04 August 2009

His Salad Days


"My salad days, when I was green in judgement, cold in blood..."

I was reading my Shakespeare (yes, I do read too, Lisa W.) when I came across this phrase as spoken by the heroine in Antony and Cleopatra. I look up to see Mr. B. chopping romaine lettuce, red and yellow bell pepper and grilled chicken (very, very lean and pan-grilled with not one drop of oil) in preparation for tomorrow's brown bag.

"Are you having your salad days, Mr. B.?" I asked him.

"By the looks of it, it will have to be a salad year." he answered dryly.

I realized that by "salad days", Shakespeare was referring to a youthful time, accompanied by the inexperience, enthusiasm, idealism, innocence, or indiscretion that one associates with a young person, hence the terms "green" and "cold" (which incidentally are also the characteristics of Mr. B.'s salad). It also refers to a person's heyday when somebody was at the peak of his abilities.

If "salad days" is to be applied to Mr. B., it certainly wouldn't be now. In his youth, he dreamt of many things, he played guitar and sing after dinner, he studied piano and watercolor painting, he sang with a band on weekends. Even when he started working, he found time to go clubbing on Saturday evenings and dine with friends. Best of all, he was much, much thinner those days. Those days must be his prime, definitely not now.

"I think your salad days are over." I said without lifting my head.

"Shut up." was the reply I got as he stuff a piece of grilled chicken in his mouth.

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