WET! Theory
Off the Wall, May 15
, 2014

Not long ago, I was speaking to a chap on the phone and was telling him about a misfortune I had upon transporting my thermos bottle into St. Mary’s Dome. I had it lying on my cart thinking all would go smoothly from the vehicle to the area where I was going to set up my saleable items. I did not see a slight rise in the sidewalk. My cart came to an immediate halt. My thermos bottle didn’t. I think I don’t have to tell you what happened next.

Anyway, there I was without my hot water. Many of these places may sell hot coffee, water and lots of pop, but I have never seen anybody offering hot water for sale.

So, in talking to this fellow about consuming hot water, he said, “Hot water?” “Hot water…” “Hot water?”

I guess people have to convince themselves by making repetitious remarks. What other conclusion can I draw? He could have only posed the question once, and that would have been fine. But, I can only conclude that his disbelief led to not only wanting to but having to repeat those two words twice more.

It was fun to listen. He was going through an ‘earth-shaking moment’ and I was just taking it all in, grinning as the words echoed in the ear piece of my phone.

Then what came next was ever more humorous.

“You are probably one of those liver-lovers, too, aren’t you?” When I told him I love liver with plenty of onions, I think he went into shock. A matter of fact, he mentioned other foods that I can’t recall, but I loved them, as well.

What do you suppose was his next question?

“You like liver?” he stated. Again, on my end of the line I had to smile and even included a slight chuckle at his question. I think right there and then I was plopped into some unknown category. Actually, that prompted a bit of laughter on my part. I didn’t ask him what he meant by that comment, nor did I have to. I had concluded that he, too, had just done the same. He became the subject of disliking a group of foods. My conclusion – he had a ‘WET! Theory,’ which stood for ‘Won’t Eat That!’

I invited him over to my house to sample a concoction I had just made in the blender.
I had included such ingredients as almond drink, a banana, and vegetables I had on hand. After entering my kitchen, he hesitantly looked at the machine and I could mind-read to the extent that there was a bit of apprehension going on in his mind. I had already consumed two eight-ounce glasses full of the nutritious drink, enjoying both very much and left some for him to try.

By the time it took him to arrive and make his way across my kitchen, the drink began to coagulate. As I poured the beverage into his glass, I could tell he lacked enthusiasm. He then asked me to thin it down substantially. I did so with the almond milk. He drank a few swallows and stopped. I think he was being polite. Do you suppose he had already fixed in his mind he wouldn’t like it? That’s why he only drank some? Who knows…

That reminds me of a story I wrote many years ago that appears in my book, ‘Off the Wall Favorites.’ It was called ‘Yuck!’ In it, I told the tales of a friend of mine who, when mentioning certain foods, would state “Ooooo…Yuck!” I would comment to the middle-aged fellow, “That food is so tasty. I don’t know how you could ever say that about it.

Then he would add something that really blew me off my chair – I guess similar to the man I wrote about above – “and I hate all fish, too.”

Here was the ‘zinger.’ “Did you ever try some of that food with some spices or tartar sauce on them?” whereby he said, “I’ve never eaten any of that stuff. It’s all yucky to me.”

OK, I can understand not liking a food here and there. But setting up a psychological roadblock and convincing oneself that that he or she would never like a particular food or food groups goes beyond my imagination as well.

The moral of this story - before you state you don’t or won’t eat something, try it first. You may, indeed, like it!

- Paul J. Volkmann
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