I did something. Something just awful. Something I’m not very proud of. (No, it’s not the horrible sentence structure at the beginning of this paragraph but that was pretty bad, too.) But to be brutally honest, I’d probably do it again.
It’s been two days and I’m just now able to talk about it. I really struggled with the decision to share it with you kids. Now I’m going to lose half of my readers and it’ll be just me, Mom, and Paul hanging out in my BugginWorld. Admitting it is the first step to recovery, right? Here goes…
I ate Bambi.
So I figure about a third of you are screaming, “WHAT?!?!” and deleting me from your bookmarks and calling PETA. I’d guess another third could care less because you eat puppies and bunnies and rainbows on a regular basis. (You know who you are.) As for the rest of you lot, you’re probably just confused and wondering when I’m going to start talking about Usher. (Confessions – get it?! Doesn’t anyone listen to pop music anymore?)
The handful of you that have followed my antics for a while are likely scratching your heads and saying, “You’re going to tell me the trunk of your family tree forks into rural Appalachia and you’ve never eaten deer before?” I’ll give you my most honest answer – not to my knowledge. I was served squirrel, opossum, and rabbit over the course of my childhood, but I’d always politely declined (read: screamed “EW!” and fled the room). Odds are high that my kin, based on my avoidance of all things not shrink-wrapped in a grocery store, surreptitiously served me a big ol’ helping of venison and rocked the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” approach to picky eaters.
Yes I eat cow. Yes I eat bird. Yes I eat pig. Occasionally I even eat goat if I don’t stop and think about the concept in depth. I fully understand that my aversion to deer makes absolutely no sense. What can I tell you? I also refuse to eat the blue M&M’s. Such is Elly.
So for those of you currently holding for the PETA Avenging Bambi Death Squad, I must defend myself. I didn’t know it was venison until after I was blissfully gnawing away at my first bite. It was on a kabob so it didn’t look any different than any other meat with a less publicized cartoon equivalent. I was thinking, “What an interesting marinade,” when I heard our host quietly ask his wife, “Does she know what she’s eating?” I instantly turned into a four year old and opened my mouth, squishing the wad of meat around my molars with my tongue in exploration.
“It’s Bambi, isn’t it?” I whispered around the meat, already knowing the answer.
I’d just seen our friend Cubby last week. He’d been boasting about bagging a steer upstate over Thanksgiving. As I gaped at him in horror, he’d described his family hunting traditions in vivid detail. I’d been completely entranced as he detailed his mothers’ butchering skills with obvious affection. Just because my mental picture of the perfect Mom doesn’t involve a blood covered plastic apron and bone crushing meat cleavers doesn’t mean it’s wrong. If that’s how his family gets their quality bonding time, then bully for them.
Apparently Cubby had brought a wad of his conquest back to Jersey with him. So there I sat with an even smaller chunk of that conquest resting on my tongue. I tried to decide how to proceed. I’d managed to close my lips in an attempt to minimize my rudeness, but I my jaw was stretched wide so as little of my mouth as physically possible was touching the mildly masticated meat.
Oblivious, our hostess went on to describe the marinade recipe Cubby’s mother had sent with the meat. I think it was called snazzy sauce, but maybe it was spunky or zippy – regardless the word was one more frequently used in describing 80’s fashion trends than meat marinades. Everything about the experience was surreal.
“It’s very lean, right?” our hostess continued. Meanwhile the rest of the crew was halfway through their kabobs and I was starting to get a cramp in my jaw.
So I resumed chewing.
I figured you couldn’t get much more free-range than a deer frolicking in the forest. Odds were low that the little bugger had been fed any hormones, antibiotics, or ground up chunks of other deer. New York State was a hell of a lot closer than Argentina where it seems most of the meat in the market is raised these days.
I finished the bite in my mouth…and then I pulled another off my kabob. Even after a few glasses of wine, my chemo brain could see the hypocrisy in spending $20 a pound for local, organic beef at Whole Paycheck but turning down local, organic Bambi meat for free.
And yet, I am still completely freaked the fuck out! To be completely honest, I LIKED it. I mean, what’s next?! Soon I’m going to need a chest freezer to store all the little butchered bodies of the kids I snatch at the playground. Is nothing sacred? Is there no line I won’t cross?
I feel like I need to do penance or something. This is where being religious could be helpful. Then I could say some Hail Mary’s or get Born Again or flog something.
I guess I’ll just follow the Commandments of Ellyism. Cue up the Rod Stewart and pick out the blue M&M’s. Forgive me Bambi for I have sinned.