Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Worms Crawl In . . The Worms Crawl Out

The topic du jour is weird, gross, interesting and how-the-hell-did-that-get-there items that turn up in your food and/or beverages. This is what prompted the subject. On the afternoon of New Year's Eve, my husband and daughter and I went to a local eating establishment. It's a national chain whose name you would recognize, so I will not name it, you know, to protect the innocent. I ordered nachos, which are listed as an appetizer. But given the size of the plate they bring, they are way more than most people need as a meal. I started to dig in and noticed something you don't, as a rule, find in a plate of nachos. A chunk of green apple. Which wouldn't be too surprising, the restaurant makes a salad with fruit in it. No, what was interesting about the apple was that it had one of those grocery store produce stickers on it. That's odd on several levels.

When the waitress came by to ask how things were, I showed her the apple with the sticker. She looked surprised and said she was sorry. I told her it wasn't a big deal, I just thought in was amusing. Anyway, she took the thing and showed it to her manager, who comped us the plate of nachos. Which I thought was pretty decent.

But that got me to thinking about similar incidents. Like the time we were in a Mexican restaurant and my mother found a twist tie in her burrito. That was pretty icky. But when she told the waitress, the girl looked at her as if to say, "And you're telling me this . . . why?" She didn't even take it and toss it, tell anyone in the kitchen that twist ties are not a common burrito ingredient. Just walked away.

Then there was the day my mom got a can of pop out of the machine at work. (I think my mother may have some bad karma with the food gods.) She said the pop tasted kind of funny, but she didn't think much about it and finsihed the can. And set it down and heard something rattling at the bottom. Which shouldn't happen. So she up-ended it and out came . . . a bobby pin! She actually called the company and reported the incident, for which they sent her coupons for free pop. Yeah, like I'm in a hurry to buy more of THIS stuff.

The grossest thing in recent history was about a month ago, when my daughter stopped at a sandwich establishment. She brought her sub home to eat, sat down at the counter, unwrapped it and said, "Oh, gross." She then proceeded to pull a hair out of the sandwich that went through the entire six inches of it. She ate that six inches of sandwich (don't ask me how, she seemed unperturbed). Then she picked up the other six inches and said, "And here's the rest of the hair," and pulled out another six inches. Then she ate that half of the sandwich. I was kind of grossing out about how she could stomach all of this. Then my daughter, who has worked at three different jobs where food was prepared and/or served, said, "Mom, if people knew what goes on behind the scenes in restaurants, no one would ever eat out again. This is nothing." Ugh. I'm not thinking about it. At least the apple was clean. Not sure about the sticker.


Anonymous Di said...

Linda, that title brings back a horrifying memory!(First the mouse, and now the worms.) I hadn't thought about this in so long..... One summer I was working at the grain elevator in the huge town of Jefferson, Okla., and I decided to eat a Payday candy bar. After eating a huge bite, I looked down and saw worms crawling out of the peanuts. OMG, I still get the creeps thinking about it!!! You have a real knack for bringing back those old repressed memmories!!!LOL

7:09 PM  
Blogger Dorothy said...

gag...oh my...
yes, I have some stories of my own, but we all keep going out and we are all still alive to tell about it! hhmmm

7:25 PM  
Blogger Mom Thumb said...

di - Sorry, I don't want to send you into therapy! But coincidentally, I had a friend in college who had the same thing happen to her with a Payday. I used to love the things and haven't had once since!

dorothy - Yeah, I have a theory about that. Our society has become so germ oriented that we try to scrub everything to death. But I think a certain amount of junk may keep us healthier in the long run. Kind of like Rasputin. I'd just rather not see it.

7:57 PM  
Anonymous Bill said...

I am sure Jeff remembers the time we ordered hambugers in Virginia. I raised the top and saw a live green worm on the lettuce. H. Man opened his and found two live worms. You could not say the lettuce was not fresh. Come to think of it, she came back pretty fast with the replacements!

7:59 AM  
Blogger Mom Thumb said...

bill - Just think if you hadn't looked and had just bitten into them. There could have been major retching!

9:42 AM  
Blogger Jennine said... would this be the right time to tell you that I've got a bunch of factory-sealed, hair-free Reeses Peanut Butter Cups with your name on them?

9:26 PM  
Blogger Harmonica Man said...

Mmmm, I'm so glad I'm reading this right before lunch - to Subway!

Oh well, I'll make sure I bring a hair brush, just in case my sandwich needs it.

9:10 AM  
Blogger Mom Thumb said...

jennine - Are you CERTAIN that they are hair free? It's possible there are little green worms in some of them. Or worse, maggots!

h-man - You can relax, the sandwich wasn't from Subway. But take your hair brush to that other sandwich place. Wait, you don't actually own a hair brush, right?

9:50 AM  

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