Returning from the Mercado this morning I stopped and bought a big bunch of wild greens from an old woman who was selling those and some herbs she had picked.

Later for lunch I fried some diced onion, tomatoes, and hot chilies to act as a precursor for the greens which I intended to steam in the same pot.

While the onions, tomatoes, and chilies cooked I cut the the roots off the greens, removed the twine binder, before reducing them to four smaller groups which I then rinsed under tap water.

I added a bit of water to the pot and layered the wild greens over the reduced veggies and let them steam for about three minutes.

I ate a big portion of the greens and veggies along with some fresh bread and unpasteurized farmer’s cheese. It was quite tasty and was a decidedly healthier option than the fried pork tacos I had envisioned earlier.

Later while offloading the leftovers from the pot into plasticware, I saw a big fat dead cockroach that had gotten itself mixed in with the greens.

I was surprised that the little bastard had somehow remained hidden during the lengthy prep work and the rinse, not to mention what should have been a standard desperate attempt to scale his way to the top of the boiling inferno. But no, he lay buried near the bottom.

I didn’t pause but for a few seconds before spooning him out and putting him in the trash before continuing on with reclaiming the rest of the leftovers.

If that were the first time a cockroach had touched my food I might have a had a fuss about it. However it was almost laughingly ironic that during those few seconds my mind did a flashback to the time – circa 1979 Corpus Christi, Texas – a thirsty cockroach broached my can of beer and fell in; the discovery of which was when I swallowed the bastard down.

I had just gotten home from work, grabbed a cold Lone Star out of the fridge before kicking my feet up to read the newspaper when I saw a cockroach circling my beer. I took a few swats at the roach – missed the bastard – and had about finished my beer when the phone rang.

When I returned to my chair I gulped the last of it down and to my horrid dismay there was something decidedly chunky in it. And so it appeared while I was on the phone, the little bastard had scaled the can, fell in and drown.

Curiously enough it was during that incident I remembered the time I was watching an old Johnny Carson Show and a comedian was sitting there talking to Johnny when the camera picked up, clear as day, a fly as it flew directly into the comedian’s open mouth. The comedian choked while Johnny gaped before asking in strained voice for a glass of water.

Then he righted himself and said in the same raspy voice, ‘On second thought, I’ll just let him walk down.’

I did not just make that up.


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