April 23, 2012

"Somehow I get the feeling that when young Ann Althouse refused to eat the carrots on her dinner plate, her parents just sighed and got out the Cap'n Crunch."

Roy Edroso cuts and pastes some of my very best material onto his blog, but leaves me out of his Village Voice column "Dog Soldiers: Rightbloggers Meld with Mitt over Obama Mutt Meal Story." He just doesn't know how to "meld" my material with his "rightbloggers" shtick. It's too meta (and meat-a) for him to grind up into the usual sausages the folk at VV use to metaphorically masturbate.

But I must correct Mr. Edroso. There are 5 errors in the statement "when young Ann Althouse refused to eat the carrots on her dinner plate, her parents just sighed and got out the Cap'n Crunch."


1. "Cap'n Crunch is a product line of sweetened corn and oat breakfast cereals introduced in 1963," and I was already 12 in 1963.  My sweetened corn cereal of choice was Corn Pops, born in 1951, like me. Here I am explaining my cereal preference to 2 guys including a guy who looks like my dad and has a name like some guy in my adopted home town, Guy Madison.

2. Since carrots were never cooked in my 1950s childhood home, but were served raw, I liked them. Now, if it were something like spinach, which my mother always served with slices of hard-boiled egg on top, I would have avoided it, perhaps, along with the other kids in the family, with some simple commentary like "ew, spinach."

3. My parents never sighed about anything like this. At most, they would inform us that we were saying something that wasn't good "dinner conversation" and they would continuing modeling what was to their ear good dinner conversation.

4. My parents wouldn't get up from the dining table and go back into the kitchen to get different food if we didn't want to eat what we were served. They might say something like "That's dinner" and then move on, in the usual fashion, to good dinner conversation.

5. I was left to my own devices at the dinner table, devices I pursued silently and without parental comment or intervention of any kind: I drank milk, I ate plenty of potatoes, and I sprinkled sugar — copiously — on the wedge of iceberg lettuce. Later, after I was excused from the table — we said "May I be excused?" — I ate all the ice cream I wanted.

IN THE COMMENTS: At Roy's, Halloween Jack says:
Althouse probably thinks of her blogging self as a shorter, snappier Maureen Dowd, but she doesn't have the detached hollowness at the heart of MoDo's mean-girl act; she's usually petty, often smug, and when she gets like this, downright creepy. 

If it were a dinner party and she started in on this, people would probably laugh at first, mostly out of politeness, but a strained silence would ensue as she went on and was obviously getting into it. Then she realizes that not only is everyone else silent but almost everyone is averting their gaze; she clears her throat, murmurs "Well, anyway," and drains her wine glass. The guests can hand-wave it away as an odd tic (although one or two might reach for their list of handy excuses on the occasion of subsequent invitations), but on the blog it sits there, generating a veritable miasma like the stench of garbage left in a warm apartment for a week. 

Fortunately from her perspective, unfortunately from anyone else's, she's got her regulars to reinforce her behavior, with Meade piping in with a HuffPo piece about the amount of lead in the White House lawn, and she'll have a virtual dinner party at which she's always the toast of the town.
Enjoy the party!

60 comments:

Russ said...

sugar on iceberg lettuce?

What apostasy is this?

Dopey said...

Sugar on sliced tomatoes or cottage cheese, yes. On iceberg lettuce? Strange indeed.

I do remember slices of hard boiled egg on spinach, which of coarse came from a can. Must have been in some standard 50's mom cookbook. I was rather fond of this.

Ann Althouse said...

"Sugar on sliced tomatoes or cottage cheese, yes..."

I did that too, but I still didn't like it.

Iceberg lettuce could be made quite delectable with a sweet crunchy coating. It was the perfect salad for the 1950s kid lifestyle.

Ann Althouse said...

"I do remember slices of hard boiled egg on spinach, which of coarse came from a can."

Nope! It was always frozen vegetables chez Althouse.

DADvocate said...

Capt'n Crunch was first marketed in 1963. At that time, young Ann was 12. I doubt she would have settled for cold cereal for dinner. She probably demanded something more along the lines of Tandoori Prawns and Coriander Fried Rice.

Lauderdale Vet said...

When I was a kid, we put sugar on white rice; was told it was a Southern thing.

Ann Althouse said...

Popeye ate his spinach from a can, however.

I adored Popeye in the 1950s.

Still didn't want any spinach.

madAsHell said...

They weren't called Corn Pops until the 80's. You would have called them Sugar Pops. Which is the name I remember.

...and last year (2011) they were discontinued because they weren't considered healthy. I blame Michelle Obama.

richard mcenroe said...

The real Obama food story is just breaking now:

http://tinyurl.com/6uuvwk5

Ann Althouse said...

"Capt'n Crunch was first marketed in 1963. At that time, young Ann was 12. I doubt she would have settled for cold cereal for dinner. She probably demanded something more along the lines of Tandoori Prawns and Coriander Fried Rice."

There was no ethnic food then... except spaghetti and lasagna.

And Chung King chop suey served when Daddy was away on a business trip.

And I didn't like much of anything except ice cream and grilled cheese sandwiches (which we always called "toasted cheese").

I particularly hated steak, which my mother served frequently.

We always had steak, roast beef (rib roast), lamb chops, and pork chops -- real cuts of meat.

I could eat it, but I didn't particularly like it.

To this day, I'd rather eat some kind of braised beef like pot roast or short ribs than a grilled cut of meat, which always seemed tough and dry to me... and usually was... not that I'd have accepted the steak cooked "very rare" (as my parents liked it).

ricpic said...

You ate the ice cream after you were excused, or excused yourself, from the table. Does this mean you spooned the ice cream directly out of the carton while standing next to the refrigerator? That's what I did.

Jason said...

Vitametavegamin!!!

prairie wind said...

Sugar on cottage cheese? But why? I have never heard of that.

Robert Cook said...

Sugar on cottage cheese? No no no. Cottage cheese demands salt and pepper!

The only way we ate white rice in my family was as a desert...served hot with brown sugar on it. Yum! I still make that occasionally. I was in junior high when I first saw rice served in any way other than that, and I realized no one else I knew had ever had rice with brown sugar. (I was born in southern Indiana, so maybe this is a "southern" thing.)

I also like raw potato. You peel a potato, rinse under water, and then cut the potato into slices or chunks. Again, add the all purpose seasonings (salt and pepper) liberally, and you've got a great snack.

Joseph Schmoe said...

Wow. That dude makes quite a leap in his blog post. Similarly to Ann, I would've been interested to hear Barry's take on his exotic intake, even his internal conversation, but his inability to do so simply adds to his Vulcan-like demeanor.

To say that Ann's quote intimates a childish stubborness that should've been stamped out by her parents is a leap of Evil-Knieval-Snake-Canyon proportion. I'd say Evil was even more successful than this guy was.

The Crack Emcee said...

My sweetened corn cereal of choice was Corn Pops, born in 1951, like me.

Sometimes I'm sure you are the silliest woman I have ever encountered. You seriously thought this was a comment that deserved a factual point-by-point reply? Really? I guess it beats addressing his point (!) that you have grown to be exasperatingly difficult, but it still makes you come off that way:

Trying to pretend reality - and criticism - isn't valid DOES appear (to the slower among us) to make a mockery of both, but it doesn't redeem YOU either.

Avoiding issues, even as you appear to address them, is still delusion on display. You're still in denial. Ooooh, you ate Corn Pops instead of Capt'n Crunch - good one, Ann! Clearly, that college degree paid off handsomely - you've exploited feminism's bullshit tropes for a nice paycheck - but, unfortunately, it's not in the Smarts Dept. where you're shining (Al Sharpton makes a decent living, too, y'know, running the same game,...)

Whatever. You'll do the same thing to me you've done to this guy:

La-dee-dah.

Shallow is as shallow does - just don't expect respect for it, huh?

SPImmortal said...

Romney 2012: he never ate a dog

JajQo said...

I really like your blog! I invite you also to visit my blogs.

EDH said...

Here I am explaining my cereal preference to 2 guys including a guy who looks like my dad and has a name like some guy in my adopted home town, Guy Madison.

Althouse did a commercial in the 1950s with Andy Devine?

Notice how quickly she dumps him for the good-look'n cowboy.

garage mahal said...

Romney fund raiser kills dog with 2 by 4 and barbeques it.

Wow.

Kit said...

Growing up, our veggies were always canned - peas, corn and beans. Yes, to toasted cheese, Corn Pops and chewing for what seemed like days, steaks from the grill (I always opted for hot dogs, instead). Dad could never understand why...still gives me shivers.

We also had the "excuse me" rule - and no elbows on the table.

MadisonMan said...

We also had that wretched frozen spinach, heated to a pile of warm green glop. I always put a slice of cheese on it. White sharp cheddar from the Penn State Creamery. You had to do it right away so it would melt, and you couldn't have too thick a slice either.

My brother put -- and still puts -- sugar on sliced tomatoes.

Steve Koch said...

Always like to hear these stories about Althouse back in the day. I'm a couple of years older than her so it takes me back, too.

MadisonMan said...

But weren't they just called Sugar Pops? NOW they call them Corn Pops.

edutcher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
edutcher said...

The proper name back when was Sugar Corn Pops (they wanted you to know it was "Shot With Sugar", which was the marketing hook).

And, yes, dear, we both know you're old enough to remember Guy Madison playing Wild Bill Hickok.

PS Your parents were a lot more forgiving about your eating habits than mine (especially my father).

PPS sugar — copiously — on the wedge of iceberg lettuce?

Really?

pm317 said...

All the children and my dad would sit around on the floor (we didn't have dining tables in those days) and eat off of a designated steel dinner plate which each of us washed clean after the dinner. Nobody would eat off my plate because I was always in a hurry and in their eyes, didn't clean my plate good enough, :). My mom would serve because we ate with our fingers and needed a designated person to serve with free hands (could not touch the serving dish with our hands while eating). The floor was cleaned by one of us after we all finished dinner. Rules, dammit, but if you look closely it was mostly hygiene that drove it. My dad or me would sit with my mom while she ate her dinner after us. Nowadays we have dining tables and rules begone, everybody serves on their own and what not. Oh, we had no say in what was served and how it tasted. But my mom was a very good cook and nobody had complaints.

pm317 said...

Sugar and tomatoes must be universal. I have had it as a kid too in another part of the world.

Synova said...

Seriously, Garage?

Donald Douglas said...

We asked to be excused as well. And that sugar on lettuce? That's a new one to me...

DADvocate said...

I was eating in a Bob Evans a few years ago and this construction worker at the neighboring table ordered Capt'n Crunch with the Crunch Berries. People of all ages and walks of life love Capt'n Crunch.

For me, I'm a Wheaties man. I like them with brown sugar.

Ann - your childhood meat menu sounds like mine, except for the steak. I don't think I had steak until I was 16 or older. Lamb chops. We had the Shari Lewis cook book, "101 Ways to Cook Lamb Chops."

traditionalguy said...

You are what you eat. Sugar Pops are Tops, and so are you.

The Crack Emcee said...

uHere's another version of the same story - criticizing (other) NewAgers - and reaching the same conclusions:

It's not infrequent that I come under fire from antivaccinationists for, ironically enough, calling them antivaccinationists. "Oh, no," they protest, "I'm not antivaccine. How dare you call me that? I'm actually a vaccine safety advocate." Of course, when you probe more closely and ask a few questions, almost inevitably you'll find that in reality they believe that no vaccine is safe, no way, no how, making the difference between their view of vaccine safety and being antivaccine a distinction without a real difference. Actually, it's more a delusion on the part of antivaccinationists, because any reasonable person who looks carefully at their views will see that there is often no vaccine under any circumstance whose use these "vaccine safety activists" will support. No matter how much you probe, you'll have a hard time getting them to support the use of any vaccine ever. Why?
Because in reality they're antivaccine, that's why.


If NewAgers would merely learn a new way to argue - one that didn't employ diversion - you'd be a lot more fun (and interesting) to engage with. But, cultish thinking being what it is, it's all you know. Reality be damned. There's no ethical culture left, thanks to the likes of you law professors, so you can get away with bullshit and your drones will still love you because - really - what do they care? Only someone equally assholish would attempt to make you address the issues, right? (You only posted this to appear smart and get praise for it - not to be pinned down - where's the intellectual fun in that?)
I'm so tired of this, Ann, so very, very tired. Like Lennon singing, 'Gimme some truth," a little honesty is all I ask, but, alas, that seems too much. I wish I knew why. Your generation said you were going to get us there, but, instead, you opted for nonsense and "selling out." What a waste. And what a huge, huge let-down.

I thought, in the end, you'd be different - my bad, I guess, I just expect too much.

SPImmortal said...

Q: what ever happened to the blue dog demacrats?

A: Obama ate them, after throwing them under the bus to tenderize them

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Sugar on cottage cheese? No no no. Cottage cheese demands salt and pepper!

Absolutely. Salt and pepper. Although cottage cheese and crushed pineapple is pretty good too.

Sugar on tomatoes!! What? I've never heard of such a thing.

I also never dreamed that people would put sugar on rice. When I was a kid (same age as Althouse)rice was for Arroz con Pollo, rice pilaf, part of a curry dish or in a shrimp creole dish. Rice pudding slivered almond custard occasionally as a dessert.

I guess my family was more adventurous in food. In addition to the regular steaks, hamburgers, fried chicken, we loved calf liver and onions, chicken livers, beef tongue and especially pickled lambs tongues.

The big treats that we really looked forward to was going to The City (which meant only San Francisco) and picking up fresh crabs and sour dough bread. Going for Dim Sum and Chinese dinner.. My best girlfriend in school was Japanese. I loved the Obon festival every year. The food was fabulous. Love the noodles. Sashimi and sushii.....yum!!

Don't remember eating much cereal other than Cheerios with sliced bananas.

rehajm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rehajm said...

In the beginning there were Sugar Pops, which begat Sugar Corn Pops, which beat Corn Pops. The evolution was the result of the sugared cereal hysteria of the 1970s and 1980s. Sugar Smacks never had a chance...

Bob_R said...

Sugar on lettuce surprised me, but it shouldn't. First my grandad put sugar on tomatoes. Second, I've been looking at the carb content on bottled dressings. Copious quantities of sweetener in some.

Rusty said...

Lauderdale Vet said...
When I was a kid, we put sugar on white rice; was told it was a Southern thing.

Yes it is. If you had money you'd put cream on it with brown sugar.
What people of color call soul food is just southern poor people food for both blacks and whites.

pm317 said...

Rusty said...
------------

Hot rice with sugar and butter, that is babyfood, sometimes sugar replaced with salt.

MadisonMan said...

Don't remember eating much cereal other than Cheerios with sliced bananas.

Cheerios with brown sugar. Then you pour the milk over it, and end up with brown sugar sludge at the bottom of the bowl.

Delicious!

Christy said...

Sugar on rice is a Scots-Irish of the hills tradition. Flatlander Scots-Irish, say from the Carolina Piedmont, are salted rice sorts.

According to the Jillian Michaels podcasts cereal and other food companies are gradually reducing both sugar and salt in their products. Gradually because they learned the hard way that a suddenly drop to recommended levels doesn't agree with consumers and the product tanks and never returns to previous levels of popularity.

Just saying.

ndspinelli said...

There was ethnic food in my blue collar ethnic family and town in the 1950's. But, for a narcissist, if there was no ethnic food in their myopic world, ipso facto..

ndspinelli said...

DBQ, Pickled lamb tongue was a staple in bars where I grew up. Shot, beer, and a tongue w/ some peasant Italian bread. Mexicans love tongue, I eat lengue tacos in San Diego. They're now even available in white bread Madison

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Mexicans love tongue, I eat lengue tacos in San Diego

Yum. Tongue used to be inexpensive. It isn't now!! We had it a lot when I was growing up. Tongue sandwiches.

Swedish style tongue.
(Boiled with onions and spices, peeled, cooled, sliced, egged and breaded and fried crispy in butter with a creamy horseradish sauce......sooooo good.)

gerry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gerry said...

Metaphorical masturbation: a lovely image, that, with hopeless unproductive constructs spurting into the gutter to squirm meaninglessly until they completely dry out.

And, as a bonus, it's alliterative.

lewsar said...

@dbq: we had beef tongue as well. we also had beef heart when we lived in illinois. i've never seen that at a butcher shop before or since (not that i've ever looked).

Lem said...

Party on Alhusians!

caplight45 said...

Kellog's...Sugar Corn Pops,
Sugar Pops are tops!
Oh, the Pops are sweeter
And the taste is new.
They're shot with sugar through and through.
Kellog's...Sugar Corn Pops,
Sugar Pops are tops!

caplight45 said...

Crack

Yes, kid's breakfast cereal is part of the New Age delusion that is pedaled every day to our children. Obviously they got to AA early on. Each Sugar Corn Pop, its own little golden orb of energy, is reminiscent of the Sun. Do I hear, "This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarious, Let the Sunshine in?"

Hmmm.

As for Popeye and spinach, I can only say that AA, growing up in the Philly TV market, saw her Popeye cartoons on "Popeye Theater" (as did I) hosted by cowgirl Sally Star a blonde bombshell who hid here unseemly past in burlesque from us tender children. Alas AA must have been bitten by "Our Gal Sal's" penchant for beautiful blond hair (a ruse AA uses to sweeten her nostrums for her male readers).

You see, sometimes a cigar isn't just a cigar and a Sugar Pop isn't just a Sugar Pop. But then you already know that.

Alex said...

Where is the arugula and endive? I'm so superior to you PBJ freaks.

Alex said...

I usually eat granola with flax seeds usually mixed with some kind of berry and Greek yogurt. Yes I'm so fucking superior to you white-bread munching cons.

Ralph L said...

I used to hide my string beans under the telephone on the kitchen table. My dad liked them cooked until gray, the smell of which is almost as vile as cooked cabbage to me. Thankfully, that and spinach were never cooked at our house, but I can eat spinach lasagna.

The K&W (kane and walker) cafeteria here serves spinach with the egg slice on top.

My brother and wife never trained my niece in table manners, which I find annoying, plus the lack of self-discipline will probably do her harm.

dreams said...

I grew up eating biscuits & gravy, eggs, sausage, bacon for breakfast and cornbread, beans and potatoes for dinner and supper and no telling how much sugar via chocolate milk, very little soft drinks. Not a very healthy diet but better than what most kids eat today. For birthdays we would have home canned peaches and cake, no ice cream. Sometimes we would have home canned tomatoes with biscuits & gravy for breakfast.

ken in sc said...

I used to eat black eyed peas with mayo.

Darrencardinal said...

No no no.

You are all wrong about cottage cheese.

The correct thing to do with cottage cheese is to put raisins in it, then pour honey over the whole thing. Yummy.

And putting sugar on iceberg lettuce just sounds bizarre.

Methadras said...

Ann, you've been pink slimed.

Nora said...

prairie wind said...
Sugar on cottage cheese? But why? I have never heard of that.
~~~~~~
They sell sweetened yogurts, so why not cheese.

My husband's favorite breakfast is cottage cheese with home-made fruit preserve, a thinner version of jam. I've been making these preserves for him for over 20years, so he can mix them with cottage easily.

timb said...

How low is the bar at UW? You engaged in a point by point frisking of an insult? You took it literally? Your idiot commenters did too? This is a new low for the box wine crowd.

Ann, can you tell us next how if you step on a crack it REAALY won't break your mama's back? Buy a dictionary, look up "mocking" and try to avoid embarrassing yourself