As promised, here’s Part Two of the Halloween fears and angsts of my childhood. You can read Part One here.
People often ask why I write sci-fi, fantasy, and other “non-realistic” genres. It’s because I find real life to be at least as strange as stories set on other planets. My childhood seemed filled with aliens: grownups with priorities I couldn’t understand, popular kids who spoke languages, shared customs, and wore clothes that baffled me. And food regularly appeared on my dinner plate that was, to me, completely inedible by humans.
Which brings me to the Halloween when I was seven, or was it eight, and I had to face my deepest fear: the canned string bean.
I know what you’re thinking: canned string beans? Pshaw. Canned creamed spinach, now that’s disgusting. Unfit for human consumption, meant for Martians, or Plutonians.
And I agree with you, except it wasn’t canned creamed spinach that stood between me and trick or treating that Halloween night.
It was canned green beans. Three of them, to be precise. My mother, weary of my all-too-human finicky eating habits, revealed herself as an alien by placing three huge, slimy, grey-green canned string beans on my plate and insisting I eat them before I could go collect candy.
Sweet-Tarts, Pixie Stix, baby Butterfingers, and those weird wax things – the life blood of every human child, denied until I could choke down these overcooked alien fauna rapidly cooling on my plate.
Did I do it? Did my seven (or eight) year old self face down the alien vegetation menace? Find out in Part Three, next Friday. Meanwhile, share a memory of a food you couldn’t stand as a kid, or a Halloween you nearly missed trick-or-treating.