I like horseradish sauce and I like hot mustard, so it only makes sense that I would enjoy wasabi, the Asian blending of both; however, given it’s nature, it is best to enjoy wasabi in minuscule amounts. Last night while I was eating sushi with wasabi for dinner, I was reminded of a communication meltdown between a lovely church lady and a poor street woman.
Pastor liked to bring unusual foods to the Wednesday night Bible Study and entice people to try something new. One night he brought a very large deli platter of assorted sushi. The platter included a bed of shredded ginger with a scoop of wasabi nestled on it.
When every one finished eating, the table was still laden with food. Only four people, including the Pastor and I, had eaten any of the sushi and wasabi, so most of it remained.
Shortly after we finished eating, yet before we started Bible Study, a homeless woman entered the church and asked if we had something she could eat. We gave her a plate and pointed her toward the table. Pastor told her to help herself to anything she wanted.
The woman went to the table and piled her plate high with fried chicken, potato salad and other tasties. As she came to the end of the line, she had no interest in the sushi, but then she saw the wasabi. “Guacamole!” She exclaimed. Grabbing a serving spoon, she scooped it all up. One of the good church ladies, anticipating disaster, shouted, “Don’t take all of that!” She rushed toward the homeless woman.
The homeless woman shouted back, “Pastor said I could have it!” And she shoveled the entire spoonful into her mouth. Wasabi fumes alone can put a hitch in one’s lungs, a mouthful of the stuff can freeze them altogether. The homeless woman’s eyes filled with tears. She gasped for breath and clutched at her chest.
Someone pressed a glass of water into her hand. She gulped it down. And another. Finally her tears slowed. Her face regained it’s normal color. The good church lady who precipitated the disaster said, “Are you alright?” The homeless woman screeched, “You tried to kill me!” And then she refused to eat anything at all. “You people are crazy!” She shouted as she ran from the church.