Look Before You Eat


A gazillion years ago I went to a bar/restaurant on East 23rd street called LIVE BAIT. There was some sort of party going on and someone handed me a free shot of their specialty cocktail called the “Clammer-Slammer”. Free booze – I’m game. Down went the slammer…. up came the clammer.

UGH!!! WTF? This “cocktail” had a raw clam hidden in it! Why would anyone NOT disclose this rather important fact to me before they so generously pawned it off? My innocent, unsuspecting palette was literally assaulted by this still-alive, slimy bi-valve. This “clammer” was served whole, hidden in a cloak of spicy tomato juice and some sort of liquor. When I opened my mouth to shoot the shot, I nearly choked. This drink should have come with a warning label. “Warning – Raw slimy clam included”.

Now just for the record, I love all seafood, especially raw clams on the half shell. I eat them whenever I can get my hands on them. They are tasty, low carb, low cal, salty and delicious. Had I been informed of its existence in my drink beforehand, I would have been prepared my palette for the fishy onslaught. However, as that was clearly not the case, that clammer came spurting out through my clenched teeth and nostrils making a lovely and very unique red design on my newly laundered white summer dress.

Why is is that when something is handed to you for free, the ingredients become an after thought? I have been guilty of inhaling “free samples” of some  foods, that I would NEVER normally consume. Tofu veggie patties, vegan bean dip and mystery soy meat have all been gobbled up by me in the aisles of Whole Foods where free samples are another excuse for free dinner. Come supper time, that store becomes a mecca of freebies where food demonstrators are set up seemingly on every other aisle pushing their wares. “Whats that you are cooking there? Hickory smoked tofurky? Dont mind if I do. Ummmm, not bad. Thank you. May I have another?” 😉

Last year I went to a METS game with my family where free snack sized pouches of “All Natural Snacks” were generously being given out near the entrance to the ballpark. My 2 kids were hungry as we got off the subway and I thought, “Great – free snacks”. We all greedily grabbed the hermetically sealed green pouches of the snacks and started for the gate. While waiting in line for the man to check our tickets, I happened to look up and notice a  large green banner with a picture of a rather familiar dog on it. The sponsor of the game was an all natural dog food company. I happened to glance down at the packet of newly acquired snacks and realized the reason that doggie looked familiar is because it was the same dog that was on the bag of snacks. We were about to chow down on dog food!

There on the bottom, underneath the picture of the dog, below the large font “ALL NATURAL SNACKS” was written in smaller font, “your dog will enjoy”. “Stop!” I shrieked as I slapped the hand of my youngest son who was innocently about to eat a handful of the brown kibble, that mommy approved mind you, into his little mouth. ‘That is dog food!” to  which he dropped the bag, burst out in tears and cried, “But I’m hungry”. Why would anyone think it’s OK to freely hand out individual snack sized pouches of dried dog food to unsuspecting people in the parking lot of a Major League Baseball game?

Or I guess, the questions should be, why the heck don’t more people look at the contents of what they eat when it is handed to them for free? I KNOW that many of my fellow METS fans were wondering what that unusal, grainy, nutty flavor was in that snack pouch. From now on people, look before you eat. After that game, I always do.

Chow for now!

One comment

  1. Okay, i must be honest…..i am paranoid about free stuff. I am convinced that either there has to be some “other” intention from the giver….. or if it is something not properly sealed, i worry about “everyone else” who has been around it before i got there. Terrible hey?

    We were always taught as kids….. dont take sweets from a stranger. Guess it stuck.

    Teh funny thing is- my man is a 100 x worse. Can you actually see it? haha!

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