Flies eaten: 1

When you’re a parent, you regularly come across surprising, sometimes alarming things. A couple of weeks ago I was looking through a cupboard, and I came across a notebook. I opened it and saw this:

Paper that says 'Flies eaten: 1'

After I had recovered from the initial shock, I felt a certain sense of relief that it was only one. I knew my daughter had been the last to use this notebook and so I asked her about it. She casually brushed aside my concern and said in a matter-of-fact way “Oh yes, that was when we were doing the Duke of Edinburgh award.” A number of questions came to my mind – Was this one of the requirements in order to pass the award? Does the Duke know? If she’d tried a bit harder, could she have managed more than one? I kept my questions to myself though because if I ask her more than one question at a time these days, I am accused of ALWAYS questioning her about EVERYTHING. That is our job though right?

Of course I have almost eaten a fly myself too; but then who hasn’t? I say ‘almost’ because I had only got as far as chewing it, I hadn’t swallowed it yet. I was about five, out on a picnic. I saw something black on the edge of my sandwich, just inside. I thought it was Marmite. It wasn’t Marmite. Marmite isn’t chewy and gritty like that. Next thing I was spitting out little black bits and pieces of wing. That was a substantial sized beast of a fly I can tell you, and when bits of fly get stuck in your teeth, they don’t come out so easily. Oh I’m sorry, am I going into too much detail now? Let’s move on…

Caterpillar

…to another bug-in-food story. A while ago, eight of us from work had lunch out. There was a salad bar and we helped ourselves from it. Within a couple of minutes of each other, three of us found little caterpillars in our salad, one of my little fellas was actually making his way around the edge of the plate, with that ‘hump and straighten’ action which is kind of cute if it’s anywhere other than on your plate. We called the waitress over, and being British, we were all very apologetic about having found caterpillars in our food. She took our plates away, and we refused the kind offer she made to “Get the chef to wash the lettuce again for us”, instead opting to move on to dessert. At the end of the meal, she came and asked us, “Was everything alright?” We all laughed, assuming she was joking, but she remained straight-faced and asked again, more forcefully, “Was it? Was everything alright?” We realised that she seriously wanted an answer and so again, being British, we nodded and mumbled that it had all been very nice thank you.

So, do you have any ‘bugs in food’ stories to share?
———————
caterpillar photo credit: AMagill via photopin cc

Advertisements

77 responses to “Flies eaten: 1

  1. That had to of been a sight to see!

    Like

  2. I think though that the caterpillar needed a little more salt, don’t you?

    Like

  3. I woke up once as an earwig was crawling out of my mouth … does that count?

    Like

  4. Tell her that parents who never question their kids are uncaring and probably don’t love them. That one works wonders for me.

    One afternoon I was riding my bike down a park path and a moth flew down my throat. I’m not bragging. Just stating the facts.

    If you had been in a New York restaurant and pointed out the caterpillars, they would have charged you extra. True story: I was in a diner and asked for a lemon wedge for my glass of water. When the bill came, I saw that they charged me for lemonade. Always examine the invoice!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your moth comment made me laugh, hehe.

      I know, I hate that when restaurants charge you extra for some silly little thing, the loss of goodwill feelings they must generate must be much greater than the cost of thing they charge for (I’m not sure if that sentence makes sense, but I guess you know what I mean!). Generally restaurants here in the UK aren’t known for giving the best customer service, but there are exceptions of course – a while ago a group of us from work (again!), went out, there were 6 of us, my colleague found a used match in her meal, and they gave us our whole bill for free! That was 6 main courses, some starters, some desserts, all our drinks, all for free! That’s definitely beyond what was expected, but it meant we all left happy rather than annoyed about the match. And 6 customers going off happy and spreading the word is probably worth a lot.

      Like

      • Score! Almost worth eating the match for. I feel bad for the help. The waiters and waitresses who are the go-betweens for the greedy owners and hapless customers. Have you ever worked in a restaurant? It’s backbreaking work for low wages. (At least, that was my experience.) I’m always good to the help. Over tip and such.

        Like

        • There’s certainly worse things you could find in your food than a match, and if it’s a used one, well it’s sterile right? No, I haven’t worked in a restaurant, the closest thing is when I was a secretary and had to serve teas and coffees in meetings! I hated that, and so knew I would hate to work in a restaurant! Of course I would do it if I had to, but maybe I could just be the hostess. I’m always really nice and friendly to the servers in restaurants too, even if I have a complaint, I’m always polite about it because I appreciate that it’s not an easy job and they have to put up with a lot of crap!

          Like

  5. Well was the food alright??? Gosh she must be a real whohaa… I would have been jumping on the table if that happened to me….

    Like

    • Well I’ll tell you, we didn’t just take it lying down! No siree! We were so furious, we muttered about it in hushed tones once we had left and were sure we were out of earshot. Yep, they won’t be serving up caterpilars there again after that!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. That was one of the best openings to a post I’ve ever read. So funny. My husband found a fly in his burrito once, though like you, he thought it was something else, in his case a black olive. I’ve found a bandaid. Yum. And hair. That really disgusts me.

    Like

  7. Love the notebook: this is memoir, not fiction! One of my daughters always seems to get food that has hair in it or be complaining about swallowing flies. I figure she’s unlucky, but we turn it into a family joke and say “Shh, don’t make so much fuss or everyone will want one”. Actually I had a hideous experience in Oaxaca, Mexico years ago with what I thought was rum and raisin ice cream (but was really vanilla). It was only on the last mouthful that I realised what I was eating: spent next two days being sick.

    Like

    • I don’t think I want to know what it was that you were actually eating! I’m always a bit funny about what I order when I eat out in case there’s something dodgy hidden in it! Often I’ll choose something where you can see exactly what you’ve got, like steak and chips or something like that.

      Like

  8. Your caterpillar story reminds me why I`m very slow to order salad out, ever. Mind you I regularly swallow flies whole when I go for an evening run 😦

    Like

  9. This made me laugh. “Being British and apologetic” haha! My family’s roots are from England so I know all about being apologetic.

    This will wig you out–I was cutting up a green pepper for chili and sliced it in half. Tucked away on one side was a grasshopper. Sure, a dead grasshopper mind you, but I hardly think that mattered at the time as I was screaming so much. To this day I have a hard time slicing into peppers. How did the bug get inside the pepper? One of nature’s wonders…

    Like

    • Gosh how weird! (about the grasshopper, not about your family’s British roots!). I remember in France once when I was little, my mum had some apricots, and they had little wriggly things, I guess they must have been little caterpillars or something, inside, around the stone. Since then I cant ever just bite into an apricot, I have to break it away from the stone first to check!

      Like

  10. Why can’t America be more like that? Oh yes, yes, it was wonderful. The caterpillars made this a lunch to never forget!

    Flies eaten: 0…so far.

    Like

  11. Yikes! The caterpillars in your salad would have spoiled my appetite even for dessert at that place. I don’t think I’ve eaten any bugs yet (at least on purpose. Sometimes when I ride my bike, gnats fly in my mouth, but I try very hard to spit them out…but who knows, maybe some have gotten down my throat without me knowing).

    Like

  12. Yeck! You pick the best subjects: real and down to earth.
    I once found curly black hair in my lasagna in a restaurant. There were not one or two but looked as if a handful had been grabbed. Needless to say I changed my mind about lunch and the coffee I had wasn’t even free.

    Like

  13. Hi Vanessa

    Remember the time our daughter, when she was about 7 or 8 found, a caterpillar in her dinner salad and I bet her she wouldn’t eat it? She said, “How much and I said, “100 bucks.” and to our disbelief she ate it. LOL! Afterwards she said, “It didn’t taste too bad.”

    Like

  14. Oh, that’s terrible, and very funny! I have one bugs-in-food story – actually two similar ones. When I was maybe ten, there was a market in town that was structured to be like an old fashioned country store, with food in barrels that you bought by the pound. My mother bought some cornmeal in a bag and later at home, when she opened the bag, a whole bunch of moths flew out! Obviously the goods were wormy!
    And then on a similar note (and this may fall flat for a British person), one year we lived in Oklahoma (I was five) and my mother asked a merchant if he had any cornmeal, and he said, in this hillbilly Oklahoma drawl, “Wall, Ah haed some once but the weevils got in it.”
    Having lived in the southern USA, I still keep everything in the refrigerator, except for canned goods.
    I must, though, uphold insects as great source of protein – around the world a lot of people eat them. Everything eats termites, including people. You can eat them fried or au naturel, plucked off the mound. Now I’m not saying I want to do that, you understand!

    Like

    • Ah yes, I got the weevils thing! I could hear the drawl and everything.

      Yes, I have heard it said on more than one occasion that humans may have to turn more to insects as a source of protein in the future, and they already do in many countries as you say. I’m not keen on the idea, but it’s really just a matter of getting used to it isn’t it. I often think about eggs, normal chicken eggs I mean, if they weren’t something that we were used to eating, we would probably find the idea of them completely disgusting. Also cow’s milk for that matter! We already eat fairly weird things, but as we’re used to them, we don’t think of them as weird.

      Like

  15. No bugs, but reading some of these comments reminded me of the time I was in a phone booth in Austria. This was before cell phones were everywhere. As I was standing in there, I noticed the disturbingly large amount of … well, pubic hair on the floor. They must have been near or on the phone mouth piece too because the next thing I know, I’ve got a pube on my mouth, partially IN my mouth. I’m still not totally sure how it got there, but I would take a fly over that any day!

    Like

    • I always think that it’s very hard to tell the difference between pubic hair, and chest hair, so maybe that was chest hair in that phone booth instead – I know you probably don’t want a strange man’s chest hair in your mouth either, but it may be slightly preferable to an unknown person’s pubic hair! I once found a hair like that in a box of Tunisian dates, everyone said it was a pubic hair, but I decided for my own sanity (and for the sake of the dates I had already eaten before seeing it), that it was clearly a chest hair.

      Like

  16. Okay, my skin is crawling now! I steal a little time today to cheat on my blog-reading schedule, and I’m met with all these horror stories! 😀

    I’ve also swallowed some bugs while bike riding and such, and it creeps me out for hours afterward. Purposely, I’ve eaten one fried grasshopper—given to me by my graduate advisor. It was sort of a rite of passage for anyone doing archaeology in Latin America…. Once was more than enough!

    Like

    • I know, I’ve been getting a little nervous with each new comment, wondering what horror I’m going to hear about!

      A fried grasshopper, that’s very brave! I think I could manage that more than some things though, I imagine it’s crispy which might be easier than something slimy. Yeuch!

      Like

  17. Flat mouse in a loaf of sliced bread, when I was a child. And I seem to remember my parents tried to give me another slice from the same loaf. Nope, I wasn’t going to eat that.

    Like

  18. No wonder the Duke hasn’t been so well lately. He’s eating flies. Or maybe he isn’t eating enough.

    Like

  19. Ahhh Vanessa, your posts always make me laugh! Love this.

    Like

  20. There was a dead fly in my coffee ( I was drinking coffee at the backyard ). I almost swallowed it, and thank goodness I managed to spit it out. It was cringe-worthy.

    Like

  21. Fortunately, not knowingly. But I think this server forgot what happened!

    Like

  22. I once woke up with a cockroach in my face, which was so traumatic, but the I reasoned – it could have been in my mouth, or swallowed without ever knowing. That notebook is hilarious with that one line in it btw 😉

    Like

    • Well you know, maybe that cockroach on your face was looking for his brother who you had already swallowed?…I’m not helping am I 😉 You know, pretty much as soon as I opened up that notebook and saw it, my first thought was “There’s a blog post in this!”.

      Like

  23. I’m curious about it being a requirement to pass the course. I think you need to use up one of your permitted questions on that one.

    I’ve eaten a few flies in my life when the pesky blighters rocket in whilst your out walking or whatever. Extra bit of protein!

    In my younger days, I have “warmed” maggots in my mouth before using them for fishing purposes. Only a couple of times as it grossed me out and I didn’t catch any fish that day either.

    Remember, the only thing worse than finding an insect in your food is finding half an insect in your food. 🙂

    Like

    • I can’t get over warming maggots in your mouth! I don’t think I’ve heard of fishermen doing that. I always thought it was gross enough that they handled the maggots, but warming them, yeuch! Seriously Pete, there are people who get paid to fish, let them do their job, and just buy the fish from them, it’s so much easier 🙂

      Like

      • I agree now. I didn’t do that every time just the one visit and I didn’t catch anything. Fish or infectious diseases 😉

        Mr Sainsburys is a much better source for fresh fish for me these days 🙂

        Like

  24. No bugs in my food but I did swallow a spider once when I was seven. I was leaning over a metal post when I was laughing really hard and the tiny spider came up out of the post and was scratching its way down my throat before I could do anything about it.

    My older sister and I also tricked my sister into eating chocolate covered grasshoppers by telling her we had some chocolate for her, of course we left out the fact that they were grasshoppers. It was a mean thing to do and I felt bad about doing it. Who would be so cruel as to disguise grasshoppers in chocolate? It must have been a fad as there were other chocolate insects besides grasshoppers sold at our local grocer.

    Finally, my daughter used to pick up garden snails and pop them in her mouth when she was two. Fortunately we were always right there to fish them out before she had a chance to bite down on them. After doing this a few times we started calling her le escargot. To my knowledge, she has never tried real escargot, something that I had several times growing up.

    Like

    • Ooh, quite a collection of bug eating takes there! I think the snail one is the worst, just the possibility of her crunching down on that shell into the slime is horrible! I know people eat escargot, but it’s a bit different when they’ve been cleaned and served in garlic butter, than straight out of the garden! I haven’t actually had escargot myself, never fancied trying them, but I would try one if I was with someone who had a plateful, and they said “Here, try one!”

      Like

      • Nowadays the thought of eating snails seems pretty disgusting but I was more impressionable when I was young. Escargot that you find in a restaurant has been raised in a snail farm and is free of contaminants. They are loaded with a buttery garlic sauce which almost removes any flavor. If you love garlic butter, you won’t find much wrong with escargot. Unfortunately, they are served in shells so you can’t try one without knowing it was a snail.

        Like

  25. Unbeknownst to me, a cock roach crawled into my coffee cup. I took a swig and felt something solid in my mouth. Now I took my coffee black–nothing added (including cock roaches). So I spit out that coffee and saw the not-so-little beastie in my sink. It was dead. I don’t know if that makes it better or worse. I don’t drink coffee anymore.

    Like

  26. This is the type of post I find difficult to “like” because of the ickiness factor, though that first paragraph definitely makes me giggle. (Yes, we’re here to question everything and make sure those striplings are not eating too many bugs…but I feel like we often learn something new, too, when we do.)

    I have no bug-eating stories of my own, sadly. I feel a bit left out! 🙂 But, I’ll cherish yours, Vanessa.

    Like

    • I know what you mean, sometimes I just click ‘like’ automatically once I’ve read a post that I’m going to comment on, but other times I have to pause and question what I actually mean by ‘like’.

      Don’t feel left out though, you’ve probably eaten lots of bugs before without even realising it! Hope that helps 😉

      Like

  27. I inhaled a fly once while I was jogging. It got stuck in my throat too far down for me to cough it up. I thought I was going to throw up, but I didn’t. Flies eaten: 1!

    Like

  28. Vanessa-Jane, you handled this post so lightly and well. I giggled reading it, and you left me wanting to know more about this Duke of whoever challenge. Was it something your daughter thought up with a sibling? Was it a friends daring each other? Curious minds want to know. Also, I think, particularly for non-English readers, it’s so fun to hear how Brits deal with insects in food in a polite way. Of course, I live in the Pacific Northwest in the U.S., and we LOVE organic food here, and have many local farms, and so might not be soooo put off by caterpillars–at least it’s fresh and hasn’t been blasted with pesticides, right? But I think if the waitress asked us after we were clearly put-off by the many-footed addition to our salads, I’d have answered, “HELL NO!”
    🙂

    Like

Anything you'd like to say? Now's your chance...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s