Themis-Athena has started this project, and I’m joining her – an alphabetical list of what I like and don’t like. Some fun, some not.
Like: Bloom County Comic Strips
There were some contenders for B; boating was almost a shoe-in, until I looked up and saw my favorite Bloom County strip hanging on the wall.
Bloom County is an American comic strip that started in 1980 and featured a cast of characters with Opus the penguin the star (though I’d argue secondary characters Hodge-Podge and Portney got some of the best lines). The author, Berkeley Breathed, burned out on deadlines and censors in 1989 and quit, but not before winning a Pulitzer for his work. In the one good thing Facebook was ever good for, Breathed brought back Bloom County on the site in 2015, bringing much joy to unsuspecting fans.
Bloom County is one of the few – the rare few, unfortunately – forms of entertainment that make me laugh until tears fall. Here’s a random sample of one of his strips; I tried to choose one that might resonate with any international readers (Breathed is known for his political strips, which can sometimes rely on cultural ‘in-jokes’).
Dislike: Bitter … anything.
There are five universally accepted basic tastes perceived by our taste buds: sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami. I can’t tolerate bitter.
Coffee, really dark chocolate, beer, marmalade, many of the leafy greens (ie chicory/witlof). None of these are anything but the equivalent of chewing aspirin for me. With the exception of cocoa, I can’t even tolerate them as flavourings – coffee flavoured anything is just … aspirin. (I know how awful aspirin are because as a kid I thought they all tasted like Bayer’s children’s aspirin, only to eat one and find out differently.) Whether this can be attributed to lack of exposure, or training, or special snowflake taste buds, I don’t know but the result is the same. I avoid bitter foods the way I avoid bitter people.