1. reckless; rash; irresponsible: He had a harum-scarum youth.
  2. disorganized; uncontrolled.
  3. recklessly; wildly: He ran harum-scarum all over the place.

It was a standoff.

Time was ticking and only one thing separated her from obtaining her true desire. It was clear. This came down to one question: how badly did she want dessert?

The raw broccoli reclined on her plate, taunting her, daring her to choke down the taste of dirt as her passport to the creamy bliss of mint chocolate chip awaiting  her in the back of her freezer.

But try as she might, even the beautiful shade of bright green did nothing more than initiate twisted looks of disgust on her face. Throughout the years, the snarled lip and furrowed brow had been a constant reaction at the appearance of this one vegetable. Whether it was dinner made by her mother or lunch at a friend’s house, it didn’t matter. With a knack for creativity, she had always found some way to dispose of the vile abomination, sneaking it to the dog or hiding it in her pockets.

She looked from her plate to the top of her refrigerator, back and forth as if watching an invisible tennis match.  Little flickers of encouragement rose in her as she reminded herself that the ice cream would be worth it. It wasn’t that she had a poor concept of the importance of vegetables or harum-scarum sensibilities in food choices, overall. It was just that she simply hated the taste of dirt. Peas were fine, spinach was her personal favorite, she even ate okra! But from her childhood until now, broccoli had always been her nemeis.

With a heavy sigh, she took one more longing glance at the freezer, imagining the frozen goodness inside. She picked up the vegetable by it’s stalk with the same fondness of a babysitter holding a dirty diaper.

“I can…try again tomorrow.”

She tossed the broccoli down the garbage disposal feeling validated that she had saved hungry children in remote places in the world from the torture she had experienced as a child. As she washed her plate, she made the mental note to never buy broccoli ever again and to call her mother and let her know she was wrong. Even after 20 years, she still did not enjoy nor would she ever grow into liking broccoli.


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