March 10, 2010

Breaking Taboos that You Didn't Know Existed

Sometimes you find that you broke a taboo that you did not know exists.

A recent news story in the New York Post described a chef who made cheese from his wife's breast milk—with her permission.

The response has been generally positive from those who've tried the cheese, although many customers are too squeamish to attempt it.

"I think a lot of the criticism has to do with the combination of sex and cheese, but . . . the breast is there to make food," said Lori Mason, the chef's wife.

Back when I was a reporter for the Cañon City Daily Record, I wrote a weekly outdoor column in addition to my reporter/photographer duties.

In our accounting department worked a young woman from rural Fremont County whose father was a noted mountain lion-hunting guide. At one time Colorado paid a bounty on mountain lions (abolished in the 1970s, I think). A guide might get paid by a client and  collect the bounty, which helped buy food for his lion-hunting dogs.

Let's call her Debbie, since it was her name. A statuesque blonde, Debbie grew up riding and shooting but had never gone lion hunting. "The shoemaker's children go barefoot," as the old saying goes.

Debbie got married and moved to northwest Colorado near Craig. A few months later, she dropped by the newspaper office to see her old workmates.  I looked up to see her standing by my desk.

She had finally prevailed upon her father to take her lion hunting with horses and dogs across the rocky ridges of northeast Fremont County, and she had the photos to prove it.  Would I like to write about it for "Gone for the Day," my weekly column?

I always needed new material, so I sat her down and interviewed her. In the course of our talk, she mentioned that she was about three months pregnant, a detail that I included in my column.

After the column ran, the editor mentioned that it had received a couple of complaints from readers.

It wasn't the lion hunting that bothered them. It was that the lion had been killed by a pregnant woman.   Something about life and death and fecundity.

The editor and I shrugged our shoulders over it all. With my column, I had broken a taboo that I had not known existed.

1 comment:

The Suburban Bushwacker said...


You provided good service that day, they're only really happy when the 'righteous indignation' button has been pressed.

Oh that i had anything even remotely contentious to say....