I bet he can't identify mushrooms either
July 24, 2017 5:23 PM   Subscribe

 
(mushroom in-joke)
posted by AFABulous at 5:26 PM on July 24 [22 favorites]


Ah, the joys of customer service.
posted by The Card Cheat at 5:28 PM on July 24


Was he from Long Island?
posted by zamboni at 5:33 PM on July 24 [5 favorites]


I am very disappointed that the link went to an actual article with a funny story and not just to a photo of squash.
posted by ejs at 5:44 PM on July 24 [12 favorites]


That said, I wonder if the guy served the squash to his guests hoping they would think it was cheese too?
posted by ejs at 5:44 PM on July 24 [8 favorites]


not even Wensleydale?
posted by shockingbluamp at 5:45 PM on July 24 [18 favorites]


Despite clearly being wrong, the very patient employees of the store huddled around the man, trying to devise a solution to the dilemma. In the red corner we have a store, which organizes items into clearly labeled and demarcated departments. In the blue, a man who thought squash was cheese.

Trump's America.
posted by dirigibleman at 5:50 PM on July 24 [38 favorites]


At a potluck, I mistook squash casserole for baked mac and cheese. I almost cried.
posted by Former Congressional Representative Lenny Lemming at 5:58 PM on July 24 [18 favorites]


At a party, I mistook some kind of vegan squash-in-place-of-cheese pizza as real, normal pizza. I almost gagged.
posted by jonathanhughes at 6:02 PM on July 24 [3 favorites]


Steamed hams!
posted by stevil at 6:04 PM on July 24 [6 favorites]


The first time I ever had sushi, I mistook wasabi for avocado.

You're GOTDANG right I never did that again.
posted by the return of the thin white sock at 6:13 PM on July 24 [48 favorites]


My parents have a story about moving from Canada to North Carolina and mistaking sweet potato pie for pumpkin pie around thanksgiving, and the bitter disappointment it caused.
posted by Naib at 6:14 PM on July 24 [2 favorites]


I once bought buttermilk thinking it was regular milk ( I didn't look close enough at the carton) and wow, those cheerios did not taste good. But I did not think it was butter or some kind of vegetable so kudos to me I guess?

I truly believe it should be mandatory for all people of legal age to work retail/food service once in their lives. If cheese man had mopped up baby vomit in aisle 4 once in his life, I bet he would have figured out some squash based appetizers.
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 6:14 PM on July 24 [25 favorites]


these things keep happening to us idiots
posted by Foci for Analysis at 6:14 PM on July 24 [17 favorites]


This gives me a cunning new idea for disguising large quantities of cheese, should the need to do so for some reason arise.
posted by eponym at 6:18 PM on July 24 [38 favorites]


I tried making hot cocoa with coconut milk coffee creamer because I was out of milk. That sounds good in theory, right? It was terrible.
posted by AFABulous at 6:20 PM on July 24 [3 favorites]


I'm feeling a lot better about that one time at a b&b that I mistook sugar for salt at breakfast.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:20 PM on July 24


I had a friend mistake fried haloumi for chicken. They took quite some convincing.
posted by unliteral at 6:29 PM on July 24 [4 favorites]


In the man's defense, I can see how it would be easy to make that mistake given that he had bought diced butternut squash. Of course, had I done such a thing there is no way I would try to return it.
posted by TedW at 6:41 PM on July 24 [3 favorites]


My wife occasionally makes a wonderful dish that combines butternut squash and cheese into pure magical deliciousness.

I suspect that poor man's head would literally explode upon being served said dish.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 6:42 PM on July 24 [2 favorites]


Okay but can you tell the difference between a chihuahua and a muffin? Shar Peis and croissants? Labradoodles and fried chicken?
posted by AFABulous at 6:44 PM on July 24 [46 favorites]


I have been on the customer service side of this when working in a grocery store complete with escalating requests. A gentleman came in and said that the chicken we had sold him (he had the empty container) had been bad so I offered to refund his money for the chicken. He then requested a refund for the other items in the dish he had made out of the "bad" chicken (which his guests had completely consumed, of course). Our particular store manager had a very generous nature and this trickled down so I leniently agreed (it was just a couple of bucks worth of stuff). He then told me that he had had to clean the improperly trimmed boneless breasts and he wanted recompensed for the time he had spent preparing the chicken. He was a consultant and made $100 an hour and, of course, he didn't expect that much but at least SOMETHING for his time. I laughed out loud at him, gave him his refund for the chicken and ingredients, and gave him the 800 number for Tyson if he needed anything else. Some people.
posted by Defective_Monk at 6:45 PM on July 24 [15 favorites]


Having worked at Whole Foods for a couple years, I have lot of stories like this. The best one was the guy who didn't believe that the Granny Smith apples were apples because the sign said coconuts.
posted by rtha at 6:45 PM on July 24 [52 favorites]


The most existential despair a grocery brainfart has ever made me feel was the next morning, when I discovered my traitorous brain had failed to read the very clear label on the coffee beans stating "decaf."

It didn't even occur to me to go harangue the customer service desk, though.
posted by Drastic at 6:45 PM on July 24 [8 favorites]


Hot summer Day stomping around Seoul, after maybe/sort of quitting my job, I bought a banana popcicle that tasted terrible and bit into it to find it was full of corn. A god damned corncicle!
posted by bonobothegreat at 6:47 PM on July 24 [39 favorites]


I had a friend mistake fried haloumi for chicken.

I can see how someone'd make that mistake.
posted by tavella at 6:48 PM on July 24


I'm glad the story had a happy ending, that is, an ending where a man was not rewarded for being belligerently ignorant.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:50 PM on July 24 [43 favorites]


The first time I ever had sushi, I mistook wasabi for avocado.

You're not the only one, and it happened at an office-catered lunch in front of all my co-workers (and cow-orkers). And back then, I could hardly handle Medium Heat salsa, so it was an obvious display of intense pain.

But one of the supermarkets I frequent has its deli and produce sections next to each other, with a refrigerated display case in front with weekly specials from both departments, so the cheese/squash confusion could have happened here... not to me, because I don't pay extra for cubed anything...
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:54 PM on July 24 [2 favorites]


I was trying to buy a bottle of Pepsi Max at the CVS in the mall, and there was a woman trying to return a bunch of packages of crackers because the flyer that came out yesterday had them twenty five cents cheaper per package.

Both the woman and the salesclerk refused to budge from their positions. I was irritated with the woman because, that's like what, 75¢ worth of crackers she was cheated from?

I can't imagine where 75¢ worth of crackers is an emergency of righteous rage. I'm not in that position, but if I ever am, I hope to Christ the fat-guy behind me plunks down three dollars to cover my crackers, his soda, and the clerk knows how to make this all work with a smile.

In the words of Kurt W. Vonegut - "There's only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you've got to be kind."
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:57 PM on July 24 [10 favorites]


mistaking sweet potato pie for pumpkin pie around thanksgiving, and the bitter disappointment it caused

Disappointed by sweet potato pie? Howzat?
posted by uncleozzy at 7:10 PM on July 24 [27 favorites]


This open box of squash will absolutely need to be thrown away if the store takes it back. It won’t be roasted; it will never turn into a soup — an open, contaminated box of squash will be thrown into a dumpster. That’s its lot in life.

Sure. You bet. We'll get right on that.
posted by yesster at 7:16 PM on July 24 [2 favorites]


I can't believe it's not butternut!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:34 PM on July 24 [11 favorites]


Butternut does kinda sound like a better name for a cheese than a vegetable though, now that I think about it.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:42 PM on July 24 [12 favorites]


My wife occasionally makes a wonderful dish that combines butternut squash and cheese into pure magical deliciousness.

Your wife's ideas are intriguing to me, and I wish to subscribe to her newsletter.

Seriously, please make with the recipe.
posted by sysinfo at 7:47 PM on July 24 [26 favorites]


When she was about 4 years old my daughter mistook minced habanero pepper for shredded carrot and she cried a lot but she didn't ask for a GOTDANG refund.
posted by drlith at 7:55 PM on July 24 [13 favorites]


I lost it when the half listening employee arrived. I really hope that was a dedicated prankster.
posted by We'll all float on okay at 8:00 PM on July 24 [18 favorites]


What, they forgot to put the "THIS IS NOT CHEESE, BRIAN!" label on that particular package? I bet they also forgot to label the tubes of loose pork sausage "NOT POLENTA, JENNIFER!"
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:00 PM on July 24 [7 favorites]


> When she was about 4 years old my daughter mistook minced habanero pepper for shredded carrot and she cried a lot

One time I ran into our apartment, hot and thirsty from playing outside. I was maybe six? My mom was in the kitchen and there was a glass on the counter, it was beaded with water and had ice in it and I was so thirsty and I grabbed it and took a big gulp and that was my introduction to gin.
posted by rtha at 8:11 PM on July 24 [99 favorites]


Did you keep drinking?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:13 PM on July 24 [18 favorites]


A couple months ago I noticed a cup sitting outside where I was working in the garden with some darkish liquid in it. I vaguely recalled seeing my husband and son out there in its vicinity. I assumed it was some iced tea and I was thirsty as hell.

Reader, it was bubble-blowing solution. That shit burns. I had to go lie down.

(It, however, was not in a container labeled BUBBLE-BLOWING SOLUTION, so I have one up on this guy.)
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:20 PM on July 24 [7 favorites]


What, they forgot to put the "THIS IS NOT CHEESE, BRIAN!" label on that particular package? I bet they also forgot to label the tubes of loose pork sausage "NOT POLENTA, JENNIFER!"

Well, fuck the proverbial duck. If they can't label the sausage "NOT BUTTERNUT SQUASH" and the butternut squash "NOT SAUSAGE OR CHEESE OR POLENTA", I shan't be gracing them with my custom any further.
posted by Samizdata at 8:20 PM on July 24 [2 favorites]


> Did you keep drinking?

Pretty sure I spat it out in horror and did not touch gin again for... far too long? Kids, I tell ya.
posted by rtha at 8:23 PM on July 24 [3 favorites]


I get the feeling that some of you people are laughing at this guy. It's not his fault! You never know what you're getting, sometimes. One time I wanted some cheese so I bought a round thing with an orange skin, just like a wheel of cheese, only I guess it was smaller and a bit more spherical than most but anyway it was only natural to assume it was cheese and it's not like you can open it up to test it there in the grocery store. Turned out it was some kind of fruit. It could happen to anyone!
posted by sfenders at 8:26 PM on July 24 [8 favorites]


I assumed it was some iced tea and I was thirsty as hell.

This story ended better than I feared it would.
posted by Orlop at 8:27 PM on July 24 [16 favorites]


Folks enjoying this story may also enjoy this deleted-for-chatfilter-reasons question from AskMe, from earlier today!
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 8:27 PM on July 24 [25 favorites]


I love going to the truckstop/gas station and getting stuff from under the heat lamps. The gas station just down the road from work started carrying deep fried chicken gizzards (in addition to the chicken strips, nuggets and jo-jo potatoes). However, being battered and unmarked (you just grab a paper tray from under the lamp), they are hard to identify (I once got some deep fried sausage? ground meat? things by accident). So I go in and grab what I think are gizzards and head down the road. I grab one, but when I bite into it, it's definitely not a gizzard. Under the breading, it's smooth and slick and round, and when I bite through it's not meat and a lot of juice comes out. Now, I'm driving down the road trying to figure out what the hell I just ate, and the only thing that comes to mind is deep fried eyeballs. I mean, that's really what it seemed like. So I get to work, park and closer look. I peel back some breading and find... they were deep fried mushrooms.
posted by 445supermag at 8:50 PM on July 24 [36 favorites]


I was so thirsty and I grabbed it and took a big gulp and that was my introduction to gin.

Did I ever tell you about the time I was on a flight to Iceland and ordered a double bourbon neat and my son, annoyed to have to look up from his iPad long enough to answer "apple juice" ordered apple juice? Because he will not drink apple juice again without asking "is this whiskey?".
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:57 PM on July 24 [27 favorites]


In our freezer right now is a bag of orange cubes of something. Someday soon we'll pull it out and make either squash soup or mango smoothies.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 9:06 PM on July 24 [15 favorites]


I once mistook Sterlet caviar for Beluga and everyone started whispering. Boy did my cheeks turn red!
posted by mono blanco at 9:16 PM on July 24 [19 favorites]


Oh Dear Mods.... please make this a MetaTalktail hour topic someday.
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 9:17 PM on July 24 [28 favorites]


One time I ran into our apartment, hot and thirsty from playing outside. I was maybe six? My mom was in the kitchen and there was a glass on the counter, it was beaded with water and had ice in it and I was so thirsty and I grabbed it and took a big gulp and that was my introduction to gin.

Reminds me of the delicious cherry sodas in my mother's boyfriend's refrigerator that were my introduction to wine cooler.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:26 PM on July 24 [6 favorites]


At a potluck, I mistook squash casserole for baked mac and cheese. I almost cried.

At a dimly lit party, I mistook a bowl of wasabi for a bowl of guacamole and loaded up my cracker accordingly.

I did cry.
posted by flabdablet at 9:27 PM on July 24 [4 favorites]


—I grabbed it and took a big gulp and that was my introduction to gin.

—I assumed it was some iced tea and I was thirsty as hell.

—he will not drink apple juice again without asking "is this whiskey?"


DON'T YOU PEOPLE SMELL THINGS BEFORE CONSUMING THEM?? sheesh
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:29 PM on July 24 [19 favorites]


NO TIME RRRGGRRRAUUGHHHR GUACAMOLE NOM NOM NOM O SHIT
posted by flabdablet at 9:30 PM on July 24 [46 favorites]


My parents were once each given by their respective mothers drinks they thought were going to be ice cold Pepsi but were instead decidedly unfizzy a) chilled nectarine juice and b) lukewarm mint julep.

Personally I have been on this planet 30 years and the only vaguely related story I can tell is that when I was about 2 I thought that children's Tylenol was grape soda so I downed a bottle after opening it using my Baby Wonder Woman strength. I was partially right. It did taste like grape soda. But I spent an evening in the ER anyway, because, you know, parents and such.
posted by Hermione Granger at 9:32 PM on July 24 [6 favorites]


Also, those plum/apricot hybrids mentioned in TFA are tasty but should be called "plumpricots." "Pluots" and "plumcots" have no panache atall.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:35 PM on July 24 [12 favorites]


Also, those plum/apricot hybrids mentioned in TFA are tasty but should be called "plumpricots." "Pluots" and "plumcots" have no panache atall.

I vote apriplumps.

Come at me!
posted by Samizdata at 9:37 PM on July 24 [14 favorites]


> DON'T YOU PEOPLE SMELL THINGS BEFORE CONSUMING THEM?? sheesh

Well, I do now, but mostly so I can stick the item under the nose of the nearest person and go "Does this smell weird to you? This smells weird, right?" I take my fun where I can get it.
posted by rtha at 9:47 PM on July 24 [10 favorites]


When husband's brother got married the reception was outside and catered by family (aka Several Hours After Scheduled Time). After 3 hours of drinking in the sun with no snacks, they brought out couscous and tomatoes and basil and bread slices!.

No, they did not. They brought out an enormous bowl of granulated bits of raw garlic and tomatoes and basil and bread.

In short, a tablespoon of garlic will totally make you feel sober.
posted by holyrood at 10:05 PM on July 24 [13 favorites]


>>Also, those plum/apricot hybrids mentioned in TFA are tasty but should be called "plumpricots." "Pluots" and "plumcots" have no panache atall.

>I vote apriplumps


I have, at this very moment, in my possession, a big plastic egg carton dealy full of "apriums."

Apparently, apriums are 3/4 apricot and 1/4 plum, pluots are 3/4 plum and 1/4 apricot, and plumcots (aka apriplums) are half and half. I guess that means those first two are really half plumcot and half either plum or apricot. Because of math and biology. Both of which I flunked in high school. So there's probably a banana in there somewhere.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:05 PM on July 24 [20 favorites]


Metafilter: there's probably a banana in there somewhere.
posted by andraste at 10:21 PM on July 24 [18 favorites]


^^ and through the wonders of science, there's probably some fish genes or puppydog's tails in there.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 10:22 PM on July 24 [3 favorites]


At a wedding buffet I mistook the horseradish for mashed potatoes. I love mashed potatoes :(
posted by the agents of KAOS at 11:19 PM on July 24 [7 favorites]


At work with catered nibbles for lunch, I thought the chicken tasted a bit like fish. It was fish.
posted by quinndexter at 11:41 PM on July 24 [2 favorites]


Now I want to attend a potluck where every item is labeled with a NOT THIS THING and never saying what it actually is.
posted by hippybear at 11:53 PM on July 24 [30 favorites]


No one else thought of a squash and wedge of cheese as best pals, hugging? Squash for cheese!
posted by batter_my_heart at 12:05 AM on July 25


I'm far more confused by the store apparently not stocking cubed cheese than I am by the whole squash thing. Maybe I am squash cheese man and simply blocked out any conscious memory of the event.
posted by wierdo at 12:06 AM on July 25 [4 favorites]


I'm far more confused by the store apparently not stocking cubed cheese

Is that a thing? I don't think it's a thing. Do you not own a knife with which to cube your own dang cheese?
posted by Sys Rq at 12:21 AM on July 25 [1 favorite]


Is that a thing? I don't think it's a thing. Do you not own a knife with which to cube your own dang cheese?

Ooh la dee da! Look who is too fancy to just gnaw on a cheese block like the rest of us.
posted by Literaryhero at 12:43 AM on July 25 [79 favorites]


I got sooo excited when my wife brought home strawberry mints, which are my favorite but hard to get.

Not.

They were greek orthodox church incense in little minty shaped pink pillows.

I love strawberry mints so much (and my memory sucks) I made the mistake twice.
posted by AlexiaSky at 12:44 AM on July 25 [55 favorites]


Both my dad and sister were merrily tucking into great chunks of pale, soft cheese from a cheese board in a French restaurant until my Mum pointed out it was the butter.
posted by jontyjago at 1:54 AM on July 25 [53 favorites]


Giving up sugar but want to keep friends? Don't store salt in the sugar jar and then forget that it's salt.
posted by Thella at 2:28 AM on July 25 [2 favorites]


So I was having dinner with my (then) SO at a Thai restaurant. This was one of those places where they garnish the plate with fruits and vegetables cut up into the shapes of flowers or ducks or whatever. My plate was garnished with a flower made from a sweet orange pepper. Now, I love me some sweet orange peppers, but didn't often buy them because at that time they were selling for like $3 each. So I cut off a sizable chunk and popped it in my mouth, chewed it up and swallowed.

As you may have guessed, it was not a sweet pepper. It was, apparently, a habanero.

My eyes got wide and started watering. I started coughing and choking, as discretely as I could. Since we were basically finished eating, there was nothing left to neutralize it with except maybe two tablespoons of rice, and some iced tea. It didn't work. My lips were on fire, my tongue was melting, and my eyeliner was starting to puddle.

Eventually, I got myself together. My SO had been watching the entire time, alternating between horror and laughing. After I calmed down, he decided he wanted to try it. He nipped off a tiny little piece, maybe 1/3 the size of my pinky fingernail. He put it in his mouth and manfully tried to keep from choking or spitting it out, while his eyes watered and he gulped down iced tea.

As he was getting himself together, the manager came over to see how we'd liked the meal. He noticed the big chunk missing from the habanero, and my SO blinking back tears, and exclaimed about how impressive it was that he had eaten that big piece and was still able to answer questions.

Did my SO tell the manager that it was actually ME who had eaten it? No, he did not! He took full credit for it.

I damn well made him pay for dinner that night, even though it was my turn.
posted by MexicanYenta at 2:41 AM on July 25 [40 favorites]


We're having work done on the house which has been tiring and overwhelming. Yesterday Mr. Kinnakeet fetched us sandwiches from a local burger chain as we could not use the kitchen. He had eaten half of his when he commented, "this is the worst fish sandwich ever." I took a close look. "That's because it's a chicken sandwich," I pointed out. "Oh," came the reply. "As a chicken sandwich it's not bad."
posted by kinnakeet at 3:03 AM on July 25 [19 favorites]


"The customer is always right" is the truncated version for public consumption. Anyone in the service industry knows the full version is, "The customer is always right, even when he's dead wrong". One is pleasant and forgiving with troubled customers for the same reason that Willie Sutton robbed banks. That's where the money is...
posted by jim in austin at 3:09 AM on July 25 [1 favorite]


I see cubed cheese in the produce section pretty often at some stores. They have coolers at the fringe of the produce section with other snack items that are not produce, such as cubed cheese and deli meat plates. So it doesn't seem totally crazy to me to think that you could pick up cheese in that area. You should probably use your eyeballs to read words before you commit to a purchase though.

I once mistook chitlins & dumplings for chicken & dumplings at a potluck, and I ate some of it. Now I look on all potential chicken & dumplings in fear.
posted by heatvision at 3:28 AM on July 25 [8 favorites]


This story just sounds depressingly like nearly every day when I was working at a big supermarket here in the UK. The humour wears off prettt quickly, especially when you're on the receiving end of the idiotic invective and aren't at liberty to explain, even politely, that they, the customer, are at fault. Sounds like the dude in this story was more polite than most who don't immediately get their way - there was no mention of threats, wishing death upon employees, or personal insults.

I'm glad the story had a happy ending, that is, an ending where a man was not rewarded for being belligerently ignorant.

Sadly, the only time I've ever seen this ending, it had a coda where my coworker got fired.
posted by Dysk at 3:43 AM on July 25 [1 favorite]


Customer Service:
I asked an employee where an item was, and she told me. She was wrong.
Well, "she" was the manager of customer service. New store policy directs that any employee must take the customer to the item on the shelf, and TOUCH it. She did not bother to get off her chair.

I know the details because one of kids I take care of, works there. It is not always easy to tell who is confused, him, or the management. After that incident, I was more willing to believe it was management.
posted by Goofyy at 4:07 AM on July 25


Vegetable oil looks a lot like apple juice to an eight year old boy who doesn't pay a lot of attention to life's details AND is breaking the rule about drinking straight from the container he just pulled from the cupboard.

Just sayin'
posted by Caxton1476 at 4:42 AM on July 25 [7 favorites]


Stories like this are why I like reading this site on a regular basis.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:47 AM on July 25 [3 favorites]


... I mistook wasabi for avocado.

The first time I ate sushi, I had already heard about the wasabi, so I avoided that trap. But no one had warned me about the pickled ginger, and my colleagues blithely let me take a big bite. I may share some of the blame; I neglected to tell them in advance that this was my first time.

A friend told me about his ex eating sushi for the first time with their teenage children. The ex was unwittingly about to take a big bite of wasabi. The ~17yo boy, who didn't get along with her real well, was just going to let it happen, but the ~13yo girl was more compassionate.
posted by Bruce H. at 4:48 AM on July 25


... until my Mum pointed out it was the butter.

Butter is a food. Margarine is merely a lubricant.
Robert Farrar Capon
The Supper of the Lamb
posted by Bruce H. at 5:09 AM on July 25 [2 favorites]


My fried mystery lump event happened at a very nice Chinese buffet. I love fried red bean paste balls and taro lumps and lotus bean filled stuff so when I saw a fried cylindrical thing right next to the sugar buns and some kind of lemon curd, I plopped one on my plate and popped the whole thing in my mouth.

It was a scallop.
posted by cobaltnine at 5:15 AM on July 25


One time I ran into our apartment, hot and thirsty from playing outside. I was maybe six? My mom was in the kitchen and there was a glass on the counter, it was beaded with water and had ice in it and I was so thirsty and I grabbed it and took a big gulp and that was my introduction to gin.

I grew up in the 60's, an era of cocktail parties and a different approach to parenting. My parents often had cocktail parties (usually with dad's colleagues from the dental school) and as an older toddler I would wander through the party asking for sips off people's drinks and (if I was lucky) the maraschino cherry or other fruit that was garnishing the drink. My mother at some point decided to break me of this habit by pouring a tiny bit of straight gin in a glass for me. I eagerly drank it down, then gagged and coughed for a couple of minutes. I then held up the glass and asked for more.

Also reminded me of this classic Cheech and Chong scene.

I also have a reverse wasabi story. A good many years ago a group of friends went out for sushi, which at the time was still relatively exotic here in Augusta, GA. At the end of the meal my friend Bubba got up to use the restroom. While he was gone the waitress came along and offered us a choice of different ice creams for dessert. When Bubba returned he ran up to me saying "Ted! Stop! What are you doing!" He had seen me getting ready to take a big bite of my green tea ice cream and thought I was eating wasabi by the spoonful.
posted by TedW at 5:16 AM on July 25 [6 favorites]


This story flabbergasted me. I've seen idiocy, and self-righteousness, and willful refusal to accept any fault for one's own mistakes, but the sheer level of enraged denial here makes me suspect something else was going on. Like the initial mistake was made in a miasma of stress, and getting home and discovering that The Cheese Wasn't was simply the Absolute Last Straw of a long horrible day of setbacks and disappointments.
posted by panglos at 5:37 AM on July 25 [4 favorites]


A couple months ago I noticed a cup sitting outside where I was working in the garden with some darkish liquid in it. I vaguely recalled seeing my husband and son out there in its vicinity. I assumed it was some iced tea and I was thirsty as hell.

Even a short time working with people who chew tobacco will forever end one's willingness to drink from strange cups.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:47 AM on July 25 [42 favorites]


As a kid I ate a whole clove thinking it was...I'm not even sure. I also made the "mayo or icing?" gamble many times (I was a mayo hating kid). My worst mistake of that sort came as an adult, though, when I grabbed a funny looking nut at a party from a little dish right next to the cherries. I was chatting with an attractive coworker and despite being happily married, my "must save face in front of pretty women" brain kicked in, and I just sat there with someone else's cherry pit in my mouth making small talk until I had a chance to escape.

My parents have a story about moving from Canada to North Carolina and mistaking sweet potato pie for pumpkin pie around thanksgiving, and the bitter disappointment it caused.
posted by Naib at 9:14 PM on July 24


I try to embrace a Southern identity that is open to new influences and people who weren't born in the South, that doesn't restrict "Southern" to mean a certain type of white person whose family fought for the Confederacy, that acknowledges that the rich diversity of the region is part of what makes it great. BUT if you came into my house and were upset that the sweet potato pie wasn't pumpkin, I would turn into a "go back where you came from, we don't want you here, you are banished from God's favorite part of creation" type moron quite fast.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:57 AM on July 25 [21 favorites]


At a ski camp in Québec, we shared our excitement with a first-time camper that the kitchen had served up a fresh round scoop of vanilla ice-cream in a bowl on each table. We insisted he dig in first, and boy did he not enjoy that huge mouthful of white lard.
posted by Kabanos at 6:12 AM on July 25 [2 favorites]


This Is Just To Say

I have eaten
the poorly labeled squash
that was in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for vegan pizza

Forgive me
it was gotdang
so cheese-like
and so cubed
posted by Kabanos at 6:19 AM on July 25 [23 favorites]


It didn't even occur to me to go harangue the customer service desk, though.

For some people, though, this is pro forma.

Case in point:

A few weeks ago we were shopping in a not-super-large grocery store. Over the intercom, we heard "Attention all staff - if you see a black and white-striped roller bag, please notify the customer service desk."

A minute or two later, we're up closer to the front on the store and hear a woman haranguing the customer service desk over - you guessed it - her lost bag. "Someone must have stolen it! How could you let this happen?" she was shouting at the staff.

As we continue shopping, the woman is began doing a tour of the store (again, this isn't a supercentre - it's a relatively small downtown grocery store), wringing her hands over her "stolen bag" and yelling at various staff that they "let this happen."

She is accompanied by a weary-looking fellow who is trailing her reluctantly. We assume this is her spouse.

Flash forward a few minutes, and we're in the produce department where, lo and behold, sits the distinctively-striped roller bag, in plain sight, over by the pineapples.

Now, had the woman not been running around the store being a total asshole to every employee she could find, we would have been in more of a hurry to let her know where her bag was. We figured we'd let her sweat a bit more, because by this time she had done a few full laps of the store (but had evidently not taken the time to take a detour through the produce department).

A few minutes later, we're waiting in line at the checkout when the woman and her hapless consort happen by, still in frantic search mode -- and she's still yelling about how they "let someone steal" her bag," and wondering "How could this happen?"

Taking pity on the guy who was with her -- along with the store's staff -- I walked up to him and said "Uh, I think the bag you're looking for is over by the pineapples."

He threw his hands to the sky while looking upwards in a "Why hast thou forsaken me?" gesture. Then he planted his hands firmly on his hips and said to the woman, "It's over by the pineapples."

Then he shouted, loud enough for the benefit of everyone who had watched this play out, "THAT'S RIGHT! THE PINEAPPLES STOLE YOUR BAG!"

We left with the distinct impression that this wasn't the first time such an incident had occurred.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:33 AM on July 25 [66 favorites]


My grocery store does not sell cubed butternut squash. Have you ever tried to cut one up? It's a bitch. I would say something to management, but I don't want to become one of the people featured in one of these stories.

On the topic at hand, as a young one, I once thought that apple cider vinegar must be some new and interesting type of apple cider, and so drank an entire gulp of it. That shit burns like fire.
posted by backwards compatible at 6:36 AM on July 25 [1 favorite]


I once had the experience of treating a lovely guest from Hong Kong to a sushi dinner in Tokyo, and she wanted more wasabi.

A LOT more wasabi.

When I translated her request for the waitress, she was rewarded with an ice cream scoop of wasabi.

She ate it. And loved it.

(Separate story about how the waitress kept trying to confirm everything I said with the guest from Hong Kong ... )
posted by oheso at 6:44 AM on July 25 [2 favorites]


Reading the article, I was with the author, until I got to this point:

Do any of us really NEED the cheese?

To which the answer is yes, yes, a thousand times yes, of course I desperately need the cheese. As do all people who are not utter savages. Every kind you have, if it were possible for me to eat that much, from the artisanal Venezuelan Beaver Cheese to the knockoff store-brand individually wrapped processed American slices. If I ever had to give up cheese I would be questioning whether life was still worth living, so yes, I NEED the cheese.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:13 AM on July 25 [17 favorites]


Sounds like the dude in this story was more polite than most who don't immediately get their way - there was no mention of threats, wishing death upon employees, or personal insults.

Yeah, a lot of people simply lose their humanity when they go shopping. I worked as a supermarket cashier for a little while in college, and I once accidentally scanned Customer Y’s can of cream of mushroom soup into Customer X’s order. (Customer X hadn't put down the little plastic separator bar after her groceries on the belt.) Would have taken me about five seconds to apologize and void it from her total. However, her first instinct was to slap my hand. Hard. I'd put her up against any ruler-wielding nun any day.

What's more, Customer Y thought it was the funniest thing she had ever seen. I mentioned it to the boss later; she said, “Yeah, some people get stressed out. Just be more careful about keeping orders separate.”
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:03 AM on July 25 [4 favorites]




This Is Just To Say

I have eaten
the poorly labeled squash


You walked right past the plumcots and apriplumps and apriums and pluots and went with the squash anyway?
posted by BrashTech at 8:18 AM on July 25 [6 favorites]


I was in a rush. I had guests waiting.
posted by Kabanos at 8:31 AM on July 25 [4 favorites]


My brother, in his youth, once loaded up his salad bar plate with what he gleefully assumed was canned cranberry jelly. Pickled beets are NOT the same.
posted by The otter lady at 8:32 AM on July 25 [2 favorites]


Giving up sugar but want to keep friends? Don't store salt in the sugar jar and then forget that it's salt.

I did this in a cup of hot tea once. It was my first spit take.
posted by maryr at 8:34 AM on July 25


Once ate a piece of dried cat food by mistake. This was probably 35 years ago and I still remember the taste.
posted by ElleElle at 8:37 AM on July 25


Mistaking cubed squash for cheese isn't weird, it's not usually to have cubed cheese in the same area as various other prepared vegetables for assembling crudite platters. It's the bit where they then want actual cubed cheese for the same price as the cubed squash that makes it special.
posted by tavella at 8:42 AM on July 25


I will say I'd forgotten about the salted tea until the comment I highlighted above. My most memorable moment of food-disappointment was the year I stayed in town for Thanksgiving and dined with some grad student coworkers. They had made turkey brined in cheap beer, which was excellent! They had also made a nice big pot of mashed potatoes next to the gravy except that no, it was not mashed potatoes, adventurous epicurious folks that they were, it was mashed cauliflower and EVERY GUEST made the same mistake I did. WHO MAKES MASHED CAULIFLOWER FOR THANKSGIVING!?
posted by maryr at 8:44 AM on July 25 [3 favorites]


Okay but can you tell the difference between a chihuahua and a muffin? Shar Peis and croissants? Labradoodles and fried chicken?

No need. I'll take them all.
posted by srboisvert at 9:04 AM on July 25 [7 favorites]


I once thought that apple cider vinegar must be some new and interesting type of apple cider, and so drank an entire gulp of it. That shit burns like fire.

Apple cider vinegar is, if I recall correctly, the substance that Bruce Robinson put in the lighter fluid can prop without telling Richard E. Grant (who generally avoids alcohol) beforehand, so as to get an authentic reaction face for this scene.
posted by flabdablet at 9:17 AM on July 25 [3 favorites]


Once ate a piece of dried cat food by mistake.

I used to eat dry dog food on purpose. Crunchy, savory, mmmmm. I was under ten years old, and I am now a vegetarian, so…
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:27 AM on July 25 [3 favorites]


My major substitution mistake was when I was heating the pan to stir fry something. I found out that corn oil bottles are the same shape and color as karo syrup bottle.

It took ages to get the smell of burnt karo syrup out of the house because the smoke the wood and curtains. For years after, whenever I got a sinus infection, it would be heralded by the smell of burnt karo syrup.
posted by happyroach at 9:29 AM on July 25 [3 favorites]


I was sitting on a washing machine, eating Entenmann's rich frosted donuts while brain-meltingly stoned, and licked some chocolate off of my hand.

It was laundry soap.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:31 AM on July 25 [3 favorites]


Yesterday I bought a roast chicken at the local Mariano's. I had to wait though because the woman ahead of me rotated every single chicken container and bent down and looked up each chicken's butt. She then saw me and apologized and said something explanatory but dammit I couldn't make it out and now I am left hanging just like you...
posted by srboisvert at 9:32 AM on July 25 [9 favorites]


I really want to meet the person who puts raw cubed butternut squash on a crudite platter.
posted by nevercalm at 9:35 AM on July 25 [5 favorites]


People don't put raw chopped onion on platters either, but they are in the same cooler area as other preprocessed vegetables, some of which are for crudites and some of which are ingredients fr cooking. At least at the stores I go to.
posted by tavella at 9:47 AM on July 25 [1 favorite]


WHO MAKES MASHED CAULIFLOWER FOR THANKSGIVING!?
Use cauliflower as a substitute for mashed potatoes, rice, and any joy in your life. You have no friends now, there is only cauliflower.
(source)
posted by suetanvil at 9:51 AM on July 25 [21 favorites]


This is way more about the failures (and embarrassment) of "modern" journalism. The story is about cubed squash, but the vomi-blooog opens with an unrelated, "found" image of squash shaped squashes.

And yes, get off my lawn.
posted by humboldt32 at 9:57 AM on July 25 [5 favorites]


I hope the jerk got a severe case of butternut squash dermatitis.
posted by bgrebs at 10:06 AM on July 25


Even a short time working with people who chew tobacco will forever end one's willingness to drink from strange cups.
posted by Dip Flash


Welp, if nobody else is gonna do it...
eponysterical
posted by workerant at 10:15 AM on July 25 [7 favorites]


Last week at work, we had a waffle bar. So exciting and fancy! It was the leftovers of another catered event. I got my waffle, and to my delight there were several bowls of whipped cream, powdered sugar, and fruit. In the spirit of Leslie Knope, I covered my waffle with a mountain of whipped cream and drizzled syrup on it, then took it back to my desk.

Reader, it was whipped butter. A mountain of it.
posted by zoetrope at 10:22 AM on July 25 [8 favorites]


A good friend is a marvelous cook, baker, etc. and often makes us something and drops it off on our porch while we are at work. One Christmas season we arrived home to one of her packages, and inside were a few little boxes, each with a sphere in it, about the size of a golf ball. My spouse said "Yum, chocolate truffles!" And bit into a bath bomb. She didn't get a refund, but she did get a promise to advise us when ambiguous looking gifts were not food.
posted by outfielder at 10:28 AM on July 25 [5 favorites]


I have knowingly tasted Lush products before because COME ON how can they smell so good and not also taste even slightly magnificent.

spoiler alert they taste bad
posted by poffin boffin at 11:26 AM on July 25 [23 favorites]


When my parents were first married, my mother found my father eating some chocolate pudding with "whipped cream" on it, so she took a bite. It was sour cream. Apparently this is a thing, and I was warned from birth never to taste Dad's chocolate pudding.

She stayed married to him despite this.
posted by blurker at 11:27 AM on July 25 [3 favorites]


first of all sour cream is better than whipped cream
posted by poffin boffin at 11:31 AM on July 25 [7 favorites]


In Canada, we have No Name brand, which is plain yellow labels with black text. No pictures. Once while buying flaked tuna I almost didn't notice that one can was tuna dinner AKA cat food.

I know that I'm going to hell because I left the tuna dinner on top of the stacks of flaked tuna rather than returning it to it's correct home one aisle away. Yup, definitely hellbound.
posted by nobeagle at 11:34 AM on July 25 [8 favorites]


Then there was the time I mistook kefir for regular milk. As with the buttermilk, it led to a very unsatisfying bowl of cereal.
posted by zeusianfog at 11:37 AM on July 25


This story reminds me of Vinegar Boy (updated link).
posted by asperity at 11:51 AM on July 25 [5 favorites]


As a teenager visiting New Zealand, I was excited to discover the big bowl of nutella at breakfast. I slathered it liberally on my toast.

It was Vegemite.

They are not interchangeable.
posted by telepanda at 12:01 PM on July 25 [11 favorites]


first of all sour cream is better than whipped cream

Not in pudding.
posted by maryr at 12:30 PM on July 25 [2 favorites]


But probably in Vegemite.
posted by maryr at 12:31 PM on July 25


Especially in pudding; actually in all situations where cloyingly oversweet whipped cream is usually called for, I demand sour cream. DEMAND IT I SAY
posted by poffin boffin at 12:33 PM on July 25 [2 favorites]


Sour cream belongs in onion dip and nowhere else.
posted by maryr at 12:36 PM on July 25 [6 favorites]


thank you for calling poffin enterprises, your opinions are important to us, please stay on the line and someone will be with you shortly
posted by poffin boffin at 12:42 PM on July 25 [9 favorites]


Oh no, all these years I've been calling boffin enterprises! Their help line must be so confused!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:46 PM on July 25 [6 favorites]


This Is Just To Say...

...that I read most MetaFilter posts hoping that someone will rite a pome.
posted by BlueHorse at 12:51 PM on July 25 [9 favorites]


After a whole evening of studying for finals, I finally went to bed and took off my glasses. Predictably, I needed a drink of water after that. Half-asleep, figuring that there would be a bottle in the kitchen, I went, without putting on said glasses.
A bug gulp of vegetable oil (that I even swallowed!) wakes me up quite effectively, I discovered.
posted by Nieshka at 12:54 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]


Y'all just need to start putting cornbread in your buttermilk, that's a delicious treat. No I am NOT a hundred-year old hillbilly why would you ask me that?
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:56 PM on July 25 [5 favorites]


Lessons learned from living with a blind husband: the only thing stored in a tube that stays on the bathroom counter is the toothpaste.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:03 PM on July 25 [19 favorites]


actually in all situations where cloyingly oversweet whipped cream is usually called for

If you find the usual pre-made whipped cream "cloyingly oversweet," try making your own unsweetened whipped cream. If you have an electric mixer, it's easy. If you don't have an electric mixer, well, it's a good workout for your arms.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:20 PM on July 25 [2 favorites]


At a church potluck when I was six my mother called me to her table.

"Tevin," she said, "Try this, you'll really like it."

"What is it on those grapes?"

"Um, whipped cream."

I took a bite and gagged.

"That's not whipped cream!"

"No, it's mayonnaise."

"WHY DID YOU TELL ME IT WAS WHIPPED CREAM?!"

"Because you always say you don't like mayonnaise but I thought you were just being picky."

Reader, I forgave her because I was in church and feared the devil might strike me dead in my sleep if the sun set on my anger.

But I never forgot.

I will never forget.
posted by Tevin at 1:35 PM on July 25 [23 favorites]


Ah yes, once I went to the Chinese buffet as a teenager with my mom. I was a bit picky back then and I had a salad. You know how the salad dressing is in a large cylindrical tub with a ladle in it? Well, at that particular buffet, so was the hot sauce. I thought it was French dressing. Wasn't labeled either.
posted by IndigoRain at 1:39 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]


first of all sour cream is better than whipped cream

Not in pudding.


In Denmark at least, sour cream is as common an accompaniment as whipped cream to (sweet) pies, puddings, etc.

try making your own unsweetened whipped cream. If you have an electric mixer, it's easy. If you don't have an electric mixer, well, it's a good workout for your arms.

Catering trick: take a plastic food bag, splash your cream into it, twist the top closed, making sure there's plenty of air in the bag, then shake vigorously. You'll have lovely whipped cream in no time, with much less effort than whipping by hand the old fashioned way. It's a touch quicker than using an electric mixer, even. Snip the corner off and you've got it in a piping bag and all.
posted by Dysk at 1:40 PM on July 25 [25 favorites]


WHO MAKES MASHED CAULIFLOWER FOR THANKSGIVING!?

My father's girlfriend used to as some kind of low-carb thing, and it was great. I looked at a recipe for it, though, and it must have been about half cream cheese.
posted by dilettante at 1:47 PM on July 25 [2 favorites]


At the family Thanksgiving table, when I was about six, I mistakenly served myself a piece of turkey liver - NOT the delicious dark meat I thought it was. I took a big (too big TBH) bite, and repeatedly gagged trying to chew it enough to swallow.
My mother noticed me struggling and I got permission to discretely spit it into her napkin. She tasted my "dark meat" and was both amused and sympathetic.
posted by dbmcd at 2:00 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]


Lessons learned from living with a blind husband: the only thing stored in a tube that stays on the bathroom counter is the toothpaste.

After all these years, I still have not learned to keep the Chapstik and the glue stick in separate desk drawers.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 2:03 PM on July 25 [9 favorites]


I mistakenly served myself a piece of turkey liver - NOT the delicious dark meat I thought it was

oh lord i worked line in a french bistro where the chef was very much of the nose to tail meat usage bent, and i cannot count the number of times i was given a hearty and dark stew for staff meal which most certainly contained things i did not truly wish to inquire about. one time it was definitely chicken hearts though. they're very crunchy.

also our sous delighted in eating fish eye soup in a big glass bowl in front of any new waitstaff to test their mettle
posted by poffin boffin at 2:07 PM on July 25 [7 favorites]


One time, I was in south Georgia for my Nana's funeral and we were at a funeral luncheon. At this luncheon, there were several varieties of finger sandwich. Now, I am a very picky eater and often find eating with people I don't know well to be difficult, as they are likely to provide very little I am able to consume, but I felt like little finger sandwiches of pineapple and cream cheese would be acceptable.

Friends, it was not cream cheese. It was mayonnaise.

Fortunately, I was consoled by my Great-Aunt Dot's caramel cake.
posted by darchildre at 2:22 PM on July 25 [2 favorites]


Am I imagining it or was it a thing in the 80s to make cupcakes with sour cream filling? I can only find recipes where sour cream was added to the mix. This was definitely a !surprise! filling. Yuck.
posted by AFABulous at 2:40 PM on July 25


If you find the usual pre-made whipped cream "cloyingly oversweet," try making your own unsweetened whipped cream. If you have an electric mixer, it's easy. If you don't have an electric mixer, well, it's a good workout for your arms.

Protip: if making whipped cream by hand (or with an electric mixer), make sure you use a chilled bowl.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:49 PM on July 25 [4 favorites]


Yeah, stressed out bowls make it taste funny.
posted by uncleozzy at 3:02 PM on July 25 [13 favorites]


I feel good knowing that poffin boffin and my Dad would have gotten along.

I love sour cream. But on PUDDING?
posted by blurker at 3:05 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]


I still remember the time about 20 years ago that I took a big bite of a Dunkin' Donuts Boston Kreme donut and immediately discovered that it had accidentally been filled with lemon jelly rather than vanilla cream.
posted by dfan at 3:24 PM on July 25


Mom always put a cup of mayonnaise in the middle of her Jell-O ring molds, both savory and sweet. I never used it, but the older people at church suppers seemed to like it.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 3:31 PM on July 25


All these customer service stories have blurred the rails enough, so here's my unrelated-related thing:

At the supermarket once, I placed my items too close on the conveyor belt to those of the woman ahead of me, and I forgot to use the ||BAR OF SEPARATION||. So the kid starts ringing up my stuff on her bill.

She says, hey wait a sec, and the kid goes, you're not together? And we have a fun, sweetly-awkward laugh because we're of an age, etc, but the checker reconfirms by asking, so you're alone?

Reader, it was a Friday night.

Her order entire order: fudge brownie ice cream, wine in a box

Mine: frozen pizza, beer

....loooooong, not-nearly-so-sweetly-awkward pause....
posted by Caxton1476 at 3:31 PM on July 25 [28 favorites]


Did you ask her out?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:34 PM on July 25 [20 favorites]


Aw, that could've been a great story for the grandkids.
posted by AFABulous at 3:58 PM on July 25 [14 favorites]


Mum had a carton of buttermilk in the fridge when I was a kid and it was the first time I'd seen such a thing so naturally I was like "Butter AND milk?" and took a big swig. I did the same thing once with with dad's scotch, because I thought it was liquid butterscotch. Of course not.
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:10 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]


one time it was definitely chicken hearts though. they're very crunchy.

I was at a company dinner on-travel at our Datacenter on the wrong side of the Hudson, somewhere in the sticks but where we could still spot some skyline through the trees... we traveled into a nearby urban area, and found a seedy warehouse that contained a marvelous and elegant Brazillian Churrasco. I knew immediately what was up, because there was one in Westboro, MA, where a previous employer had their datacenter. Delicious roast meats are a sign your community is essential to the modern knowledge economy.

There will be some odd and unfamiliar stuff brought on what looks more like a lethally slender Venetian rapier than a skewer, served to you with a short-sword, either carved off or pushed off. No matter what it is, and the server will tell you in English and not bother with Portuguese or any sort of language to make it seem appealing, accept it and eat it. But only one, as the march of meat is neverending.

No-one else at the table would try it, but one of the skewers was full of these little dried-fig looking things. "Chicken Heart?" the server asked. I had already learned my lesson. I of course said yes.

They were tender, juicy, seasoned miraculously, and it was the Most Chickeny Chicken that ever Chickened. It was the darkest and meatiest of dark meat, and it was delicious. I was thankful I only had one, because I needed a quart of water to settle things after, and missed the bourbon-soaked pork spare-rib skewer that wandered by next.

"Why bourbon?' asked a colleague, still learning the way of shutting up and accepting the meat.
"Because only beef is good enough for rum," was the reply.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:48 PM on July 25 [3 favorites]


Churrasco chicken hearts are indeed quite delicious, full of flavor, chewy but not rubbery.
posted by tavella at 5:16 PM on July 25 [3 favorites]


Churrasco chicken hearts are indeed quite delicious, full of flavor, chewy but not rubbery.

Also good when grilled and served on a bun in the place of a hamburger patty.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:52 PM on July 25


IRFH, naw, I was too dismayed to think of that on the spot. It occurred to me only in the parking lot. But that would've made a helluva Dear Sugar segment, right?
posted by Caxton1476 at 8:49 PM on July 25 [2 favorites]


Was eating at a Japanese Steakhouse when the server grabbed the wrong pitcher of dark brown liquid and refilled my glass of Coca Cola with soy sauce. There was a spit take.
posted by Defective_Monk at 5:59 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]


also our sous delighted in eating fish eye soup in a big glass bowl in front of any new waitstaff to test their mettle

Fish eye soup pffft!! oheso.SO loves fish eyeballs. The bigger and slimier, the better.
posted by oheso at 6:43 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


rtha: Having worked at Whole Foods for a couple years, I have lot of stories like this. The best one was the guy who didn't believe that the Granny Smith apples were apples because the sign said coconuts.

Now I'm really worried for people who saw the Spring Water sign in front of bright blue windshield washer fluid at a gas station. At the time I was amused, but now I'm concerned. At least it wasn't coolant.


bonobothegreat: Hot summer Day stomping around Seoul, after maybe/sort of quitting my job, I bought a banana popcicle that tasted terrible and bit into it to find it was full of corn. A god damned corncicle!

After eating a fig bar that was distinctly not a brownie, I realize this is the worst sort of mistake - getting your hopes up about one thing and eating something that is not that thing at all. Maybe it was a good fig bar, and maybe that was a great cornsicle, but when you're set on a brownie or banana popsicle, something that is distinctly not that thing is awful.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:43 AM on July 26 [6 favorites]


After all these years, I still have not learned to keep the Chapstik and the glue stick in separate desk drawers.

...and after the first time, you're unable to warn anyone else in the household, either.

"Where's the chapstick?"
"Mmph."
"Oh, here it is!"
"MMMPH!"
posted by leotrotsky at 8:20 AM on July 26 [16 favorites]


this is the worst sort of mistake - getting your hopes up about one thing and eating something that is not that thing at all

Minds me of a Pogo cartoon I saw as a child...

Basil McTabolism:
Gack! The worst coffee I ever tasted.

Churchy:
That there is paint.

Basil:
That so? Oh, well, for paint it ain’t bad at all.
posted by flabdablet at 8:39 AM on July 26 [7 favorites]


something that is distinctly not that thing is awful

I still haven't come to terms with the betrayal of eating a chocolate cookie which had what I, quite reasonably, thought were large soft chocolate chunks, but were in fact raisins.

wHY
posted by poffin boffin at 9:36 AM on July 26 [7 favorites]


i don't even dislike raisins but i do dislike TOMFOOLERY
posted by poffin boffin at 9:36 AM on July 26 [16 favorites]


I still haven't come to terms with the betrayal of eating a chocolate cookie which had what I, quite reasonably, thought were large soft chocolate chunks, but were in fact raisins.

Honestly I am not super surprised to learn that you are Tiny Tina.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:38 AM on July 26


(which also makes you Aloy)
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:38 AM on July 26


i don't know what this means so i've decided to be outraged
posted by poffin boffin at 9:40 AM on July 26 [4 favorites]


My story is 6-year-old me finding a large glass of unattended 7-up on the counter and taking a big swig, only to discover that it was raw egg white. Important life lesson, right there.
posted by Maxwell's demon at 9:47 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]




When I was a kid and starting to have growth spurts I would occasionally get these massive cravings for sugar. Our kitchen had a special slotted shelf under the hung cabinets for a series of square, roughly quart sized measuring cups where my mother kept basic stuff like sugar, salt, flower, etc. Kind of like a built-in spice rack for basic ingredients.

One night the craving struck again and so I snuck down into the kitchen, quietly lifted a soup spoon out of the drawer, approached the shelf, scooped out a solid heaping spoonful of sugar, eyes closed in blissful anticipation of granulated sweetness, closing my salivating mouth over the spoon and its delicious payload...
Let's just say that an unexpected heaping spoonful of straight up salt can hit you like a big rig at freeway speed dragging a live high voltage line. I felt like my eyes were popping out of my skull as various other parts of my body tried to either eject the offending material and/or escape in random directions. I was gagging and retching, spoon, measuring cup and salt fell to the floor, my parents woke up and, after making sure I was OK, burst out laughing.

Somehow sugar and salt had switched places in the rack. My mother never said one way or another but she was a VERY meticulous person and so I am forced to believe that this was not an accident but some sort of lesson.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 10:01 AM on July 26 [4 favorites]


So nobody else has done the thing where you accidentally eat the wrong thing and you cannot figure out what's wrong at first? That's happened multiple times to me - like the time I ate scooped, whipped-cream-covered butter instead of ice cream (it was a prank, not a mistake, in that case) my brain just went "huh that's wrong" but couldn't immediately identify what it was that I did eat exactly. I remember the first thing I noticed was the unexpected temperature instead of the flavor. Same with the coffee grounds in the grilled cheese (again a prank...on the same trip) or the pepper jelly (actual mistake).
posted by R a c h e l at 10:05 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


When I studied abroad in Prague in college, they had a welcome banquet-buffet-mixer-thing for us on our first day there. I was bleary and tired and overwhelmed. I saw what looked like a giant bowl of delicious chocolate mousse, sitting on a table among less appetizing things like meat and crackers. YUM. I filled a cup with it. I was so happy to have chocolate mousse after a long travel experience and so delighted that my first meal in Prague was going to be a big bowl of chocolate mousse.

It was paté.

I don't know how I didn't smell it. I was tired!
posted by millipede at 10:07 AM on July 26 [2 favorites]


Now I'm really worried for people who saw the Spring Water sign in front of bright blue windshield washer fluid at a gas station. At the time I was amused, but now I'm concerned. At least it wasn't coolant.

The Hy-Vee stores in our area have carts with cars attached, and my toddler loves them. We usually go to the store with carts that have the car section up high and within view, but this time we were at a different Hy-Vee where the cars are in front and low to the ground. Bad idea! We'd managed to get done with shopping, get through checkout, and I wheeled the cart out of the store to the car.

Only then did I get a look at him from the front and realize that he'd somehow found a gallon of windshield wiper fluid and pulled it into his car seat next to him while still strapped in tight (really tight!) and without me noticing at all.

He was VERY PROUD of having picked out the "wadder" all by himself and that gorgeous smile turned into a tantrum when we had to return the "wadder" to the store.
posted by aabbbiee at 2:49 PM on July 26 [4 favorites]


I tell this story frequently enough not because it's particularly amusing but because it serves as an excuse.

Back when I was maybe 6 I was over at another family's house for a big gathering. I loaded up my plate with a bunch of snacks including some nice big green grapes, and sat down on the steps to eat. When you are 6 and expecting a sweet, juicy grape, and you have never tasted an olive before, an olive is probably the worst thing imaginable to put in your mouth. I still pick them off my pizza. (yes, even the black ones)
posted by ropeladder at 4:48 PM on July 26 [4 favorites]


An old roommate sometimes told the story about the time he drank from a glass of milk expecting it to be water. He always claimed that it was a sort of epiphany for him about what milk actually was ("it's....globules of fat suspended in liquid!")

It didn't put him off milk, so far as I know, but it was something he sometimes just still marvelled at now and then.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:41 PM on July 26


Somehow sugar and salt had switched places in the rack. My mother never said one way or another but she was a VERY meticulous person and so I am forced to believe that this was not an accident but some sort of lesson.

That's the sort of thing that happens to people who don't share recipes for butternut squash and cheese.

ಠ_ಠ
posted by sysinfo at 9:42 PM on July 26 [11 favorites]


An old roommate sometimes told the story about the time he drank from a glass of milk expecting it to be water. He always claimed that it was a sort of epiphany for him about what milk actually was ("it's....globules of fat suspended in liquid!")

That happened to Too Much Coffee Man, but he thought it was coffee. Obviously caused some upset and philosophical musing on the nature of things.

Let loose in my grandmother's kitchen I once combined all the things I liked into a cocktail. Orange squash, cream, mints and some ice. It was disgusting, but I drank it. As I approached the bottom where the mints were, the combination of mint syrup, cream and orange was exceptionally awful. Sometimes great tastes don't taste great together ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by asok at 4:44 AM on July 27


I once didn't realize the water was actually Sprite. That'll about take the back of your head off if you gulp down a big mouthful of something carbonated without knowing it.
posted by Etrigan at 9:49 AM on July 27 [2 favorites]


sysinfo: That's the sort of thing that happens to people who don't share recipes for butternut squash and cheese.


Mea culpa! I failed MetaFilter in the worst way possible!

*flogs self*
Parmesan-Roasted Butternut Squash

Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 lbs of butternut squash, peeled, cut into roughly 1 inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup of heavy cream
  • 3 sage leaves
  • 2/3 cup of finely grated parmigiano-reggiano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
Part 1:
Preheat over to 400°F, place rack in middle
Toss all ingredients except the cheese in a shallow 2 quart baking dish.
Cover and bake for 30 minutes.

Part 2:
Stir in half of the cheese.
Sprinkle other half on top.
Now roast uncovered for about 20 minutes until squash pieces become tender and start turning brown.

Part 3:
Let sit for 5 minutes during which the cream will thicken.

Part 4:
Eat.
*continues flogging self*
posted by Hairy Lobster at 1:06 PM on July 27 [23 favorites]


Since I mentioned mushrooms in the title, here's an interesting twitter thread* by mefi's own jimbob on the dangers of a mushroom identification app.

*not so much a thread as a bunch of fascinating/horrified replies
posted by AFABulous at 1:08 PM on July 27 [1 favorite]


Yeah the replies to that post I made on Twitter about the mushroom ID app are interesting. Most people alarmed, but a significant number of people with more faith in tech than I (and probably less understanding of 'machine learning') wondering what the problem is. After all, computers/machine learning can do anything way better than humans, right, if you give the software enough data? How is a mushroom ID app different from a book that tells you how to ID mushrooms?

But a photo isn't enough to ID a mushroom. You simply aren't giving the model enough data. I was also alarmed that the app claims to identify any mushroom, when the best plant ID apps can only do trees from a certain region, or common garden plants. I was also alarmed that the app's description refers to mushrooms as 'plants'. And that the other apps by the mushroom ID app's creators include some kind of...Santa Claus simulator...?
posted by Jimbob at 1:39 PM on July 27 [1 favorite]


First time I was in Korea a kid was struggling to get his pushcart full of puppies up a curb. I grabbed the front end and he offered me a puppy. A cute one but what am I going to do with a dog when I'm only here for 6 months?

I met the people I was supposed to meet and we had dinner. It was not pork and it was not chicken. Perhaps unusual to me seasoning? It was tasty whatever it was. So I asked. Gong-ah-ji. I don't know that word so I ask again and the smiling answer is Puppeeee with the accent on the multiple e's. I've been treated like royalty and better behave like I have been.

I didn't feel nauseous. It was good. I don't tell people I once ate a puppy.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 6:44 PM on July 27 [2 favorites]


Epuppeeesterical, Mr. Yuck.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:22 PM on July 27 [2 favorites]


Parmesan-Roasted Butternut Squash

Woohoo! You have my thanks.
posted by sysinfo at 10:52 PM on July 27 [2 favorites]


I'm a curious eater, therefore I'm not easily daunted by, for example, accidentally having my strawberries with raw horseradish.

That happened at a charming little café that served their potato fritters and salmon with fruit, and one heap of whipped cream and one of raw horseradish. This is so you could mix your own level of mild horse radish, which I was unaware of. So I only started on the strawberries after both salmon and that disappointingly mild horseradish were gone.

Less successfully, I nibbled a rose petal once, after learning that marzipan is made with rosewater.

The stuff, however, that I've accidentally eaten or drunk that's not even meant for consumption!

Tempting heap of white crystals on the kitchen floor? Sugar! Nope, dishwater powder.

Bottle of soda grabbed from the car's back seat? Nope, antifreeze - gee, there's a reason they put a label on each bottle warning to only fill with potables grrr!

Dipped the little flambéed skewer of prawns into the still burning alcohol in the aluminum cup it was served over? Nope, denatured alcohol, and there was a similar incident at a vacation where they served little bowls of liquid to clean your fingers after the chicken.

But strawberries with horseradish? I recommend the experiment.
posted by flamewise at 4:15 AM on July 28


Most people alarmed, but a significant number of people with more faith in tech than I (and probably less understanding of 'machine learning') wondering what the problem is. After all, computers/machine learning can do anything way better than humans, right, if you give the software enough data?

As some wise person I can't find attribution info for once said, "Computers make very fast, very accurate mistakes." The problem is that they're good at so many things that we don't question them enough. See also the people who follow the advice of their GPSes into lakes.
posted by maryr at 11:27 AM on July 28 [2 favorites]


I'm jumping in late on this one, but just found out about this via the sidebar, so hopefully I am excused for being tardy. It's yet another story I can only share with Metafilter, because everyone else seems to care even LESS about it.
Back when I was living with my grandparents in Georgia, I would occasionally see my grandmother go into the kitchen, take the top off a plastic kitchen glass, grab a spoon, and put some brown powder into her mouth.
It seemed to look like Nestle' Quik or cocoa powder.
As a curious 6 year old who loved the taste of chocolate, I decided one day that I was going to have a bit of that powder. I got a tablespoon, dug in, got a nice rounded serving and put it into my mouth.

And immediately started gagging, coughing and looking for some place other than the kitchen floor to throw up.

That, my friends, is how I discovered that my grandma was a fan of Red Seal Dry Snuff.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 12:04 PM on July 28 [9 favorites]


when I was about 2 I thought that children's Tylenol was grape soda so I downed a bottle

Hahah. When I was 2-3 Grandma locked me in the station wagon with her keys. I remember being unable to unlock the door with my baby strength like she was coaching me to do, but totally being able to push out the small red candies from the foil pack in her purse. They weren't as good as most candy, but candy is candy, right?

I don't remember the denouement of this one-act drama, but I'm told it involved misdirection, a broken window, and syrup of ipecac.
posted by infinitewindow at 7:16 PM on July 29 [2 favorites]


My dad once thought he was buying a dog so they could dye it pink and use it as a mascot, but when they came back it was butchered, just like Mr. Yuck's puppy.

We were at the Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii once when I was a kid, and they had chunks of banana that you could dip in an unlabeled bowl of what looked like sugar. I LOVED sugar, but didn't think it was sugar. I treated it like salt. They were sure I was mistaken. Everyone else in my family dunked their banana chunks in the bowl enthusiastically. Everyone else made complaints at theirs, but I quite liked mine. It was, in fact, salt.
posted by aniola at 10:16 AM on July 30


The first time I had a big ol bite of wasabi I had this weird tingling, drawing feeling at the base of my skull. I thought I was having a stroke.
posted by BoscosMom at 10:56 AM on July 30 [1 favorite]


I once took a bite out of a urinal cake that was sitting in the soap dish near the sink in a public toilet because I thought it was some kind of magical enormous lolly.
posted by turbid dahlia at 6:31 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


JFC turbid dahlia, how are you still alive?
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:12 PM on July 30


Also, this was a very long time ago, right?
posted by maryr at 9:07 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]


So loving all these stories. Here's mine:

My mother decided to make a recipe for cookies from the Girl Scout cookbook, full of easy recipes to make with your daughter. This particular recipe involved crumbling up vanilla wafers but she misread/misunderstood the ingredient list due to being an immigrant/ not a native English reader, and procured frozen waffles instead.

I distinctly remember, being her Kitchen Helper, that "crumbling" waffles just didn't seem to be a thing that could be done (I was all of 7 years old at the time, but I knew what "crumbling" entailed.)

So I read the ingredient list carefully, and tried to explain that she had the wrong ingredient, that "wafers" and "waffles" just weren't the same thing at all. Of course, I was much aware of frozen waffles than she was, due to the Ego frozen waffle commercials on heavy rotation during Saturday morning cartoons.
posted by honey badger at 9:32 AM on July 31 [2 favorites]


Strawberry cream cheese? Nope, lox. And my mother then hated lox to her dying day.
Cheesecake? Nope, a wedge of Brie, dumped in the trash by a disappointed 12-year-old.

On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving I decided, once, that the teenagers should help out, and I assigned the pecan pies to my son and his best friend. In the oven the pies smoked like crazy, which I wrote off to not having the cleanest oven in the world. But it kept getting worse and worse and they looked weird so I finally took them out and dipped a finger in. "These are oily!"
And my son asks quietly, as if to file the information away into his databank, "So, mom, corn syrup . . . Not the same as corn oil?"
posted by SLC Mom at 10:06 AM on August 3 [4 favorites]


I never met him, but the story around my family's table on Easter is my grandfather howling after mistaking preserved ground horseradish for mashed potatoes.
posted by dagosto at 1:02 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


I am reminded of how I used to eat literally any powdered food/drink item as a little kid. Spoonful of sugar? Yay! Packets of Equal? Sounds good to me. Bullion cubes? Yum! Kool-Aid ain't so great, but Swiss Miss packets are, especially the ones with the otherwise useless tiny marshmallows. But if you want truly odd, but surprisingly good to a 6 year old, it has to be Lipton instant tea. By the spoonful. Christ, what is wrong with me?
posted by wierdo at 2:01 PM on August 7 [1 favorite]


Christ, what is wrong with me?

For a start, you're probably pretty dehydrated.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 4:13 PM on August 7 [5 favorites]


I am reminded of how I used to eat literally any powdered food/drink item as a little kid. Spoonful of sugar? Yay! Packets of Equal? Sounds good to me. Bullion cubes? Yum!

And this has reminded me of an ex I had who would do shots of random condiments. Like, he would take the bottle of barbecue sauce out of the fridge, take a little swig from it, put the cap on and put it back. Or another time, it'd be soy sauce. Or mustard. Or whatever.

At the time I found it endearingly quirky but he turned out to be a super-jerk so fuck that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:30 PM on August 7 [1 favorite]


Bullion cubes? Yum!
...
Christ, what is wrong with me?


Too much goldbricking.
posted by flabdablet at 9:32 PM on August 7 [1 favorite]


I knew you fine folks would have a diagnosis!
posted by wierdo at 9:18 PM on August 8 [1 favorite]


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