A foul smell permeated the room at the family holiday gathering. I thought to myself, “Either the baby needs a diaper change or someone is cooking broccoli in the kitchen.” Unfortunately, it was the latter. I knew it wouldn’t be long before the broccoli bullies got after me once again.
There is something about broccoli that stirs up such passion in people. That is not the case with other vegetables. No one ever straps me down under the hot lights and questions my dislike of asparagus. Nor do I ever hear, “Hey, pass the string beans to him. He loves them. What a great guy!” People either love broccoli or hate it.
Unfortunately for me, I am a broccoli hater and always will be. My stance is totally unacceptable to the broccoli bullies. They persist in trying to convert me into a member of their deranged, broccoli-loving cult. “Have you ever tried it?” they ask, knowing darned well that I have. Trying it more doesn’t make it any better. “Why don’t you like it? It’s so delicious?” The bullies sometimes try to sneak it past me by mixing it in a casserole. “Try it. You can’t even taste the broccoli.” If it’s so wonderful, then why disguise its taste?
They can be very protective of this vegetable with the long stalk and fuzzy green afro. They are angered by my dislike of it and tease me. I expect one day I’ll be pulled from my seat at the table, held down, and force-fed broccoli. In spite of my screams of horror, my puckered lips and contorted face, they’ll make me say “I love it.” Only then will they be happy. They’ll parade around the room, broccoli in hands held high in the air as they sing some broccoli lover’s anthem.
So, I sat at the table, as the food and the beatings were about to be served to me. The broccoli made its way toward me. I felt the eyes of the broccoli bullies zero in on me. The baby began to cry in the other room. I got up and volunteered to check on him. With any luck, his diaper needed changing.