Thursday, August 20, 2009


Red Smith became diabetic recently, and he has to test his blood every day. There's a 50/50 chance he has to give himself an insulin injection. So I was eating edamame and thought he'd like that as a healthy snack. Sent him an email, subject line: SOY, told him to boil them up, etc.

Got this back a few days ago:

Mark i tried the soy beans.I can understand how u can lose weight eating the beans,by the time u open all the pods your ready for a nap. An they don't have a lot of flavor.

I figure "to each his own" and say nothing. Then last night I'm on the phone with my mother, she says "Wanna talk to your fah-thah?" (her voice is already fading away as she passes him the receiver). Red gets on, we chat for a few seconds, then: "I didn't like those soy beans."

His dull matter-of-fact tone echoed last summer when he uttered one of his most cryptic, Lear-like non sequiturs at the dinner table: "I went searching for the perfect knife....."

(....wait for it....)

(....waaait for it...)

(....comin at ya....)

"I didn't find it."

(...vacant gaze into the distance...)


Anyway: "I didn't like those soy beans."

ME: I'm not sure you were eating them right, it shouldn't be that much of a chore.

RED: Nah, I didn't like 'em. They were cold and bland. No flavor.
ME: Why'd you let them go cold? You should eat 'em while they're nice and warm.
RED: You cook 'em??
(a beat)
ME: Wait, you bought them RAW? You're supposed to boil them.
RED: OH! I didn't know that. I was eatin 'em RAW! (laughs)
ME: Well, listen. Next time just go to the frozen food section--
RED: Yah.
ME: They come in a bag.
RED: Yah, I know.
(another beat)
ME: You know?? Is that how you bought them before?
RED: Yah, I bought a frozen bag, took 'em home and ate 'em.
ME: You ate them FROZEN?
RED: What am I stupid? I put 'em in a bowl and let 'em defrost.
(long beat)
ME: Didn't you read the directions on the back?
RED: I didn't bother.
ME: Have you ever eaten a TV dinner? Whaddya pry out the salisbury steak and suck on it like a pudding pop?
RED: Wait, here's your mother.


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