swallowing the string beans as I do those horse sized antibiotics prescribed to cure bouts of strep throat – the string beans because they taste so unbelievably disgusting, the horse sized pills because they are near the same size as my pharynx.
This particular “battle with the beans” was no different than the previous ones up until the moment I swallowed and forced them into my pharynx. I think they made it as far as my esophagus when my stomach decided to fight back – tonight it was not having string beans! It had tried to warn me just as I had tried to explain to my parents that string beans were different than the hundreds of other foods I disliked. String beans were in a league of their own as far as yucky foods go. This is the moment they believed me.
I squeezed my nostrils together harder, closed my eyes and swallowed forcefully. Instantaneously those string beans, along with my stomach contents, travelled back up my esophagus, through my pharynx, into my mouth and back out again, landing on my plate.
My parents decided that I never had to eat yellow beans again.