Salad used to suck butt.
I remember sitting at the dinner table as a child, staring at a bowl of iceberg lettuce covered in thick Thousand Island dressing. Knowing that if I didn’t choke down those huge thigh-sized pieces of dry, thick lettuce-bone, that I would never find my way to the heaven that I called, “ice cream.” It was, to say the least, hell on Earth for a young child.
Then society seemed to wake up and smell the croutons.
As years passed (close your eyes and you can probably see the Twilight Zone space backdrop scenery, with bowls of lettuce floating past the screen as the decades fly by) salad started to take on its own identity. First, society started adding crazy things to salads. There were raisins, sunflower seeds, shredded cheese, pasta and more! It spurred on what I like to call The Time When Salads Added Raisins, Sunflower Seeds, Shredded Cheese, Pasta and More!
Then came Soup Plantation and Sizzler and a bunch of other bar-like restaurants where, for the low low price of $7.99 you could cover your lettuce with enough fried, breaded and candied items that pretty soon, you couldn’t taste the salad anymore.
I was joyous. The angels sang. I could now eat lettuce with my dessert sprinked on TOP OF IT! No longer would I have to sit at the dinner table being forced to eat lettuce before I got my dessert… Now I was eating them in tandem. (Even though I was an adult and able to make my own informed decisions.) Then gluttony set in. In an attempt to combat the cholesterol and high calories being lumped atop a now tiny bowl of lettuce, the powers that be decided that there was only one way of fixing the problem.
More lettuce. Way more lettuce.
Then came the decade of the huge salad. Places like Claim Jumper and California Chicken Cafe and The Cheesecake Factory and Black Angus and absolutely every place that served any salads before, were now serving salads so high that it made our noses bleed. But since there was so much lettuce, and the blood falling from our noses pretty much got lost in the torso sized pile of lettuce and dessert…well… Everything seemed to be okay. But deep down, beneath the dressing and candy and lettuce and croutons and raisins and sunflower seeds and pasta and hard-boiled eggs and shredded cheese and fried chicken nuggets and crispy wonton crackers and mandarin oranges and ham and turkey and avocado and olives and an extra caraffe of dressing…something had gone horribly wrong.
The salad had disappeared. And in it’s place came the monster I have dubbed… One Huge Pile of Fat.
God help us all. It ain’t getting any better.