My Irish Up: Green Revolution in my blender

By Mike Corrigan

News Columnist

I have graduated from eating creatures that once ate the lawn, to eating the lawn. Mother would have been proud.

Foreshadowing my nutritionist’s instructions, Mom used to urge, “Eat your vegetables, if you want to grow up big and strong, like your Daddy.”

I looked at my Dad, who was slumped in his chair, having just been sucker-punched by my brother Bob.

I threw several carrots and some boiled turnip onto the floor. Besides, my Dad ate only meat, too.

Advance token 60 years: heart disease, neurological stuff, muscle pain, tra la. The general SAD litany of seniors who were once addicted as juniors to the Standard American Diet, as made famous on Saturday Night Live (“Chee’burger! Fries!”)

Time to grow up.

The only trouble with the new diet (root word: die) is that salads are the best part. That, and I’ll never eat a cheeseburger again. Nor fries. Nor ice cream. Nor, God only knows why, toast. Nor ketchup. Nor even catsup. (Nor catfood, for that matter: it’s a processed product; plus, too high a meat content.)

I’m working into it slowly, as you might imagine.

First, I had to get rid of most of my stuff in my cupboards, even though for the past couple of years I’ve been eating what up until a week ago I had called “healthier.” Little did I know about the Revenge of the Lawn. Out: corn flakes, crispies, oaties. In: “steel-cut” oatmeal — good Lord, I’m a yuppie now! Side rice dish: out. Some sort of weird beans, impersonating cats-eye marbles — hey, some kid could get hurt over here! — in. Bread, out. Canned soup; get serious. Sugar? Ha, farewell old buddy. Gone from the fridge: milk, sherbet (I’d been eating healthier, I said), chicken patties, string cheese, English muffins, ketchup, catsup, mayo, eggs, soy sauce, pickles (even though gherkins are green!), mustard, jam, salad oil and any other packaged thing some factory cooked up in a recipe for disaster.

I even threw away the refrigerator art, as I hadn’t looked at it in eight years.

There! All healthy.

“Now, who wants to go out for a burger?” I said. I might have even said it sarcastically. Okay, I said it sarcastically.

The cat just looked at me. I think it was stifling a sadistic chuckle.

Second thing. Off to the health food store. Oh. My. Lord. So this is how much real food costs, eh? Vine-ripened what? What does “cold-pressed” mean? No, wait, I don’t want to know. So that’s what the whole turnip looks like — even grosser than I remember! Let’s see how much this “grass-fed” beef costs… Ah, I sincerely hope I’m worth that much per pound, after I eat the lawn.

Back home. Time to use my new Ninja food processor. So, I take off all the plastic protection, remove the cardboard, prewash the unit and slice my left thumb open on what they had just warned me was a “very sharp” blade. (Look, can I work my neck in there and just get it over with?)

Okay, just two Band-Aids later and I’m ready to roll, if about a quart low on the gauge. Apple, peeled and cored. A whole bunch of Romaine, which, because of its relatively low oxalate content and my expertise at making kidney stones, is about the only leafy vegetable I can eat. (Houston, we may have a problem up here in Spaced-Out Land.) One cup of water. A peeled cuke section or two. And… a couple of grapes, for luck. Ta-da! What the--? Oh yeah, plug it in. Brrrrvvvvvvvv! Brrrvvvvv! Brrrrrrrvvvvv!!!

The very first thing I thought when I opened the cover was: Do you think they’ll let me dollop some whipped cream on top of this? Because, I mean, it really needs something!

I want to describe what I was looking at, but I can’t. I’m a poet, not a horror writer. The best I can do is: you know when you haven’t cleaned off the underside of your power mower all summer, so you get out the hose and blast away? Put the resulting slurry from that operation in a glass. It’s really, um, very, very… well, very green, greener than the Sargasso Sea, if only slightly more appetizing.

And I think this is the preparation that the nutritionist described as “beautiful.” Really!

Well, I’m nothing if not courageous, and stupid. So I took a sip. It actually wasn't terrible-tasting, if boring — but it was kind of like drinking watery cream of wheat. Cream of wheat, which happens to be very green. And not, by any stretch of the imagination, “beautiful.” I assure you, a little bit of the stuff goes a long way — and most of that first electric green glass of sludge went all the way to the Lewiston sewer processing plant. Probably caused an algae bloom.

Back to salads!

If you see me around and want to give me a hard time, make sure to ask how my diet’s going. I can tell you right now, it is going to be very difficult to get into this thing, whole — and I don’t know if I’m allowed to even use the term — hog.

Mike Corrigan was an award-winning journalist and columnist for The Bridgton News. He now resides in Lewiston.

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