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Smelly Socks: It's a wing thing

April 24, 2014 at midnight
Updated April 23, 2014 at 11:24 p.m.


On the weekends, when we have the opportunity to take a trip into civilization, it is usually to Victoria to get supplies to help tackle some ranch project or the ever evolving honey-do list. While we certainly love ranch living, one thing that my husband has just now gotten familiar with is that going to get something from town usually means an all-day excursion. Ranch living has its perks, but it is not convenient by any means. A great deal of planning is necessary to get things accomplished out here.

While driving down Navarro Street, I noticed Jamison, my 10-year-old, staring intently out the side window. I was about to ask him what he was looking at when he turned with an inquisitive expression on his face and said, "So, what exactly are Buffalo wings?" This made John and I exchange one of those looks that only parents understand and know how to give. How is it possible that our youngest has not been exposed to one of America's newest fad foods?

I explained to him that they are simply fried chicken pieces smothered in sauce and given a jaunty name like Buffalo Wild Wings to get your attention. "So," Jamison questioned, "where does the buffalo part come in? Why Buffalo wings? Buffalos don't have wings. Is there a part of the buffalo that they call wings?"

After we finished our errands, we thought that Jamison and his older brother, Austin, needed to be properly introduced to Buffalo Wild Wings. Then, the bickering started.

"It is chicken," Austin not-so-patiently explained.

Jamison refuted with, "It says buffalo."

"I know what it says, but I promise you, it is most definitely chicken."

"Well, why do they call it buffalo, then?" Jamison continued.

We pulled into the crowded parking lot and were shown to our booth while they continued to heatedly discuss the origins of the particular type of food they were going to try. Jamison pointed to the sign and says, "Look, they have a picture of a buffalo."

"Yes they do," Austin continued. "And in the picture, the buffalo has tiny wings. You don't really think a buffalo has wings?"

Jamison defended his stance. "No, but the meat comes from a buffalo, or they wouldn't call it buffalo or have a picture of a buffalo on the sign."

Austin finished the dialogue with the raising of his eyebrow in a questioning glare.

After reading the menu, Austin declared that he wanted the mango habanero boneless wings. John and I warned him against that choice. Even the waitress explained in great detail that they were indeed hot and spicy. Austin could not be deterred and outright insisted that he had to have that sauce. Jamison, ever the cautious one, settled for plain wings with no sauce.

"Huh, they really are kind of tiny little things. Not very buffalo-like," Jamison concluded. Feeling a sense of accomplishment, a smug Austin picked up a mango habanero wing and put the whole thing in his mouth while John warned him to only try a small bite.

I have never seen a human's face turn that particular scarlet shade. His watering red eyes began wildly shutting and opening in a fierce pattern, his nostrils flared and the hair on his arms stuck up straight. He hurriedly reached for his drink. After a big gulp and a head shake, a declaration of "this doesn't help" was made. His hoarse voice spewed out, "What do I do?"

Jamison scooted far away from him in the booth with an amused and terrified look on his face. He mouthed to me, "Watch out. He's going to blow."

"Carrot stick. Now." John had obvious experience as he reached for the basket of carrot sticks on the table. "No," I said a little too late. Carrot sticks are on the "no-no" list for his braces. He popped a bracket off his braces with the first bite. It seemed a small price to pay for the relief that carrot stick brought him.

On the way home, Austin complained that his tongue felt like it was burned off. However, a rather happy twist was that his nasal allergies seem to have been completely cleared. Having fully recovered his voice, he turned to Jamison, "If I could have tasted it, I am sure it would have tasted just like chicken."

"Oh," Jamison said with a smile on his face, "And why couldn't you taste it? Was it because you had fire coming out of your mouth like a dragon on steroids?" Austin's look let Jamison know that he came out on top this time, but he better not push it.

With a wide smile and a chuckle, Jamison seemed to sum it all up: "Man, Austin, you are so gonna feel that in the morning."

Johanna is a proud seventh-generation Texan. She lives on her family's South Texas ranch with her husband and two lively boys. Email Johanna Bloom at smellysocks@vicad.com.

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