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17 September 2010

How about another Friday night question? Here's another random question from The Book of Questions:[More:]

#112- If you were at a friend's house for Thanksgiving dinner and found a dead cockroach in your salad, what would you do?
Well, it's too small to try CPR on it, so...

Point it out (in case there are more where that one came from!), laugh about it, and not eat the rest of the salad.
posted by FishBike 17 September | 19:09
What FishBike said. I wouldn't want to make my friend any more embarrassed (I would be mortified), but I would say something and it'd probably put me off the salad. I don't tend to get as grossed out as I suppose I should over stuff like that (hairs, bugs, etc. in prepared food). But cockroaches are grosser than just a beetle or a spider.
posted by flex 17 September | 19:17
Vomit over my plate, probably.
posted by Senyar 17 September | 19:29
I have a deep horror of roaches, so I'm not sure I'd be able to dissemble convincingly, but I would try. I'd assume that it was a single bug that appeared in my serving of salad and I'd try to forget it and enjoy the rest of the meal.

At most, I'd try to get the host alone and mention it, so they could decide whether to spirit everyone's salad away under a pretense or to ignore it.

I suppose that I'm importing a lot of assumptions to the question: that Thanksgiving means a big gathering and maybe a lot of social pressure on the host, that the host took a lot of trouble over the meal, that pointing it out would make the gathering tense. (And I'm also assuming that this is a home where I'm comfortable eating and where a contamination seems like an aberration; in the past, some of my friends have had homes where I frankly wouldn't want to eat anything that hadn't come straight out of a sealed packet.)

All bets are off if we alter the question and make it a live roach... because I'd bolt upright from the table, toppling my chair behind me.
posted by Elsa 17 September | 19:30
Pretty much seconding Elsa.

On the whole, I'm not too grossed out by things in my food (I have picked a hair out of my food and carried on eating at a restaurant many a time) but roaches hold a special place in my heebie jeebie pantheon.
posted by gaspode 17 September | 19:32
Chances are the host already knows they have a roach or two, so I don't think I'd mention it. It would be too humiliating for them. But I wouldn't eat the salad, or anything else. I would just pick and make appreciative noises; no one notices what anyone else eats anyway. Usually.
posted by iconomy 17 September | 19:37
I'd flip the table and storm out.

(not really, I just really want to flip a table and storm out of somewhere, sometime)
posted by richat 17 September | 19:46
(not really, I just really want to flip a table and storm out of somewhere, sometime>

posted by Elsa 17 September | 19:48
Kill the hosts and take their goats as compensation for my pain.
posted by arse_hat 17 September | 19:59
I wouldn't eat another bite of anything in or from that house. Ever. I would leave my shoes and any bags I'd taken with me outside my house for a couple of days. I would bury a silver fork out in the garden on a moonless night, to break the spell of badness. I would be sort of itchy and crawly-feeling for about a week.

I would do all of this silently. I would not let my host know what I found. That wouldn't be nice.
posted by Kangaroo 17 September | 20:16
... and I think I'm going to stop reading this thread until after I finish my salad.
posted by Elsa 17 September | 20:24
I'd try to get the host alone and mention it, so they could decide whether to spirit everyone's salad away under a pretense or to ignore it.

That's pretty much my response. They'd know if this was a really unusual thing, or just one more incident in an ongoing problem. If it's the former, hopefully they could get away only being embarrassed in front of one guest instead of all the guests.
posted by BoringPostcards 17 September | 21:07
I'd poke it with the fork to be sure it was dead, then push it to the bottom of the bowl, cover it with a lettuce leaf to separate it from the rest of the salad, and carry on.
posted by initapplette 17 September | 21:09
I would bury it under the lettuce and stop eating. I would pick at the rest of the meal, carefully looking for roaches. I would keep checking to see if a live one was crawling on me. I would not mention it to my host.
posted by amro 17 September | 22:15
Point, laugh, joke, argue over whether to eat the salad, be the one person who would eat the salad with gusto!
posted by serazin 17 September | 22:18
Totally depends on the friends. I have friends where I would impale the roach on a fork and wave it around while shouting something about sacrifice and death and then I have friends where I would silently bury it under a lettuce leaf, make small appreciative noises, eat no more salad and just go on from there. Bugs don't bother me much. My house is like a big bug party right now thanks to fall and bad screens and general old houseness and laziness (I leave the screen door propped open so the dogs can get in and out) and although there is currently no stinkbug making its slow way across the top of the monitor, there pretty much has been every day for the last two weeks. They're okay. They're kind of friendly and slow and I chat with them before I pick them up and throw them off the porch.
posted by mygothlaundry 17 September | 22:19
When my Very Best Friend In The World was in college, I stayed at her apartment, and there were roaches in the bathroom, and the next morning I mentioned it, and she and her roommate said, "How big?" and I said, "well, pretty small," and they nodded, and that was The End Of The Conversation. eww.

Now, of course, my Very Best Friend In The World is a mother of two, and I think if I were at her house and found a roach in my salad she would Freak Out. So I would caaaarrrrefully pull her aside and tell her. Not sure what I would do with someone I don't know well.
posted by JanetLand 17 September | 22:51
Yeah, that's a tough one, but I think/hope I'd just hide the roach and not tell anyone. Don't want to ruin everyone's meal!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 17 September | 23:05
I think/hope I'd just hide the roach and not tell anyone. Don't want to ruin everyone's meal!

That's the dilemma, though... do you think there might be roaches in OTHER people's salads? Should you warn them?

This is why I'd tell the host, because that person would likely know if it was a freak occurrence or if it might be because all the salad greens have been exposed to roaches.
posted by BoringPostcards 17 September | 23:51
In order:
- puke in my plate
- while standing up
- making my chair fall back
- making me fall when I try to sit down
- and bumping my head causing me to pass out
- which hopefully renders me unable to remember why any of the above happened
posted by deborah 18 September | 01:13
PS: Please to be keeping posting new questions every Friday!
posted by deborah 18 September | 01:14
Switch to red wine rather than the white.
posted by Ardiril 18 September | 01:15
This would all depend on how well I knew the host and the other dinner guests. But I guess I'd try to get the host alone somehow, and let him/her know. It's doubtful that anyone else's salad would also have a roach in it, though, so I wouldn't think the host need take away everyone else's salad.

I'm reminded of a time I was at a cafe in NYC with jazz musician Butch Morris, back in the late 80s. Now, everyone knows that there are lots of roaches in NYC. It can be pretty difficult to impossible to get rid of them entirely, whether it be from an apartment or a business establishment or, unfortunately, a cafe or restaurant. Butch had had a few sips of his cappuccino, then, when stirring it up a bit more, found that it contained, yes, a dead cockroach. Very small, but, a cockroach. He didn't lose his composure, he didn't freak out or get all indignant: he simply called the waitress over and told her to take it away. He swaved off her profuse and repeated apologies, as he did those of the chef who came out from the kitchen to apologize as well. I mean, hey, it's bound to happen at some point or other, right? No use getting all bent outta shape about it. I was impressed with Butch that day. Helluva musician, too!
posted by flapjax at midnite 18 September | 02:43
Sorry, that's WAVED off her apologies...
posted by flapjax at midnite 18 September | 02:45
...but roaches hold a special place in my heebie jeebie pantheon

Gaspode, I am TOTALLY stealing this!!
posted by msali 18 September | 07:45
So hate cockroaches. Ever since the traumatic moment in my NYC apartment when I opened a cabinet door in the kitchen and one RAN DOWN MY ARM! I freaked, waved my arm all about -- roachie probably took a wild airborne tour of my kitchen -- ran to my pullout sofa bed, sat in the middle of it with all the covers thrown off so I was surrounded only by my white bottom sheet, and stared, looking for signs of suspicious life, for about a half hour. I never felt quite the same about my beloved walkup brownstone place again after that.

Oh, you were asking what I'd do? I'd stop eating my salad in a - uh -New York minute. I'd offer to help clear the plates, while standing and doing so, when everyone else was done. I'd take my plate to the kitchen, take aside the cook, and quietly point out the bug.

Boy, I don't think I'd have much appetite after that!
posted by bearwife 18 September | 16:21
That's the dilemma, though... do you think there might be roaches in OTHER people's salads? Should you warn them?

If they have roaches, they'll see them. If they don't, they'll be none the wiser.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 18 September | 20:30
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