June 17, 2020
My father loved Spam. SPAM is an acronym for Special Processed American Meat. I personally do not recall ever eating it, but I am sure we must have when mom was away, and dad had to do the cooking. This combination of pork, water, salt, potato starch, sugar, and sodium nitrate come out of the can covered in a gelatinous mass. I have never gotten beyond opening the can. My dad even found a SPAM tee shirt at the state fair and bought it. I have seen several photographs with him proudly wearing his shirt. I used to do odd things when my own son was in school. When asked if I was not afraid of embarrassing him, I replied, “That is what dads do.” I guess I am just like my father.
It was not until Melissa and I went to Hawaii on our honeymoon that I learned the glory of Spam. The Hormel Corporation unleashed the product in 1937, and it took off during World War II. According to the Spam website, that is when the island’s love affair with Spam began, when GIs were served the salty luncheon meat because it did not require refrigeration and had a long shelf life. Hawaii consumes seven million cans of Spam a year. Spam musubi – a slice of Spam perched atop a block of rice and wrapped in seaweed – is perhaps the most popular Spam dish in Hawaii, and it is available almost everywhere. I did not try this delicacy, although it did look good.
We have been looking for alternative ways to air our Facebook posts and one is on YouTube. I signed up for an account but have yet to get any farther. What I do get is daily suggestions on fishing videos posted. I watched one today about catching monsters in a city pond. They started using plastic frogs but then switched to their secret bait, Spam. They opened the can and it looked just as I remembered. They put it on the hook and began to catch huge fish. There were Bluegill bigger than your hand and Grass Carp over thirty inches long. On my way to work I stopped at the local store and found they also carried Spam in a single serving pouch, perfect for fishing bait. I hope the fish like this more than me.
THOUGHTS: When I bought the Spam, I was skeptical, but the vision of catching huge fish after fish stuck in the back of my mind. My hope is that the single serving packets will not come with the added gelatin that keeps the canned meat fresh. Sometimes we need to try new things “even though we have never done it that way before.” Other times we need to revisit old ways and, if they appear worthwhile, reinvent them to suit today’s ethos. Some things we just need to stop doing entirely. Everything you do in life should be reexamined periodically to see which category the action falls into. If you venture out, stay safe.