March 25, 2008


sometimes naivete and the search for the simple answer leads us directly to the truth, without the need for a stop at Opinions and Spin.

About 50 years ago, I recall one of the household chores that I had was mixing the margarine. For those of you too young to remember, margarine became a substitute for butter because it was cheaper. It was much later that some marketing yobbo created the story about it being a healthier alternative, in order to increase sales. Originally, margarine was sold in a plastic bag that contained about a quart of white congealed fat that looked suspiciously like the lard my mother used in her pie crusts. It also had the same hard consistency of lard with the added attraction of a capsule of red/orange dye embedded in the bag. The idea was to continually work, or knead the bag with your hands to accomplish two ends 1. it softened the contents and 2. it broke the capsule and spread its constituents throughout the bag, colouring the mixture to resemble butter. It was thought that this would be much more attractive when spread on our toast.

One day I was standing in our living room, hard at work squeezing the bag of white, semi-hard, something-or-other, when my sister did, or said, something to tick me off. She was like that in those days and as I remember the story, what followed was clearly her fault. I threw the bag at her as she sat on the couch and naturally, being the wonderful brother that I am, didn't want to actually hit her, so aimed just above her head. The bag of goo hit the wallpapered background and split open, depositing its contents all over the wall, the floor and maybe a bit on her. I vaguely recall some unpleasant repercussions as she mistakenly blamed me for the incident when my mother came running in to investigate the screaming. I stood there innocently watching the greasy stuff slide down the wall behind the couch and accumulate on the hardwood floor.

We moved several years later and the mark was still on the wall from the butter look alike and no matter what was tried, it would never wash off. I imagine that if you visited 19 Cherry St. in Kitchener today, that section of the wall still can't be painted over. My guess is that most of the margarine that so many of us have ingested over the years, hasn't disappeared from our bodies either. Healthy alternative indeed! And there you have it, the etymology (history) of the term, "Lard Ass." Aren't you glad you called me that?

1 comment:

  1. I want to hear the story about the butter ball too! I await with bated breath. Keep up the good work Bob (spelled backwards Bob)

    Your friend,