Melinda made Parmesan-crusted chicken and tortellini for dinner. It was delicious and everyone inhaled it, but when we were finished, Josephine had a graveyard of tomatoes on her plate.
“How come you didn’t eat any of the tomatoes?” Melinda asked.
“I don’t like the tomatoes,” she said.
“I don’t like tomatoes either,” Dominic said, “but I don’t want Mommy to yell at me for not eating them, so I just swallow them whole. That way, I don’t have to taste them.”
“That’s one way to do it,” I said.
I can sympathize with them. I didn’t like tomatoes when I was younger either. Mine was less of a taste preference, however, and more as a result of an irrational fear of killer tomatoes.
This one time we rented a movie called Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, a movie about a breed of tomatoes who for unknown reasons come alive and seek their revenge on their comrade-munching humans. It’s supposed to be a comedic spoof on genre horror, but I must have been too young to process the satire, because I spent the next several years afraid each bite of tomato would bite back.
I shared this with the dinner table, and Josephine’s eyes grew wide. “Can that really happen.”
“Of course not,” Melinda said. “Tomatoes cannot bite you.”
I shrugged. “You never know, though.”
Jo looked down at her plate and pushed it away.