…so I was in Grocery Outlet yesterday trolling the aisles for Old Reliable (a.k.a. Iceberg Lettuce). You have to understand: I am a recent convert. Having eschewed its tasteless, watery qualities for decades, I arrived late in life to the reluctant acceptance that, unlike gourmet lettuce leaves (‘baby’ or otherwise), iceberg lettuce takes about a month to decay in fridge. Which neatly fits in with my usage requirements chart (i.e. “any given veggie takes a month to totally consume – because it’s GREEN”) and strives to compete on Diane’s ‘food which doesn’t rot’ timeline (…it WAS topping the now-defunct Hostess Wonder Bread.)

So imagine my surprise to see Old Reliable replaced with the ubiquitous and nasty Brussels Sprout – an entire BAG of the sukkahs. I spent the rest of the shopping expedition extolling the possibility of replacing artillery with Brussels Sprouts – effectively killing two birds with one hard, green stone (or, in this case, a bagful…).

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…that’s ONE name for ‘em…

At Checkout the kindly clerk informed me that given the recent unexpected (…but not unseasonal) winter frosts, Iceberg Lettuce had apparently NOT lived up to its name and had actually been the first down on California’s frosty produce battlefield. Thus neatly informing me that Iceberg Lettuce, in fact, is GROSSLY MISNAMED.

Now, I had pictured this versatile veggie surviving the direst of situations: namely, the next Ice Age. Imagine a lettuce ALREADY PRIMED for survival! It rated high on my Apocalypse Food Groups List just for its name alone. A name that apparently was a BLATANT LIE perpetuated by the evil Lettuce Farmers of America.

Nope, rather than the Last Left Standing, Iceberg Lettuce is apparently first down on the battlefield of Worldwide Climate Change (at least, temporarily – until the next California/Arizona seed groups can produce a decent head).

In its place stands… the Brussels Sprout. A nasty piece of greenery with the potent ability to produce choking gas and missile deployment simultaneously (not many U.S. weapons can both gas out and annihilate entire populations over the dinner table!)

A veggie that apparently evolved from some kind of Cro-Magnon “I can eat ANYTHING” dare.

And one that, when confronted with the braggart veggie competitor Iceberg Lettuce, has WON leaves down in the cold-climate apocalyptic battle.

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I am SHOCKED.

Is nothing sacred???

This fact, evolving a mere few days after my birthday, also injects a bit of irony into my protest that “I long for surprise/I live for surprise and delight.”

Not sure about the “delight” piece; but SOMEBODY heard my birthday plea to be genuinely surprised – and replaced ALL the Iceberg Lettuce at Grocery Outlet with the (survivalist) green Brussels Sprout.

Surprise!!

And – the joke’s on ME….

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