Vernon had an abhorrence for any form of brassica, be it cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels spout, broccoli, or whatever. Cole slaw was particularly detestable. It was a difficult situation, because if a possible host enquired about “What do you and don’t you like?” Vernon would say that he would eat any and everything. If he said he had a detestation of brassicas he would have left the host in a quandary of having to choose a side dish from a rather more limited list of options.
Don’t get me wrong. If Vernon was invited to dine and the host served, say, sauerkraut, he’d eat it. Why a host would be serving sauerkraut to guests is beyond comprehension. But you get the drift… Vernon did not like brassicas, and he would stop the car after dining out on brassicas and spew.
Vernon’s wife, Wendy, loved brassicas. In fact, when Vernon went away on a business trip, Wendy would stay at home and pig out on cabbage. As Vernon would say upon his return, “Well, I guess it’s better than smoking.” It was mainly the smell of cabbage cooking that put Vernon off eating cabbage altogether. He would begin with a mild retch and before long he’d be out in the garden leaning over the delphiniums and herbing his guts out.
One day, while Vernon was at work, Wendy (with all the windows and doors wide open to create a draught) cooked up cabbage soup with lots of bacon bones. After removing the bones, she pureed the mixture. The soup was devoured that evening along with some freshly baked buns and a hard-boiled egg. Vernon loved it.
That’s because Wendy called it “Smoked Bacon Soup” and didn’t mention the cabbage. Oh the whimsicalities of likes and dislikes!