Letters from the front

  "My Latest Meal"

by Brad "Mexican Bob" Pilgrim  ©2004  7Sep04/1951Z


I just got back home from the war a few hours ago.  This last trip was long and trying on the nerves.  Still, I'm back, in one piece and very thankful.  I wrote several stories while I was flying around between Germany and Iraq.  As of right now, only two of them are worth sending along.  Actually, after you read them you might wonder why I can even justify saying that!  This first story has no point what so ever!


During one of my physicals several years ago, the flight surgeon was reading the lab results from my last cholesterol check.  When he regained consciousness, he mentioned that maybe I ought to consider cutting back on some of large quantity of fried stuff I tend to eat.   Now I’m a southern boy, raised on gravy, fried sausage, fried eggs, fried bologna, fried fish, fried chicken, chicken fried steak and all manner of other things fried.  My godly Mamma got up every morning to fix us breakfast and I swear the woman could find a way to fry air.  She could also make the holiest of all holy, biscuits and gravy. I’ve been told that there is a special place in heaven for a woman that will cook biscuits and gravy in! t! he morning.  My dad says it’s the kitchen, but never when Mama is around.  I know biscuits aren’t fried, but they are the equivalent of eating two big handfuls of Crisco and are apparently unhealthy.   The doctor told me that it wouldn’t hurt to bypass a few before I needed an actual bypass.  I took his advice long enough to get to the nearest Dairy Queen and consume six and a half pounds of grease from the french fry pit. 


I’ve thought about what the doctor told me a couple of times over the years, usually while eating a cheese burger at Wendy’s.  I thought about it at the Arlington airshow two years ago, when John Lane and I attempted to eat a twelve pound brick of french fries during lunch.  We failed in our endeavor but, unlike the french, we went down fighting.  Prior to tonight, I think the last time I thought about eating healthy was about six months ago when I ran my truck over a flower planter at Jack in the Box.  It really wasn’t my fault.  I was turning the corner out of the parking lot when the grease from my double bacon cheeseburger ran down my arm and caused the steering wheel to slip through my hand. 


The other night, I was watching the muslims pray on Al Jazeera at the hotel (they are way more dramatic than Jim and Tammy Fay Baker ever were) when, as my good friend Gary Austin says, “my low cheeseburger light started flickering”.   I personally would say that I was hungry enough to crawl up a pig’s butt for a ham sandwich.  However you choose to phrase it, I was hungry.  In the bottom of the Frankfurt airport is a McDonalds.  I walked over there, fully intending to do some serious damage to the worlds Big Mac population.  I know that is as close as you can actually get to eating a blood clot, but they sure do taste good.  On some days, you can feel your arteries harden up by just walking through the door.


Across the hall from McDonalds is a German Grocery store.  I feel the need to point out that it was a German store, less anybody think there might have been a Piggly Wiggly in Germany.  I thought I’d find something to tide me over that was a little healthier than my regular menu.  I walked over to the meat section and promptly lost my appetite.  How the Germans can make a sausage look so vulgar is beyond me!  I think they make them that way to embarrass the little old ladies and church folk.  The sausage that didn’t have sexual overtones was coiled up in the contain! er! and looked like something that my basset hound would leave in the shrubs after consuming two pieces of styrofoam and a quart of motor oil.  I decided that I wasn’t secure enough in my manhood to have the sausage so I turned my attention to the fish.  There was a package labeled “cod tongue”.  I’ve never seen a cod, but I have seen catfish and bass.  Fish shouldn’t have tongues that large.  Apparently, cod is the German word for wale.  A couple of years back, I mentioned in one of these stories that the hotel I was staying at in Amman, Jordan was having sheep night.  I could eat the eyes a! nd! brains, but I drew the line at tongues.  I couldn’t stand the thought of tasting something that can taste me back. 


I didn’t even bother looking at the vegetables, because I believe that they are evil and cause insanity.  I looked all over the store and couldn’t find a box of macaroni and cheese.  There was no spam or raman noodles either.  Those are standard fare for my dinner.  Apparently the Germans don’t know anything about good eating.  I finally found a package of tortilla chips, a jar of salsa and a bottle of banana juice. 


Insert totally unrelated banana story here:  No…not that one….that’s too vulgar for mixed company….this one:


Several years ago in Puerto Rico; I had a drunken encounter with a banana tree.  There was a herd of them outside my room at the top of the hill on the Navy Base.  After a rather rowdy night of partying, (the same night I stole the sign from a strip bar that said “Please don’t touch the dancers”) I went outside to relieve myself.  Yes the room had a bathroom, but I like to commune with nature whenever I get the chance.  It’s a tradition handed down over generations of the Pilgrim men.  Besides, I already said it was a drunken encounter.  If I knew you people were gonna be so judgmental, I would have never ! st! arted telling this story!!  Anyhow, it had been raining and I was propped against a banana tree, doing my thing.  Banana trees after it rains are slicker than snot on a doorknob.   At some point after I finished, I am assuming, I made an attempt to get back to my room.  Somehow, I slipped.  I may have just fallen asleep while standing up; I’ve been known to do that when drinking.  Either way, I went flying down the hill like a five eyed goat on a bob sled, knocking over several baby banana trees on the way.  All I had on between me and the Lord was a pair of boxer shorts and my combat boots. 

Somewhere along the path from the top of the hill to the bottom, I lost all of it.  So, here I am lying at the bottom of this hill, covered in mashed up banana trees when I decided it was as good a time as any to take a nap.  Who knows, maybe I knocked myself unconscious.  I’ve been known to do that when drinking.  Anyhow, I woke up the next morning, face down in the herd of banana trees, at the bottom of a hill wondering if it would hurt less if I just went ahead and died.  I heard a noise that sounded like chewing.  I turned my head to the side and saw about six or seven large iguanas.  They were eating chunks of red licorice.  Strangely enough, I remembered eating red licorice the night before, around the time I was taking many shots of tequila……..


Back to original story here, hope everyone is still following the flow of ideas from paragraph to paragraph……..


I had never seen banana juice before and never remembered seeing a banana drip.  Come to think of it, I don’t know how you could plant a banana tree because I’ve never seen seeds in one.  I know banana trees exist, read the “unrelated banana story”.  It’s the seeds I can’t figure out.  Don’t try and tell me that they are those little black things in the middle, because I don’t believe it.  Seeds have to crunch when you bite into them and those things don’t crunch.  I considered walking over to the fruit section and squeezing a banana, but I remembered my bad experience in finding out where baby oil comes from.  I decided against the chips and salsa, because what do the Germans know about Mexican food.  I bought the banana juice, still not knowing where it came from and also picked up a jar of parmesan cheese, which I do know where it comes from.  You scrape it from between the toes of screech owls. 


I made it back to the hotel without eating anything fried and decided to try out the banana juice.  If you ever have the opportunity to drink banana juice, run like you are leaving your own execution!  It was horrid.  That crap was evil in a bottle!  I can think of very few things that I have ever drunk that tasted that bad.  I had to wash it down with the parmesan cheese which went well with the double cheeseburger which I ended up ordering from room service.


Faithfully Submitted,