Enter Cheryl, a middle-aged woman with a haggard look about her. She hesitantly takes a chair among a group of diverse people and quietly folds her hands in her lap. Enter Moderator.
Moderator: Welcome everyone to VA, Veggies Anonymous, the group for former vegetable haters. We’d like to welcome our newest member, Cheryl.
Group [in unison]: Hi Cheryl.
Cheryl [nervously but gaining courage]: Hi…um, I never used to like asparagus. It was pretty much a texture thing; stringy, chewy, and just plain old nasty. But, um, somewhere along the road my tastebuds decided that asparagus wasn’t so offensive after all. In fact, I found myself dreaming about asparagus and new ways to use it. In a salad? Boiled? Blanched? Next to Eggs Benedict?
Moderator: Have you tried it roasted? It’s quite excellent that way.
Cheryl: No, hmmm…I never thought of that. I suppose I was too busy wondering if the plural of asparagus was “asparagi.”
Moderator: Well, lucky for you, I’ve prepared a slideshow describing how to roast asparagus.
[Group gasps in unison]
Moderator [points to projector screen]: First, thoroughly wash asparagus. Next, you’ll want to trim them. You can simply cut the bottoms off with a knife, but you can also snap the ends off. They’ll break naturally at the point that’s most tender.
[Enter Action Man!, dressed in a superhero costume. Comes running in with vigor and exaggeratively demonstrates the snapping of an asparagus stalk in half.]
Moderator [clearly annoyed by the outburst]: Anyway, I’ve prepared a picture showing this.
[in bursts Action Man! again]
Action Man! [excitedly shouts]: Lemon! Herbs de Provence! Thyme! Olive Oil!
[pauses, looks at Moderator, then quickly runs out of the room. Moderator is clearly more annoyed.]
Moderator: Right. Exactly what I was going to say. [sarcastically] How ever did you know? Simply line up your asparagus, drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice, and then sprinkle with herbs of your choice. [pauses, looks around, then acts relieved]
[ActionMan! runs in, jumps on the table, and starts singing, much to Moderator’s chagrin]
ActionMan! [to the tune of “Jingle Bells”]: Just bake them, in the oven, on a baking sheet…they’ll get soft and shrink a lot but your face will be happy, YEAH!
[Moderator figures it is no longer worth it anymore to fight against it, so she throws the towel in, jumps up on the table, throws her arms around ActionMan! and starts singing]
Moderator [to the tune of “Dashing Through the Snow”]: When they come out of the ov’n, you might have to use mitts, they’ll be extremely hot, so don’t give them to the kids! Save them all for yourself, I won’t tell what you did, they’re tasty and they’re nutritious, so please give them a try, ooooooooooooooooooh,…ALL TOGETHER NOW!
[Group joins Moderator in singing]
Group [to the tune of “Jingle Bells”]: Asparagus, asparagus, what a tasty treat. Bright green stalks, that make you talk, about them endlessly, HEY! Asparagus, asparagus, how I love thee so! I wish you would always last, so please don’t ever go, OH!
[Everyone strikes a pose, breathes heavily, and freezes.]