I have decided that I really don’t like salad.  Actually, I can’t stand salad.  To be honest, the only good salads are the ones with a lot of stuff in them in addition to the vegetables:  nuts, cheese, meats, dried or fresh fruit, and so on.  In fact, I am sure that once you throw all of that into the salad it isn’t all that healthy to eat, it just seems healthy because it’s a salad.  Do you remember the series of Bud Light ads called “Real Men of Genius”?  “Mr. Giant Taco Salad Inventor” was one of the best and it explains how you can actually turn a salad into a 12,000 calorie meal by adding ground beef, re-fried beans, guacamole and cheese to it.  

But I digress.  The actual reason I hate salad is that it involves too much poking.  Way too much poking.  If I want to get a good combination of stuff in one bite, it is a lot of work to poke each individual thing with my fork and get everything to stay on. 

Perhaps an example is necessary to illustrate the issue.  Let’s start by agreeing that there is no point to salad unless you put a lot of the aforementioned good stuff in it.  So say I order a salad with almonds (healthy), goat cheese (yummy), grilled chicken (healthier than breaded chicken), dried cranberries (deceitful, seemingly healthy but loaded with sugar), and a couple of vegetables.  This actually sounds pretty delicious and something you might be able to get excited about.  Well, to truly enjoy this salad I would have to get all or most of the good stuff in one bite, but here’s what happens when I try:

  • I take a fork-full of lettuce and maybe some of a vegetable, because the point of salad is to eat greens and vegetables.
  • I find an almond and stab it with my fork.  If I am successful it gets lodged on the fork; if I am not successful it shoots across the table at my dining partner, hopefully not taking out an eye in the process.
  • Let’s say I am successful and now I have lettuce, a vegetable, and an almond on my fork.  Nice.  But, how will I be able to fit the other stuff on my already crowded fork?  I go for the chicken next.  Got it, because it is a little soft and I am able to squeeze it on after the almond.  This isn’t so bad after all…
  • What about the goat cheese?  I try to poke it onto the fork but guess what happens?  The goat cheese spreads out and flattens, making it impossible to spear.  But I want cheese in this bite, dammit!  So I take my knife in the hand opposite the one that has the fork and use the knife to scrape up some goat cheese.  Then I spread the goat cheese onto the stuff already on the fork.  Sounds like a good plan, right?  Wrong!  It would be a good plan, except that the almond is barely hanging on to the fork and when I apply pressure with my knife it falls off, and now I am really irritated because the crunch of the almond was critical to my enjoying the bite of salad.   And I haven’t even attempted to include the dried cranberries.

I don’ t need to continue because you can see how this plays out.  Maybe you have experienced this yourself and can feel your blood pressure rise as you recall the frustration of how you were just trying to eat healthy, for God’s sake, but there was too much poking involved!  I haven’t even addressed the other salad-related issue of running out of one salad topper too soon, like when the cheese and/or meat is gone and you still have lettuce.  If you are truly honest with yourself, you know you stop eating at that point and throw the rest of the lettuce away.

Take my advice and just have a cheeseburger.  You’ll thank me later.