Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Passing the Buck

Today is the day of the week that the more unexplored regions of our ice box become clearly visible. It's Tuesday, the day before the weekly order of groceries arrives from our local food coop. 

This Tuesday I found this, probably pricey cut of equine flesh, hidden in a particularly dark corner of the refrigerator where it's been lurking for the better part of a fortnight. I know how long it's been there because I put it there shortly after my uncle had saddled me with it. 

He got it from a dear friend of his who brought it back from a westward excursion (to Nagano, which I believe lies northwest of where I am sitting now in Yokohama). The old geezer claims that because he was born in the year of the horse, eating the meat would be akin to cannibalism so he regifted the souvenir item to me. I took it as part gift, part challenge. He's forever "challenging" me to some sort of  epicurean duel involving one kind of exotic Japanese fare or another (a lot of which he pulls off his laundry line). The truth is once you've eaten Spam, everything goes down easy.

Now horse meat is, well, a horse of another color altogether. The horse runs wild across the American psyche and stands as a symbol of the unbridled spirit that shaped the country. An invasive species brought to the shores of America by Spanish conquistadors some time in the sixteenth century, the animal has been revered from coast to coast ever since. Eating the creature, while certainly not unheard of, is considered taboo by most. Recently much ink has been spilled over the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's controversial sale of wild horses which were then slaughtered and sold on the market.


Now I feel that I've been somehow mixed up in the whole controversy and I just don't know what I'm going to do. I do have one idea though. My nephew is supposed to come over for a visit tonight and his birthday is coming up sometime this year. All I need is a handsome gift bag and maybe some craft beer to tie the whole thing together because while I could eat a horse I'd rather pass the buck. 


Related post: Hanging in the Balance 

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