Blogging about rude food
- I read some excellent erotica the other day, purely for my own pleasure.
However, there was one image that I swallowed at the time
--metaphorically speaking-- that concerned a spicy root. It was not a
carrot, or a sweet potato, or an onion. It wasn't Mandrake, either!
The image from the story came back to me as I cruised the fruit and
vegetables section of my local Kroger supermarket. And I wondered two
Did he (the admired author --whose sex may or may not have been
changed to preserve his/her anonymity) give sufficient thought to his
Does he cook anything from scratch? (In other words, does he know what
the root in question looks like?)
I'm sure he does. I expect the copy editor made an unannounced root
substitution at the last minute. There are copy editors like that! On
the other hand, maybe (and this could be a possibility) my local store
personnel don't know the difference between a Jerusalem artichoke and
I've seen green peppers, aka capsicum, sold as vegetable mango.
Good grief! In your world-building, how do you factor out grocery
store terminological variety?
Set aside vegetable sex aids for a moment. You may need to do some
research in the fruit and veg aisles, even if you mix and match
shapes, sizes, skin textures, pits, pips, seeds etc. Your human
heroine has to eat in outer space, so not all her food can be
unrecognizable (or she'd have to have major allergy testing) or her
gut would not be adapted to handle it.
Think Montezuma's Revenge in outer space. Or, if you've visited the
shuttle exhibit at the Johnson Space Center recently, and heard that
astronaut toilets come with a rear view mirror, don't think about it.
Back to the root of the problem.
This allegedly ginger root as displayed in my local supermarket is
about the shape and size of a small, pudgy hand, with gnarly fingers,
root filaments like fleshy hairs, and it is beige-gray.
It does sound like Jerusalem artichoke, doesn't it! (I know Jerusalem
artichoke. When I had more time, I used to make a very delicious,
delicately flavored soup...)
So --and because I'm obsessive-- I just went to one of my many books
about the healing powers of produce, and looked at a ginger root.
That illustration looked like a chainsawed section of a saguaro cactus.
Now, there may be exciting erotic or alien romance stories where this
sort of image would be perfectly plausible in the context, but for
world-building, I think one should have sequed into it, using
something a little more familiar to the human reader first, before the
root was introduced.
For those interested in research, or obsessed with plausible alien
anatomy, M.I.T. (an eminently respectable place of scholarship) sells
--or used to sell-- a to-scale, and anatomically correct poster called
"Penises of the Animal Kingdom".
I thought the plural was Penes, but I suppose a few people wouldn't
get the point.
And having Googled that, because none of the three of my dictionaries
within easy reach gives any guidance on what a proper person should
call multiple schlongs, I'm off to pursue other lines of romantic
Insufficient Mating Material
"racy, wildly entertaining futuristic romance" ~Writers Write