Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The elephant in the room, aka the hair in the food

There are some people whose food I avoid because of the one consistent ingredient: hair.

Oh come on, you know someone like that. Every time they cook you have to politely decline, saying, "Oh, no, I just ate. Thanks though!" or, "Ooooh I wish I could, but I'm on a diet!" Or perhaps you avoid the person altogether when you notice they've brought in a delicious-looking tray of brownies -- that is, delicious if it weren't for the hair lurking inside.

Sometimes, though, you don't realize somebody is one of the hairy folk, and you eat their food. As you're chewing, you get that unmistakable feeling in your mouth. Oh god. A hair. You have several options at this point:
  1. Swallow (and don't let the disgust show on your face)
  2. Turn your head away as if to look for something and then subtly pull the hair from your mouth
  3. Pull it out very obviously right in front of the cook
Option 1 is just gross. So, moving on...

Usually I go with option 2, but then you may be forced to look at the hair and analyze what kind it is. Long silky head hair? Small bit of beard stubble? Dog hair (short or long)? I suppose it could also come from the cook's nether regions, but I don't even want to know how that would come about...

And anyway, let's be honest -- the cook probably knows exactly what you're doing. No matter how subtle you try to be, it's sort of obvious when you stick your fingers in you mouth, then pull them out and examine the saliva/food/hair mixture on them. Everybody knows what's going on, but you quickly wipe your hand on your pants and pretend nothing happened so as not to offend the cook. Why?

Option 3, I think, is greatly underused. Why should we spare the cook's feelings when she did not spare us from munching on her (or her dog's, or her husband's, or her 2-year-old son's) not-so-delectable hair? I say next time you just pull it out, look the cook right in the eyes, and say, "Gross. I just ate hair. Please cook under more sanitary conditions or do not offer me any more food. Thank you."

If only.


  1. ironic that you just posted this... because this legit just happened to me ten minutes ago. so not ok. now i can't get the feeling of hair out of my mouth. ugh.

  2. Oh boy! Number 3 is used for this situation - your mother's hair! I know you've chewed on plenty of mine and yanked them out of your mouth even though I'd pull it back to avoid this type of unbearable accident. How does one make sure to ALWAYS avoid mixing a hair in?