Friday, October 15, 2010

The Zucchini Incident of 1982

Warning: This blog post contains graphic descriptions of vomiting. If you are made queasy, or induced to vomit yourself by these kind of descriptions, proceed with caution.

While I was on vacation, I ate a piece of zucchini, willingly, for the first time since "The Incident." I was eating dinner in a restaurant called Teppan Edo in the Japan section of Epcot. I completely doused the piece of zucchini in ginger sauce to completely disguise any lingering taste of zucchini. I set forth to taste this quite hesitantly, and was relieved to not gag at all when I ate it. I realized that I still don't like zucchini at all. I don't like the texture of it, and I don't like the taste of it.

As far back as I can remember, I've never liked zucchini. In fact, I've hated it. My mother had a rule when we were kids, we had to eat our whole dinner. If we ordered something in a restaurant, we had to eat it whether we liked it or not. At home, we had to eat what she put on our plates, there was no alternative.

Another important thing to know to fully get this story is that I have an extremely low gag threshold. I can smell something cooking that I don't like and start to gag, and sometimes even just thinking about something that I don't like can make me gag.

Ok, now we go back in time to a night when I was about 6 or 7 years old. I'm guessing that this happened around 1982. We were at the table having dinner, it was porkchops and rice and zucchini. I also had a full glass of milk, in my Mr. Peabody glass. I ate my porkchop, I ate all my rice. I drank my full glass of milk. I did not, however, eat my zucchini. I was a very slow eater, and so by the time I finished a meal, it was cold. So, since I hadn't touched the zucchini yet, by this point it was STONE COLD. My mother told me to eat my zucchini. I told her that I didn't like zucchini and didn't want to eat it. She told me that I had to eat it anyway.

This went back and forth for a little while, and finally I was forced to take a bite. I remember this very clearly, and even the recollection is making me a little queasy. I put a bite of cold, slimy, squishy zucchini in my mouth, and chewed and even as I tried to swallow it, I could feel myself gagging. I remember making that awful, "Hul-huh, hul-huh" noise that people make when they gag. (It's a lot easier to verbally recreate that noise than to type it!) My mother, very used to this trick of mine, snapped at me, "Don't you do it. DON'T you DO it!!!!" I honestly did try to swallow the zucchini and stop the gagging, but I had no control over it.

I clapped both my hands over my mouth, and stood up from the table and started running around the island-like counter in our kitchen to get to the sink. Sadly, I was not fast enough and I started throwing up. Violently. My two little hands were not enough to hold it back, and it sprayed out between my fingers all the way from the table to the sink. The cabinets were splashed, the carpet was doused, and I made it to the sink where I heaved and retched for another 20 minutes.

My mother was never able to be around anyone else throwing up without getting sick herself. So this grandiose display of projectile vomit by me made my mother sick. My sister let out a nervous giggle, and my mother snapped at her, "SHUT UP! SHUT UP AND CLEAN IT UP!!!!" Then Mom sprinted out of the roomed towards her bathroom, and she did not emerge for quite some time.

My poor sister was forced to clean up the mess that I had made all over the kitchen, and I can't remember where my father went. I don't think that he offered to help Kimberly, I think he went to check on Mom, and never came back.

But an important lesson was learned by all involved that night... When Stephanie says, "I don't like that, I don't want to eat it," we probably shouldn't force the issue.

I've never eaten zucchini again since that night, except in its only acceptable form which is zucchini bread. So the very fact that I was willing to try it again at Teppan Edo was nothing short of incredible. I also reaffirmed my belief that zucchini is still awful, and should only be used to make zucchini bread.


  1. I laughed! I cried! I almost lost it myself!!

  2. Me too! I laughed and tears came to my eyes. I could see the whole thing ~ only with tomatoes and my little sister. I can see the incident clearly in my mind, hear my mom yelling, my sister gagging, and my other sister and I trying hard not to laugh at my little sister for fear of how Mom would react to us. To this day she does not eat tomatoes.

    Thanks for the laughs and the memories.