I remember when my mother first fed me broccoli. It was a warm July evening and the sun was still high in the sky. Because it was still so lighted, my parents left the lights off as we ate dinner.
Being only ten years old and not growing in height as fast as the other children in my class, including the girls, I could not serve myself food, because I couldnâ€™t reach the stove top where the pot of spaghetti sat. My mother took the Sesame Street plate from me and put a large serving of spaghetti on it.
â€œEat up and some day youâ€™ll be big enough to serve yourself…â€ she said to me.
Then she whispered under her breath, â€œ…because Iâ€™m not going to serve you forever.â€
I thanked my mother and walked to the table. At the table, there was a loaf of garlic Italian bread and a mound of green things that looked like aliens from outer space with gigantic afros. I imagined the afro was what The Great Kazooâ€™s hair must have looked like with his helmet off, when he wasnâ€™t helping Fred Flintstone.
Sitting at the table was difficult for me because I was so short. I couldnâ€™t reach the garlic Italian bread nor the green things with gigantic afros. Seeing the trouble I was having, my mother placed a slice of bread and a small stack of green things on the edge of my plate.
â€œWhat are the green things with the gigantic afros?â€ I asked my mom.
â€œItâ€™s broccoli,â€ she replied, â€œIt will help you grow big and strong…â€
Then she said quietly to herself, â€œ…so you can support yourself some day and move out of the house.â€
I picked up one of the green things with a gigantic afro and began playing with it. Then I decided to give the green thing with the gigantic afro a haircut like Mr. Tâ€™s. After gnawing on the afro for a few moments and spitting out the parts I had gnawed off, I formed the mohawk I wanted. I grabbed a noodle from my spaghetti and wrapped it around the green thing with a mohawk, pretending it was a big gold chain, just like the ones the real Mr. T wore.
â€œI pity the fool who donâ€™t eat spaghetti,â€ I said, shaking the green thing with a mohawk. â€œI pity the fool who donâ€™t eat bread.â€
â€œStop playing with your food,â€ my mother said to me.
â€œWhy?â€ I asked her.
â€œBecause itâ€™s rude to play with your food…â€ she said.
Then she said as softly as she could, â€œ…and youâ€™ll never find a woman to marry you if you keep playing with your food.â€
I looked at my newly created green Mr. T. and said, â€œI pity the green thing with the mohawk.â€
Then I chomped the mohawk off.
From that moment on, Iâ€™ve enjoyed broccoli. However, it was much later in life that I realized broccoli would be better with some kind of topping. The topping of choice was melted Velveeta cheese, because it was the only topping I had seen on broccoli, thanks to the Velveeta commercials. Broccoli and melted Velveeta was damn good.
So when I picked up a can of Campbellâ€™s Carb Request Chicken Broccoli Cheese Soup, I expected good things. Unfortunately, I pity the fool who purchased the Campbellâ€™s Carb Request Chicken Broccoli Cheese Soup.
Of course, that was me.
The aroma from the pot I was warming up the soup in turned out to be an accurate indicator of how the soup tasted. It was bland, like the future music offerings coming from celebrity siblings with the last names of Spears, Simpson, and Duff.
The pieces of broccoli were tiny and almost seemed nonexistent with every spoonful. There were big chunks of white chicken meat, although this disappointed the equal opportunity activist in me, hoping that were also big chunks of dark chicken meat.
After all, you know what they say about dark chicken meat, â€œOnce you go dark, youâ€™ll never want to be apart.â€
– This was an excerpt from Chicken Broccoli Cheese Soup for the Quasi-Product Review Blog Editor’s Soul
Item: Campbellâ€™s Carb Request Chicken Broccoli Cheese Soup
Purchase Price: $2.00 (on sale)
Rating: 2 out of 5
Pros: Big chunks of chicken. I actually enjoy broccoli. Mr. T. looking broccoli.
Cons: Bland. Not much broccoli. No dark meat. Low-carb.