Thursday, July 31, 2008


If you happen to be a vegan or are easily disturbed by the thought of your food having parents, please navigate back and enjoy one of my other entries.

As I sat on the beach with my family - watching and waiting for large waves to knock select kids off their feet - we gorged ourselves on a fabulous spread. All manner of farm beast sacrificed its life, likely while hoping that we, the world's flesh-chewing citizenry, might one day die of ruptured colons.

Lodged in an undersized folding chair, I soaked up heavenly ultraviolet radiation and watched 11-year-olds choke on salt water while I munched on mustard-soaked Bratwurst. Like a wise, old instant coffee commercial for horny moms once should celebrate these moments in your life. If it weren't for an overabundance of giggling children and typical beach distractions, the experience might have been pretty close to nirvana.

[...A mother cackles as her two, naked little boys run around wagging their naughty bits at everyone. A seagull relieves itself over a Nimitz-class middle-aged guy covered in fur (and by some miracle scores a near-miss). Seals incessantly bark in chorus...]

I tore into a half-bloody piece of Tri-tip steak; wistfully watching the water surrounding a floating platform covered in sunbathing seals. "C'mon shark, c'mon...Well, where the fuck are you?"

Meanwhile, my sister and parents had noticed that a nearby teen - no doubt motivated by a deep-seeded desire to see children break their necks - had dug a sand pit no less than five feet deep. I don't know how, but somewhere along the way, the picnic conversation deviated from...

"Ooo, ooo, please pass me a piece of, no, that one."


"Yeah, that pit reminds me of when we would have to clean the chitlins and squeeze out all that boo."

Any outside shot I had at achieving oneness with that beach instantly vanished.

For those of you unfamiliar with the horror that is a pot of chitlins, I'll explain. If you are to believe my parents and relatives back in South Carolina, chitlins (correctly and more frighteningly spelled chitterlings), are apparently something you put in your mouth and swallow. They're essentially a throwback value meal from times when having a better tan than your average Dixie cup could possibly arouse lynch mob suspicion.

Back in those days, the most delectable, tender portions of poo-covered Wilbur were reserved for folks of both greater means and lesser pigmentation. Enter chitlins.

Unwanted by the then-overclass and therefore affordable, chitlins have somehow stuck around into the 21st century. But then again, so have "tripas" and "makchang gui" and other global variations of disgusting intestinal snack-age. That doesn't mean I've got to allow others to form their own opinions on them though.

I can hear a few of my vegetarian acquaintances cutting me off at this moment. "Umm. What about hot dogs and sausages? You've still got mustard on your shirt from a meal that consisted primarily of hog lips, teeth and assholes... And they're sometimes encased in intestines."

To which I respond. "Well, do hotdogs look like lips, teeth, assholes or intestines? The grossest organ they even remotely resemble is nowhere near the intestines."

Ignorance, faked or otherwise, really is bliss.

You need a healthy imagination to mentally assemble a chicken out of a fried drumstick. But there's do denying, particularly when the kitchen smells like a truck stop restroom, that a pot of chitlins is hot-boiled-poo-pipe.

My parents, quickly snapping to the realization that the North won, cutely attempted to disown their own backwoods histories...

"That was your father's family that ate that stuff."

"Nooo, no, I didn't eat that."

"You know you did."

"So did you."

"Nah-uh...Well, I remember coming to your house for the first time, and I saw fish heads looking up at me from a pot of boiling water."

[laughing] "We didn't throw anything away."

[ laughing] "Well, that's for certain!"

Here's a bit of background on dear mum n' pa: My dad's family is centered in an area around all-too-appropriately-named, Lynchburg, South Carolina. My mother hails from somewhat-less desolate Conway, South Carolina. (If you're reading this mom, don't start dancing a victory jig. My fondest memory of dear Conway involves a HUGE black snake crawling up to the the sliding glass door and watching us during an evening meal at Grandma's house.)

Don't get me wrong, everyone out there are your average American citizens beyond the accents and an honest-to-God pleasantness in disposition. Their personalities really seem to fall in line with the notion of "southern sweetness." But, as much as I love my family, if any relative of mine offered me a hot bowl of shit-ter-lings, I would tell them I recently had my stomach removed and no longer eat. I simply can't deal with the thought of the wringing of fecal frosting from a pig's digestive tract being an integral part of meal preparation.

I adore sushi. I've eaten and enjoyed cow tongue tacos. I believe that animals, for the most part, are delicious. But... I will not eat it, Sam I Am.

As explained by mom, the story goes that my Uncle Buddy, initially shared my disdain for the stinky stew. After having dinner with a military friend (who probably still keeps a sharp lookout for Confederate soldiers), he eventually realized he enjoyed the stuff. He lovingly began referring to the putrid dish as "wrinklesteaks."



I swear whean I heard "wrinklesteak", I almost spit up chunks of spicy sausage on one of my sister's stepkids. It instantly gorilla'd its way into the VIP section of my vocabulary; flanked on the left by "shenanigans" and "dingleberry" on the right.

So, on that sunny day, I happily learned that even my parents find the idea of stinky pig intestines coursing through human entrails somewhat revolting. Well, at least in public. I also learned that for the love of God, if somebody asks you if you if you like scream "NO!"

Nothing good can come of saying anything besides that.


Lil Sass said...

You say 'wrinklesteak" and I think of something entirely too x-rated for this blog. And yes, thank you for solidifying my August decision. Although I LOVE the brat, I think I'm good on the carcass for now. And lastly, don't ever eat "tacos de ceso" ... they're brains!

Aub said...


Lol, that's EXACTLY what I was thinking when my mom told me the "wrinklesteak" story. I couldn't say it then, haha. And I will definitely avoid "tacos de ceso." The cow tongue version wasn't bad though, I must admit.

April said...

Lol! When Mom said they were called "wrinklesteaks" I got another disgusting visual lol... Chocolate star fishes started dancing around in my head Lmao!

Badass Geek said...

I was hungry for breakfast.

I think I'll settle for a nice glass of water.

Heather said...

Lilsass was right, everyone's got meat on the brain this week! Wonder why that is? And more specifically, pig meat. Which is probably actually the grossest meat there is (commercially avaliable, anyway). Yeah, I'm not so fond of the the lips and assholes in my food, but it isn't just hotdog variety meats, it's all processed lunch meats. They all contain some less than desirable parts.

Aub said...


I know. I wanted to say something, but we can't really go there around the parents.

@Badass Geek:

You sure you don't want a nice juicy sausage McMuffin?


It's crazy. I saw like 10 stories that either had something to do with pigs or meat in general on the same day. Maybe this is some sort of omen.

Anonymous said...

I'm with lil sass on this one. Dirty dirty things run through my mind at the word 'wrinklesteak'. Words like "rumple-foreskin" and what not.

On another note, I have something for you that you MUST read. Stop what you are doing, right now, and check this out. Pretty sure you will have high possibilities of pants pissing laughter.

Anonymous said...

Sorry. I don't think my link worked.

Read this: Steve Don't Eat It.

Aub said...


WAHAAAHAAAHAAAAA!!!! Where do you find this stuff!!?? LOLZ! Seriously, that site is AWESOME!!!

AnnaC said...

well, I personally love me some tripas de leche bbq and in a nice warm tortilla .... add salsa, perfect.

Yum... and if I gave you some enchiladas made with ceso you would never know it unless I told you!

And lengua rocks when prepared correctly!

Lola said...

Forget the disgusting meat byproducts, man. I laughed out loud when I read "select kids being knocked off their feet." I think that shit all the time, every time I'm around other kids, as a matter of fact, and I'm a mother! There's certain kids I love to see fall or get hit by a baseball.

I've even been known to hope my own kid gets knocked down when he's being annoying.

Oh, and the cow tongue thing, how could you? I grew up in a house with a dairy farmer who had my mother boil the whole damn tongue in a lobster pot so he, and only he, could eat it. Not only was it the grossest smell, but seeing Bessy's gray boiled tastebuds is an image I will never forget!

Aub said...


Yeah, as long as it doesn't smell like a garbage truck and I don't know what it is, I'd be fine.


I was visiting a friend in LA and his mom bought them for us for lunch. I was horrified, but I felt obligated. I looks awful, but more or less tastes the same as regular old beef. But boiling a whole tongue is just sick.

Miss Grace said...

1. Naked kids at the beach aren't annoying.
2. It really doesn't take that much imagination to see the chicken in the drumstick, it's the chicken's leg after all. Pretty readily available for viewing on a roasted chicken.

Aub said...

@ Grace:

1. I don't remember stating that the naked children running around screaming were "annoying." They were on a short list of distractions though. This isn't a debate that can be won. I don't find nakedness inherently bad or anything, but at a public beach (even if it's children) it strikes me as "odd" (not to be confused with "wrong").

2. When looking at a (detached) drumstick I see, um, a drumstick. I would venture to say that if ham or turkey or whatever were served in a way more representative of their living, breathing forms, there would be many more vegetarians. I love honey-glazed ham, but I'm not as apt to dive in when it's served Dark Ages style on a spit with its head attached. Most of us disassociate food from possible pet. It's human nature.

Kat said...

Never ate chittlins...never want chittlins...hell it took me almost 15 years before I would eat collards and that was purely just because of the smell.

Aub said...


Trust me...

If you never eat them your entire life, the only thing you'd be missing out on is repeated vomiting.

Miss Grace said...

See but I would argue that thanksgiving turkey is pretty close to its original form, what with the bones and all. And, I dunno, a leg of lamb looks, to me, like a lamb leg.
Boneless skinless chicken breasts and deli meats and what have you don't tend to look like animals, no.