I am worried about today's youth. But first, a story. Thor and I were travelling recently in Gold Country, when we happened upon the coolest candy store in the history of candy stores, in Placerville. Hidden among the homemade fudge, all the brands of sweets that I didn't realize were still made (Charleston Chew anyone? Or how about a piece of Bit-o-Honey? Or maybe I can interest you in a set of wax lips?), the back room of exotic jerky made from antelope, elk, ostrich, were the insects. Crickets, larva. Each available in two exciting flavors. Of course I thought instantly of Thor's nephews, two hard to shop for pre-teens. Not that they're hard to shop for because of any shortcomings on their part (they're nice kids), but...what on earth does one get for pre-teen boys? So, naturally we got the bugs, for each one a box of crickets and a box of larva, nicely flavored and everything. Instant street cred for Onkel Thor and his exotic (please note the ironic tone with which I type that word) American girlfriend.
And we got some street cred to be sure. Talk was made about taking them to school to show off to classmates. The only thing is, neither child would eat any. In fact, in a birthday party of people, the only ones who would even try them were myself and one other adult. I don't get it. I'm sure that I would have been more than willing to try them when I was younger. But then again, maybe I'm reinventing the past...I don't recall ever having the chance to try anything that exotic in my pre-teen days. Maybe I wouldn't have, but isn't there more street cred in actually eating insects than in just showing them to one's friends? Are Danish boys just squeamish that way, or am I glorifying the willingness of youth to do disgusting things, just for doing them? Would you have tried crickets, or larva, when you were younger? Would you try any now?
I should perhaps admit that, despite having flavor names on the boxes, neither type of insect tasted much of anything. They were just dry, bland, and vaguely crunchy.