Thursday, December 19, 2013

The horror of coleslaw

I don't like coleslaw. And it seems I'm not alone. Mark Evanier hates it with a passion and has even used comics as propaganda against it. News from ME: From the E-Mailbox...

And one of the things that's really offputting about it is the way it's often forced onto you. Luckily over here it doesn't come up on plates too often or maybe I've just been lucky in what I order. Mark has been less lucky in this regard. But when I was younger I was forced to eat the stuff week in, week out.

My first school had a rule that all plates had to be completely cleared before an entire table was allowed to get pudding or leave for the playground. It was aiming to encourage children what they could eat, but a terrible case of punishing an entire group for the faults of one individual. And the system broke down when the teachers serving deviated from the normal practice and refused to let the children decide what they did and didn't have, and instead chose to impose their own opinions on what the children were to eat.

Had this been a standard rule across the board it would have probably been less of a problem. Pupils would have accepted it as the norm and the school might have kept the menu under closer review to remove discomfort. But when it was one rogue element then it became an anomaly. And unsurprisingly this came up with coleslaw.

One day every week this teacher would force a large lump of this horror onto our plates whether we asked for it or not. Requests to have none were batted aside with an assertion of "It's good for you!" No attempt to explain why, either there or in the classroom, just an abuse of power to force it onto us.

What is it about coleslaw that makes people throw aside all the normal rules about choice, whether a teacher in that situation or restaurant staff who refuse to implement customers' requests for none? Why must it be thrust upon diners with no warning or say?

I don't normally believe in great world conspiracies but when it comes to coleslaw I'm prepared to make an exception. And I see I'm not alone with others fighting back. Mark's CB Bears comic story sounds hilarious. More of us need to stand up and declare our dislike.

(I have never heard of the CB Bears before - maybe they never made it over here or maybe I'm just oo young - though from the name it's easy to see what fad they were riding.)

1 comment:

Tim M said...

Oh, I used to have that CB Bears comic (my friends would not be surprised). I too loathed coleslaw, and I found it amusing/horrifying that everything came with coleslaw, including coleslaw, and that even the gumball machine dispensed coleslaw.

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