Please spare us from asparagus, the Scotch of the veggie world

Let’s talk about asparagus, because I’m apparently the only person in the Grand Valley above the age of 9 who hates it.

Maybe it’s the way it’s grown. Fresh produce is tastier and appreciated more when it’s nurtured, cultivated and tended to with loving care. Let’s be honest — asparagus is ditch weed you can find on the side of H Road.

I can’t prove it, but I’m pretty sure that everyone else in Grand Junction hates asparagus, too. They’re just too timid to admit it. Ever wonder why it’s always drenched in butter? People don’t love the taste of asparagus; they’re just looking for a way to eat more butter.

Don’t get me wrong, I wished I like it. I wished I liked eating other noxious weeds, too. My grocery bill would drop significantly should I ever develop a taste for sagebrush and dandelions.

To me it’s like Scotch. I wish I loved it. It seems so cool, so contemporary. It’s elegantly sipped by men in suits and women in gowns. You don’t drink Scotch wearing a NASCAR wife-beater. And it’s strange how Scotch drinkers talk about it in terms of age. “This is 15-year-old Scotch,” they’ll say.

Nobody ever brags about how old their can of Keystone Light is.

Just out of college, I had two roommates who got into a Scotch phase, where they’d drink it every night after work. They were borderline alcoholics, but I tried not to judge them. Our house motto was “Live and let Live.” I wouldn’t question their excessive Scotch consumption and they wouldn’t say anything about my Magic Marker sniffing.

Their Scotch habit seemed so fascinating. The elegant bottle. The gentle crackling sound made as warm liquid cascaded down the ice. The use of a glass, rather than a 64-ounce plastic mug from Stop N Save.

Drinking their Scotch on the couch as we watched TV, they seemed more intelligent, refined, sophisticated. I’d mention this to them during commercials on “Beavis and Butthead.”

I was at a restaurant dinner party once, when the gentleman next to me overheard me talking about how I didn’t understand the big deal about Scotch. He decided to convince me how great it was by buying me a glass that cost $85. I politely declined, but he was pretty insistent. That’s because he had two things in greater quantities than I did: money and blood alcohol level.

I went along with him because I didn’t want to offend the guy, like I did with the short-tempered Scottish man a few years back.

Marie and I were in Edinburgh, Scotland, where we took a tour of a Scottish distillery, or as they call them over there, a distillery. At the end of the tour, they give you samples to sip. Keep in mind this the national drink. The pride of the Scots dating back several hundreds of years. Creating the perfect, pure-blended Scotch taste is something they take very seriously. I found this out after asking the owner if he had any Coke I could mix with it. It almost set off an international incident.

So back to the $85 glass of Scotch. The waiter brings it out, and I look at it like a vegetarian would look at a 16-ounce ribeye cooked rare. There’s a lot of pressure on you when the guy who buys you an $85 glass of Scotch watches you take your first sip. I can put on a fake smile and I can control my gag reflex. I just can’t do both at the same time. But I spend a lot of time with my in-laws, so I’m pretty good at being phony.

I gut down this expensive Scotch, but the whole time I’m mentally calculating how many bottles of $2.99 wine at Cottonwood Liquors I could buy with it.

I guess in the end, I’m just used to cheap stuff. I’m certainly not a fan of expensive Scotch. In fact, I’d rather drink gopher urine, which, I imagine is pretty disgusting.

It still beats the taste of asparagus.

E-mail Steve Beauregard at beauregardsteve@ hotmail.com.


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