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What is lettuce, Young Grasshopper?

Well, if you ask me, it's something that should probably be eaten BY grasshoppers, rabbits and other marauding rodents & insects, because to the human palate, lettuce is rather like congealed water rendered into some manner of crunchy leaf through the mysteries of nature and the marvels of modern horticultural techniques. Iceberg lettuce, we call it. And it may be found in all manner of salads, heaped upon sandwiches, and shredded liberally over an otherwise delightful taco.

We consume it in mass quantities because we are told it is good for us, yet upon doing an admittedly small amount of research, I discover that lettuce has very little nutritional value for humans. Guinea pigs seem to like it and can actually live on the stuff, but how bright are guinea pigs when all is said and done? Glorified lab rats, unfortunately, which is neither here nor there, but it does cause one to take a more critical look at this being whose primary diet is lettuce. Hmmmmmmmm.

It is said that the tao which can be spoken of is not the true tao.

Therefore, it could be speculated that lettuce which has any real flavor is not really lettuce. Any flavor attributed to lettuce must be examined for its true nature, and is usually found to be some manner of "dressing." Funny word, that. Dressing. Like we must dress up this peculiar weed in some attempt to make it more acceptable to the eye, more palatable to the tongue - to disguise the fact that we are eating what amounts to crunchy water with a bit of chlorophyll thrown in just to keep it interesting.

In the course of dealing with this diagnosis of diabetes that has been handed to me, I have been examining the benefits of a better diet. This leads me to salads. I sat at a restaurant yesterday, observing these painfully-thin women munching on a variety of salads. Asian chicken salad. Cobb salad. Dinner salad. Casear salad. They appeared on the surface to be content, yet one could clearly see that keen look of hunger and animalistic resentment in their gaze as they eyed the dessert menu, while verbally reciting (unconvincingly) what a delightful salad they were having, and how they would prepare yet another salad for dinner (though one did admit that her husband would demand something of greater 'substance'.)

Lettuce is passively evil. 

 

Leafus-Insidius
Note the evil green eye
at the center of the head




It has hijacked the minds of otherwise sane beings. It is the foreign installation hiding in plain sight at the dinner table, screaming, "Eat me! Eat me!" like some out of control carrot monster in a sleazy juice bar in Santa Monica. It has convinced us it is good for us, when it is really nothing more than the carrier mechanism for the ranch dressing, the croutons, and bits of chicken and cheese. I mean - really - when you get down to it, does anybody really LIKE lettuce? ANY kind of lettuce? Red leaf, curly. Romaine. Chinese. Endive. Crisp-head. Summer-crisp. Loose-leaf. Iceberg. It may LOOK different, but the taste is the same. Crunchy water, right?

C'mon, guys. 'Fess up. Tell the truth. 'Cuz otherwise, I have to conclude that the joke is on us, and we have merely convinced ourselves that we like this stuff that would make a better xmas wreath than a "healthy" meal.

When I was a kid, I used to eat grass. Yeah, laugh it up. You did it, too. We all had to eat a few bites of grass to see what all the fuss was about with the cows. But when all was said and done, we quit eating grass 'cuz it tasted like lettuce - actually, it had MORE flavor than lettuce, and probably more nutritional value. But it doesn't grow in cute little heads that can be cultivated commercially, so grass makes a lousy salad unless you're a grasshopper on a macrobiotic diet.

So I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the funny thing about lettuce is that we consume it as if it were going out of style (no such luck), and in social settings, we pretend to enjoy it, when the reality of it is that it's like the emperor's new clothes. The emperor was nekkid as a jaybird, and lettuce is something a lot of folks pretend to enjoy just because it is considered bad form to badmouth the leafy green alien that has taken over control of our common sense.

We eat lettuce because we see other humans eating lettuce. (Mother's voice: "If everybody else jumped off a bridge, would you jump, too?") We eat lettuce because the lettuce growers tell us it is good for us. (TV Commercial: "Eat more lettuce because it's the only goddamn thing we can grow here in El Centro and we need the money!") We eat lettuce because we have accepted our programming. (Borg says, "You cannot resist the water-leaf. You will be assimilated.")

Admit it.

Lettuce sucks.

The lettuce which does not suck is not really lettuce.

 

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