Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Tastes like chicken

When I was eleven or twelve I was over at one of my friend's houses -- we'll call the friend Tim. We were hanging out in Tim's room, doing whatever, when Tim's father walked in and started talking to us.

Pretty quickly in the conversation he asked me if I knew Tim ate cat food. I told him I didn't, and asked Tim if this was true.

Tim said that it was, and added his dad had paid him 20 dollars to eat the cat food.

His dad confirmed the payment, and added Tim ate it all up.

Tim claimed it actually tasted pretty good.

Then Tim's father offered us each 20 dollars to eat a full tin of cat food.

20 dollars was a lot of money back then, but I was completely grossed out by eating a tin of damp, smelly cat food. Also, I wasn't sure what the ethical and moral ramifications were of accepting money from another kid's parent for eating pet food.

Tim had no such problem, and happily re-upped on the challenge. Tim was made to eat the cat food using a cocktail spoon, and Tim's dad and I laughed hysterically as Tim gagged and made, with each tiny bite, faces suggesting his earlier proclamation of cat food's savory taste was incorrect.

Tim got his 20 bucks, and then we went rode our bikes to the baseball card store so he could spend it.

At the time I was a little jealous my parents didn't engage me in such lucrative stunt bets. I realize now Tim's father was a sick man.

The Tim and the cat food incident raised my awareness of humans eating pet food. It is an awareness that has remained heightened. So, when the poison pet food scandal/recall story broke about a week ago, I began waiting anxiously for the first human to be sickened, and wondering what embarrassing admission they would have to make in explanation.

And now we have our winner: Elaine Larabie of Ottawa, Canada.

Larabie ate the dog food not for financial gain, but because she was trying to fool her picky-eating terrier Missy into thinking she was being fed people food. Which is cute, in a crazy pet-lady-who-eats-pet-food sort of way.

Both dog and owner have been released from the hospital and are resting comfortably.

No comments: