Just as I was finishing up a nice, nutritious article about how we Americans do not listen when we are told to eat our vegetables, a note arrived from perennial sophomore Bubby Spamden.
Hi Mr. C.,
You know I wouldn’t be writing unless I need help finishing some homework. But here’s the good news – it isn’t due today! I was supposed to hand it in last Friday but I was out sick. Usually you have to turn in your sick day assignments first thing on the next day you’re at school, but this is for health class and the teacher, Ms. Scrubmaven, made a big deal last week about how bacteria can live on paper money for weeks! Since I did my work ON paper, I told her I made the difficult choice to burn it last Saturday morning, and I would take an F if she had to give me one, but I was at peace with my decision because it probably protected her and the class from getting whatever miserable disease I had. And no, it wasn’t Friday-itis! She was so grateful, she gave me a week to re-write it.
So anyway, the paper is supposed to be about new ideas to convince us teenagers to eat more fruits and especially more vegetables. Everybody’s all worked up about getting us to eat healthy stuff all the time. These papers are going to be bound into a book and sent to the White House, so there’s no getting out of it. I think Ms. Scrubmaven has a fantasy where Michele Obama comes to Wendell Wilkie High School and helps us plant a victory garden.
Some high schools are getting vegetable vending machines and their halls are full of reporters and local TV news crews doing stories about it. And of course all the publicity hogs are crowding around so they can get on TV for buying a bag of carrots. It’s good for sales on the first day, I guess.
And then there’s a TV campaign on which the adults think is just dopey enough to convince us that tiny carrots are as good as Doritos. Ha. Nice try. They must think we’re easy to fool.
Anyway, I’m supposed to write about some old fashioned ways parents used to get their kids to eat vegetables, and whether or not any of those ideas would work today. I know you and your people are pretty ancient, and maybe you can remember what your parents did to convince you that you should eat good food instead of the junk you really wanted.
If not, you could always make stuff up. Ms. Scrubmaven isn’t going to check up on it, especially if the stories are good enough to get Executive Attention, if you know what I mean.
I told Bubby I don’t remember being forced to eat vegetables or even encouraged to do so, but I do recall that when mashed potatoes were served they were always dotted with green beans. My mom called it “Grasshoppers Caught in an Avalanche”.
How were you encouraged to eat vegetables? Did it work?