Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Carrot sticks: Part II

Since I got such a kick out of seeing Japanese people react with revulsion whenever I ate carrot sticks, I decided to take my raw-vegetable freak-out fest to the classroom.

I was curious to see what kind of chaos I could create by offering my students carrot sticks at lunch.

I figured the elementary school kids would be the perfect guinea pigs for my little experiment. These kids think everything is fun and exciting. All I have to do is walk into the classroom and they start jumping up and down, screaming “YAY!!!” I knew if I showed up bearing carrots, the excitement level would be through the roof.

I ran the idea past the homeroom teacher first, since I knew how controversial carrot sticks could be. The last thing I wanted was to get fired over a damn vegetable. He looked at me like I was proposing to feed the kids leeches for lunch but agreed to go along with the plan.

As soon as the bell rang, I joined one of the classrooms for lunch (kids in Japan eat at their desks). I quietly reached into my backpack and pulled out a bag of carrot sticks. Before I said a word, the kids swarmed around me.

“WHAT’S THAT?!? WHAT’S THAT?!?” they yelled (I have no idea why these kids insist on screaming when they try to talk to me).

“Carrots,” I said.

One boy frantically pointed at himself and then pointed at the carrots.

“Would you like one?” I asked.

“YES!!!” he yelled.

He grabbed a carrot, ran back to his desk and shoved it in his mouth.

It took a few attempts before he was able to bite off a small piece (the kid looked like he was trying to gnaw through a steel cable).

Once he finished chewing and swallowing, he stood up and proclaimed the carrot stick “DELICIOUS!!!”

Upon hearing this, a few other students ran over and demanded a carrot stick. I think they expected the carrots to be delicious because when they bit into them they looked completely bewildered, like someone had poured salt in their coffee instead of sugar. This kid was not impressed.

The girl in the photo below took a bite and said something in Japanese that sounded like, “WTF? This is the grossest shit I’ve ever tasted. Oh my god. I’m going to throw up now.”

Who knew carrots could be so much fun? Next month, poutine tasting!

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