Timmy hated tomatoes. He also hated broccoli, turnips, pumpkin, snow peas, carrots, potato, corn, celery and sweet potatoes; but he hated tomatoes more than anything else.
His parents did their best. They would fold chicken over vegetable stuffing, they would bake cheese soaked vegetarian lasagne, they would play Aeroplanes with a fork of vegies, and they would explain nutrition. Unfortunately the only thing Timmy would eat was fast foods and drink energy drinks.
Timmy wanted to be a sports star, and while his mum and dad highlighted diet and activity, Timmy was convinced advertising was correct. He need only eat the right foods, and this was the junk advertised by his sporting heroes.
Timmy’s parents forbade television, yet Timmy could see billboard advertising. They tried re-editing popular youtube commercials, but Timmy could see past the home footage. They tried making catchy jingles and songs like the Wiggles, but Timmy didn’t respect their lack sporting cred.
And so, one day, Timmy was shuffling down the street (it couldn’t really be called walking) when he saw a promotion of a sporting hero eating a meat pie. This prompted a visit to a bakery and a request for ‘One of those please mister’ (Timmy might have eaten poorly but he better have good manners so help him god).
The baker behind the counter obliged with a crusty pastry-ish parcel of brown gravid meat-ish product covered with a red sort-of liquid called sauce (or cat-sip if you’re playing along in America).
Timmy enjoyed this and asked the baker man for more information. Discovering that the topping was a homemade tomato based product – the bakery’s speciality – Timmy was, without a doubt, ashamed.
Timmy didn’t know what to make of himself. He was steadfast sure that tomato, as a condiment or as content, was pointless. Now his world was shaken. Should he, he considered, try again to be sure? To be safe?
This concept of food-stuff broke with pre-held assumptions, yet Timmy did try again, and he did like it.
Now the conundrum was fixed. Timmy couldn’t ask his parents. He knew that this tomato product might lead to them attempting some form of carrot sauce or pumpkin sauce (at least that’s what he thought would happen). There were risks involved with honesty. It is people taking advantage of your frailty.
How could Timmy enjoy his shameful vegetable based secret?
Well, Timmy hid tomato sauce in his pockets, under his bed, between the pages of his school books. He risked being caught mixing sauce with chips – which he liked, and on fried chicken – which he didn’t like, and in fizzy drinks – which he liked.
Suddenly he realised that he was trying things. New things. He had ideas to mix tomato sauce with almost everything. He asked the baker for a vanilla slice, and ate that with sauce, he had a custard tart and ate that with sauce, and then, curious about the item that looked like a meat pie, he had a pasty.
Now, boys and girls, we all know pasties are full of vegetables; but Timmy didn’t know that. He thought it was an odd shaped pie. He lathered it with sauce, closed his eyes, and took a bite. It was very good. He took another bite. It was indeed very good. He opened his eyes. The pasty dropped to the ground as Timmy felt panic rip through his body.
Wiping his mouth Timmy looked at the crumbled mess (get it? Crumb-led!), and, hesitating, lent down, picked it up, and gorged.
That night Timmy wouldn’t or couldn’t eat his fried dinner (He didn’t know which. He was still confused about the events of that afternoon). His parents wanted him to “eat Something”, but “whatever” was in the fast food box Timmy rejected it.
The next day Timmy ate three pasties. The day after that he ate four. The day after that he ate three again (four had been too many). For that whole week Timmy did not eat a meal at home. And so, despite his insistence of being fine, his parents were concerned for TImmy.
Now, according to Timmy’s parents this had gone on long enough, and one afternoonish they decided to do something. Smart as they were, they didn’t know why Timmy wasn’t eating with them. This is why they diverted the toilet cistern and, after secretly using an elaborate “tag and release” waste removal process, identified which batch of faeces belonged to Timmy.
With the matter collected, and laid out on a specially brought trestle-table, covered by specially brought garbage bags, and using specially brought BBQ tongs, Timmy’s parents dissected the excrement.
They found corn cornels and celery skin (among other stuff they didn’t try to identify), and this was a major turn of events.
That night Timmy, withdrawn and ashamed after stuffing himself with pasties, would not eat at home. His parents asked him why, in what was becoming a standard role-playing exercise, and Timmy refused to answer. His parents then introduce Timmy to the partially digested vegetable evidence.
At first Timmy wanted to spew, but fearing this would provide his parent with more evidence to pick over… ah hmm… he held back the vomit and asked to call child services (that’s good manners. Asking permission to call authorities. Imagine that!), but his parents “wouldn’t have it”. They wanted the truth.
Now, not having seen A Few Good Men, Timmy did not mock them with an unhelpful impersonation of Jack Nicolson. Instead he told his parents everything. His shame dispersed with each honest appraisal of his eating, and forthwith Timmy, the boy who wouldn’t eat vegetables, started to eat vegetables… as long as they were covered by tomato sauce and doused with spices (like pepper).