Monday, August 22, 2011

How Chicago Made YD a Vegetarian

About seven years ago, I watched a PBS special called, "Chicago:  City of the Century".  I am a complete history geek, and I thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen (on PBS).  I am the one person in the country who doesn't watch reality TV (save Project Runway, but that is art in action) and I can't name any Housewives or Kardashians.  This is where Jen Lancaster and I part ways.  Well, and she is a published author.  And rich.  And doesn't have kids or talk about S.E.X., but other than that we are totally alike.

Anyhoo, this special is AWESOME.  It traces the history of Chicago from being a deserted marsh off of Lake Michigan to present, and honestly I wasn't all that fond of Chicago until I saw the special.  I had to own this FOUR DVD set, because wouldn't the kids be so excited to learn about our closest large city?  And then we could visit it together and talk about what we learned while doing the architectural tour and playing chess and doing a wine flight at a five-star restaurant!!

"Once a swampy, remote outpost of fur traders and Native Americans, Chicago rose to become the CITY OF THE CENTURY. The film chronicles its transformation into the quintessential 19th-century metropolis, amid political struggles, labor unrest, and racial conflicts. Tour the city from every angle, from distinctive architecture and dramatic skyline to conversations with eminent and ordinary Chicagoans, in this rich saga of the Windy City."
Kids LOVE this shit, am I right?  I swear this was a recent plot of Wizards of Waverly Place.  My family groaned every time I brought up my Chicago DVD, but one night, I forced them into it.  "If you just start watching it, you'll love it, I swear!"  I guess seven years is a long time, because my rose-tinted plotline of the first DVD didn't include these sections:

  • White people forcing the Native Americans out, and then being scalped in return.
  • Raging typhoid running through the streams.
  • Irish immigrant children playing with maggots in the street.
  • The Chicago River running red with the blood from the packing houses.
  • Horses getting caught in the muddy streets up to their chests, then shot.
  • Pigs' heads floating in the river from said packing houses.
  • The thousands of people burned to death in the Chicago Fire, and the river being on fire because it was so putrid.
So the kids were REALLY enjoying themselves, when the narrarator went into great detail about pig slaughter.  Specifically about the Hereford Wheel.  This is where the packers would shackle a pig's hind leg to a wheel, thus lifting the squealing pig in the air, and then down to a "sticker", which is a guy with a knife who would slit the pig's throat.  Fortunately, the DVD had actual footage of this happening.  When the sticker got the pig, blood shot out of the pig's neck like a garden hose.  I'm trying to cover Youngest Daughter's eyes, but she is dodging me.  Then, she sits still and gives me a glaring stare.

"Thanks a lot, Mom, now Chicago City of the Century has made me hate bacon."

And it has.  A little girl who could eat 8 pieces of bacon at breakfast if left unwatched will no longer eat meat.  It's been about three weeks since the DVD, and if I pull up at a McDonalds and ask her what she wants, she will honestly still say, "Thanks to Chicago City of the Century, I'll have fries and a smoothie."

What started as a lesson in the rich history of our country turned into a bacon-hating bloodbath.  Now, when my children don't become scholars, I am going to blame PBS.  And Chicago.  City of the Century, indeed.


Rhonda said...

just the description makes me want to not eat bacon again...but i can just forget it, i'm good like that. and i really like bacon.

The Table of Promise said...

Don't ever let her read The Jungle,and don't let her watch Food Inc.

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