Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Olives Save Lives

Black olives are basically my crack. I have no control and could go to town for days. Since I was a youngster, this has always been the truth. I show up to Christmas and call dibs on the olive tray and watch and defend anyone nearing my precious.

Now, most others don't appreciate the awesomeness of olives as much as I. Therefore, my family was more than willing to give up any olives they encountered and pass them on to yours truly.

Fact of the matter, black olives mean so much to me. They should, they saved my life.

Four score and seven years ago, which in my head means ten years, my family and I were on a trip to Wisconsin. Wisconsin, you ask? My parents were visiting some friends they had met on a cruise to the Bahamas and, apparently, needed more quality drinking time. Surprise.

One summer evening, the two families had gathered at a local Mexican restaurant. We were all assembled around the table, sharing laughs and salsa, when our incredible array of food was delivered.

I'm not sure if it was the long wait or my child-like metabolism that was telling my body to eat like a werewolf. Either way, when that enchilada the size of a small baby was placed in front of me, the challenge was being accepted within milliseconds.

I dug in. And it was so good. After a few bites, I suddenly felt like maybe I had dug in too quickly. It wasn't my stomach. It wasn't the back end. It was the giant bite of enchilada that was now lodged in my throat.

I was choking.

As a thirteen-year-old, I was absolutely mortified to notify someone of my panic. So, of course, I was trying to figure it out on my own. Thankfully, everyone was busy devouring their own meals to notice.

So there I sat, willing to die a passive death, rather than embarrass myself in front of a crowded restaurant. Ah, the hormones of a teenager.

It was when my dad had finally separated his olives from his meal onto a plate and lovingly asked, "Catie, would you like my olives?" Upon making eye contact, his calmed countenance quickly turned to worry. That's when the blur set in. He was yelling my name, when my petite mother olympic sprinted to my aid and proceeded to give me the Heimlich Maneuver. It took 3 surprisingly strong pumps from my mother when what can be described as a giant slug dropped out of my mouth and onto my plate.

The waiter, who struggled with English unrelated to food, threw up his hands and ran away speaking rapid Spanish.

Everyone was staring. The manager came to check on us. I was f'ing mortified. Thank goodness the two sons of this couple were giant nerds so I had no worries of impression.

It's safe to say that my love for black olives saved my life. So, remember next when you're passing up the olive bar, if you toss a few on your plate, you can know, "Ol-live."

Thanks for soundin' down.

..........


catechism ( /ˈkætəkɪzəm/Ancient Greekκατηχισμός from kata = "down" + echein = "to sound", literally "to sound down" (into the ears), is a summary or exposition of doctrine, traditionally used inChristian religious teaching from New Testament times to the present.[1] Catechisms are doctrinal manuals often in the form of questions followed by answers to be memorized, a format that has been used in non-religious or secular contexts as well.