The Corn Conundrum

Aug 17, 2009

I love Corn-on-the-Cob Season. I look forward to it all year. You want to know my favorite thing about corn on the cob? Butter. Yep. It's true. I'm sorry to say it, (Well, not that sorry. You all feel the same, I know you do.) but butter is actually the best part of most vegetables. However, there is no other vegetable that I get to eat with quite as much butter as corn. And for that, I adore it.

I always eat my corn the same way. Left to right, like a typewriter, holding the small side in my left hand. Then I butter a strip about 4 kernels high, salt it the proper amount, and eat it like a little chewing machine: nom, nom, nom, until -DING!- I get to the end. Then I butter the next strip and do it again. I was wondering why I only butter one strip at a time until I watched Richard. He butters the whole thing at once, and ends up with all this butter dripped all over his plate. Not me! With my method I don't waste a single drop of that precious yellow substance. And I feel good about that. (Course, one could always lick their plate afterward, but that is a personal choice, and too controversial a subject to be discussed here.)

I asked Richard if he has a specific way he always eats his corn and he said "Fast."

Here is the problem with corn though. Hand in hand with cobbed-corn goes BBQ's. We say we are celebrating all these summer holidays when we get together, but really we are just celebrating the corn. At least I am. But the problem is, corn-on-the-cob is not really a food that should be eaten in mixed company. For one thing, it really isn't a pretty sight. Take me for instance: Imagine a wild board eating a slice of watermelon, and you'll have a pretty good picture of what it looks like when I eat corn on the cob. (Which can be quite a shock to someone seeing it for the first time. I am as delicate and graceful as a flower in every other way.)

And then of course, at this group gathering, right in the middle of your corn fest, someone will walk up and ask you a question.

"Hey Elesa! What the heck is up with your toes? They are super weird looking! Tell me the story?" So I come up from my cob, like a predator interrupted in the middle of eating his prey, and attempt to chat like a normal person, fully conscious of the corn kernel carcasses dangling between each tooth, and the butter dripping down my chin. So I either have to try to talk while hiding behind my cob, or just act like it totally doesn't bother me, and like I could talk with corn in my teeth and butter on my face all day if I felt like it, and still be very awesome and ladylike.

I don't know which option is better. I don't know how to solve the quandary that is corn. I just know that I'm not sure I want to be ok with socializing while my face is covered with food. I grew out of that in like the 9th grade. But I also don't want to have to set down my corn mid-cob and have to wipe my face and floss my teeth just because someone wants to make small talk. I have no idea how long that conversation is going to last. What if my corn is cold by the time they wander off and I get to pick it up again?

But what can we do? Must we eat our corn in our closets? Or will we be forced to cut the corn off our cobs so that we can eat it the way them High Society Folks do, with a fork?!?