For the week of Feb. 5, 2018

Muttonhead musings

By John Schlageck, Kansas Farm Bureau

   Just as we were all adjusting to warmer temperatures, Mother Nature decided to turn the tables and dumped snow and near-zero temperatures on our sunny, warmer days. And judging by the weather forecasts, the rest of the week will bring us additional white stuff. Who knows, maybe for the rest of the month.

   Don’t take this the wrong way, we all know the moisture is good for our crops, plants, the environment, but still. Guess, I’ll change the subject and turn to a more appealing topic. Something that makes us all feel better – food.

   In today’s world, food sometimes takes a bad rap. As one of my favorite comedians Rodney Dangerfield would have said, "I'll tell you Johnny, food gets no respect."

   How did this begin? Who started this public relation’s nightmare?

   It all started with Adam and Eve. What caused them to sin?

   An apple, of course. Everyone knows what one bad apple does to a barrelful, right?

   When a friend buys a car and problems arise, he does not call the car lousy, does he? No, instead it’s labeled a lemon.

   When someone receives bad advice, the suggestions weren’t bad, instead the person was given a bum steer. And a bad joke is not called stupid; it is referred to as corny.

   Pits from fruit will grow an orchard, but if something is awful it is considered the pits. Extremely homely girls are distastefully referred to as pigs. Homely guys are labeled turkeys or boars. Someone who lacks gray matter is often called a muttonhead.

   You gotta be careful of corn at night. They can be really creepy with their husky voices and seedy appearance. Why, they even cob right out and tell you to shuck it right to your face.

   Rosemary was always late delivering packages. This prompted the head of International Herbs & Spices to call her supervisor, demanding to speak to the parcel sage about Rosemary and time.

   There's no other food that inspires as many cringe-worthy puns as nuts. Yes, we know they're salty, and we're also aware we have the option to lick them, but if you were going to insist on making joke after joke we’d rather just run to the store and buy our own. There's more but this is a family column.

   All children know Cinderella’s beautiful carriage turned into a pumpkin at midnight. A gingerbread house landed Hansel and Gretel in the witch’s oven and a poisoned apple was the downfall of Snow White.

   And the bad stories related to food are never ending. One of my favorites involves a hungry traveler who stops at a monastery and is taken to the kitchens. A brother is frying chips. “Are you the friar?” he asks. “No. I'm the chip monk,” the traveler replies.

   Or, I decided recently that becoming a vegetarian was a missed steak. And one more – did you hear about the cannibal who showed up late to the luncheon? They gave him the cold shoulder.

  I'll tell you food gets no respect.

   No doubt, the food industry needs an image facelift – some “good old PR hype.” To be honest, it all leaves a bad taste in this writer’s mouth. But then I guess it could just be a case of sour grapes.

   John Schlageck is a leading commentator on agriculture and rural Kansas. Born and raised on a diversified farm in northwestern Kansas, his writing reflects a lifetime of experience, knowledge and passion.