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Nadworny: Chicken Or Fish?

08/24/11 5:55PM By Rich Nadworny
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Commentator's Brunch Sampler 

Bruce Simmons
(HOST) This week we're featuring a Sampler of some of the essays recorded live at the Commentator Brunch earlier this year. The theme - "Picture This" - reminded commentator Rich Nadworny that what you see isn't always what you get.

(NADWORNY) My name is Rich Nadworny, and my piece is named "The Pictures In Our Heads."

The pictures we hold in our minds are such powerful images; they sometimes get in the way of reality.

My wife Bella, for example, holds a picture in her head like a typical Swede. And that is: when the calendar says a certain date, or you're in a certain part of the world, you sit outside and eat, no matter what.

A while back we visited my Mom when she was in her snowbird phase in Florida . For Bella that meant one thing: eating dinner outside. It took awhile, but we finally found a restaurant that let us sit outside on their patio.

I hold a picture in my head: when I'm in a coastal area, I always order fish. I picture local fisherman dropping off their daily catch at local restaurants. I know it's not always true, but I still do it. My Mom, on the other hand, has a picture of chefs not cooking as well as she does. So she always orders something safe, like chicken.

So there we were, the three of us, sitting on a dimly lit patio in Florida waiting for our food. By the time our meals came, it was pretty dark. My grilled grouper came with not one, but two containers of tartar sauce.

After a couple of bites I realized why. This overcooked filet needed all the help it could get. After a few more bites, I couldn't take it any more and I turned to my mom and my wife and I said "This is probably the driest piece of fish I've ever eaten!"

"Really?" said my mom. "Because this is the moistest chicken I've had in ages." We quickly leaned over and squinted through the darkness at each other's plates. There, on her plate, was my fish, while nestled between my tarter sauces, was her chicken.

So picture this: 2 adults laughing hysterically at the fact that neither of them can tell the difference between a piece of chicken and a piece of fish. Pictures might be worth a thousand words, but our pictures turned out to be negatives. And yet, they still provided us with a priceless memory we're still laughing about.

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