Thursday, December 24, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday

"Ya. Meat."

The quote above is one of the most oft-quoted vonB family phrases.

Yet I cannot lay claim to it - it is from a Nepali friend of our friend Brian.

The story goes that. . .

(with a few omissions, inaccuracies and minor embellishments)
(for which I will never be asked to submit work to the Oprah book club)
(and I can live with that)

. . .Brian decided, as his 50th birthday present to himself, he would join a group and hike to the base camp of Mount Everest, something he had long wanted to do.

The group was quite a mishmash of characters: leaders, a veritable UN of hikers, and assorted sherpas. As is Brian's way, he quickly befriended the sherpas - these were the guys doing the lion's share of the duties, and Brian seems to be drawn towards the honest, humble and hardworking.

There was once particular fellow that Brian seemed to spend a lot of time with, and between them, they developed a method of broken-English/pantomime/point-and-make-faces communication that served both of them quite well.

Without fail, every meal everyone ate was rice and some sort of vegetable.

Rice for breakfast.

Rice for lunch.

Rice for dinner.

On about the 5th day, though, there was an added bonus at dinnertime. Something vaguely protein-ish in nature was perched atop their rice.

Brian went over to his sherpa buddy, pointed at the food in the bowl, and said "Dude, what's up with this?" Questioning look on face, shoulders shrugged.

Sherpa smiled beatifically and kept on keeping on.

Brian continued, "So is it goat?"

No response.

"Is is some sort of field animal you found while we were hiking?"


"What kind of meat is this?"

Finally, the sherpa's eyes lit up; acknowledgment.

The magic word had been articulated.

Sherpa looked at Brian, pointed to the bowl and said, "Ya."


'Nuff said.

Maybe sometimes it's better not to know the specifics.

After hearing this anecdote, the vonB's began to incorporate it into any meal where we sat around the table, silent; totally focussed on the food we were digging into like cavemen around the fire. (or hyenas on the velt.)

Amid the smicking and gnawing and smacking, one of us will look up and at each other, and grunt out, "Ya. Meat."

It truly is a phrase of perfection; succinct yet speaking volumes.

So, as you dear readers tuck into your holiday feast either tonight or tomorrow, surrounded by the warmth of family drawn near and the bounty that you are fortunate enough to have placed before you, may you all have your own "Ya. Meat." moment: A time of gratitude for whatever we may be given, with our best interests the only intention.


Diane said...

Okay... now I'll have that running through my brain tomorrow when I put the turkey on the table!

It'll be our little secret!

baronessvonb said...

Countess Diane: Strangely, it runs through my head every time we eat something with our fingers - ribs, corn on the cob, doubt it will work with turkey, too! Enjoy.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

I am totally and completely on board with this Ya Meat mantra. Love it.

To be true to myself, though, I'd have to twist this into Ya Feet.

Why? Because it's unexpected, but moreso because the meat probably was feet or some derivative thereof.

The previous insanity was brought to you by lack of sleep, a near overdose on Hershey's chocolate, a few brussel sprouts and wine.

baronessvonb said...

Countess CBW: You, dear woman, are a lunatic. The fact you make the effortless transition from meat to feet makes me love you all the more.

But how many times have we talked about mixing your cruciferous veggies, milk products and spirits? Gah - your burps must be toxic. Glad I'm here. ;)

Hope Santa has a cold...

Not Afraid to Use It said...

Loved this. We have a huge Swedish julbord planned for 12 people today, and I spent the entire night last night vomiting my innards in a trash can. After all that work, there will be no "Ya. Meat." for me, but I hope to hear it from our guests amidst their smacks of delight.

Cormac Brown said...

No wonder Yetis are instinict...

baronessvonb said...

Countess NATUI: 'Julborg'? Dude, are you messing with me? What happened to 'Smorgosborg"? Enlighten. After, like, you know, the heave-osity is done.

Count Cormac: Dodos, Yetis, Sasquatch, Loch Ness...Protein is protein. Whaddaygonnado?

Cormac Brown said...

I'm going to have some seal flippers in maple syrup?

Baroness von Bloggenschtern said...

Count Brown: Excellent answer. Your retention skills are stellar.

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