Friday, April 15, 2011

The Unforgettable Breakfast: or, Our Unfortunate Encounter with Vegemite

On Friday morning at Caledonion Backpackers, Brian and I went down to breakfast while Sarah slept in late. There was a mountain of sliced bread, cereals, juice, coffee, and at least a dozen kinds of jams and jellies. As Brian and I were spreading jam over our toast, I spotted a familiar bottle of black stuff with a yellow label that I recognized as Vegemite. I recalled a far-away memory of Mom and Dad returning home from Australia with Vegemite to give to our vet, who was Australian. I also vaguely recalled that Vegemite was a delicious, chocolaty something and had the brilliant idea that Brian should to try it.

I told Brian to put some Vegemite on his toast, explaining that my parents had brought it from Australia when I was little, and that it was delicious. He seemed dubious, but trusted me and got some. We then sat in a cozy corner by the fireplace and I tucked into my toast and jam. Brian took a bite of the Vegemite-covered toast and chewed slowly, and his face became focus and somewhat rigid. Confused, I asked him what the matter was. “Oh, do you not like it? Here, I'll eat it then.” He handed over the toast, and I enthusiastically took a bite. Instantly, I experienced a level of repulsion that I have never before felt. My poor taste buds were basically put to torture: cruel, ruthless torture. It took every effort of will to chew the besmirched piece of toast and swallow, but I did.

Brian was watching me intently, so I said that I had something to tell him in a minute. Then I drank my juice and ate up my other toast, desperate to eradicate the aftertaste of Vegemite from my mouth. Mortified that I had made my friend taste the wretched stuff, I told him my mistake and apologized profusely. Somehow, I must have gotten Vegemite confused with Nutella, or some other delicious chocolaty thing my mother had brought from her travels.

What a flighty, brainless mistake for me to make! Yet, it is so typical of me to make such a ridiculous error; and poor Brian, who has only known me for a few months, could never have guessed it. He took it very well, though. With grim humor, he said that since we have tasted the most disgusting thing in existence, we can now tolerate all other foods, no matter how bad they may be.

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