I’ll Pass on the Pork Chops
This post is about something that had a huge effect on my food intake as a child. You may laugh, but it traumatized me for about twelve years… at the least.
Because we lived in the city the only animals we saw on a regular basis were dogs, which ran loose around the neighborhood because there was no leash law in place, cats that also were all over the place, birds, mostly pigeons, crows and sparrows, and the occasional snake or toad. A pig moving into a pen in our neighbor’s yard was big news and I was a very excited five or six-year-old.
I remember walking with my sister and one of my brothers to see “Bonnie”. Yes, they actually named her even though the family that sheltered this swine had three little kids of their own. There’s nothing like setting your kids up for heartache. Not to mention your neighbor’s kid… me. We must have visited my new found friend everyday for at least a week. I couldn’t get into the pen even though I wanted to, but I bonded with Bonnie.
I overheard my parents talking about Bonnie getting loose while someone was trying to load her into a truck. It sounded funny to me, but I wondered why Bonnie would want to leave the nice pen in her yard. It never occured to me that she would never come back… alive. I’m still kind of slow to catch on. I don’t remember what my parents told me when I asked to visit Bonnie after that, but I must have accepted it.
Then we had a meal to remember. We had pork chops for dinner. Everything was fine until someone had to open up their mouth. One of my older brother’s, probably about fourteen at the time, thought he would be funny and asked me a question. I’m not sure if anyone laughed, but it sure was memorable.
“Do you know that you’re eating Bonnie?”
I didn’t respond with words. My actions spoke for themselves. I immediately threw up at the kitchen table. Got out of my chair and proceeded up the bedroom stairs and puked on them. For some reason I walked by my room and went into my older brothers’ room and vomited there, too. Laying down in his bed, I emptied whatever was still in my stomach onto his pillow.
I didn’t eat another pork chop until my late teens. Not that the thought of eating Bonnie bothered me at all.