Take my breath away

“Everybody’s good at something,” my mom told me. “You just have to figure out what that something is.” Little did she know at the time that her daughter would excel at potty humor. Her counselor assures her that it was nothing she did wrong.

The small town of Gilroy in California (due south of other small towns that nobody’s heard of) is good at garlic. People flock to Gilroy to participate in their yearly tribute to bad breath. In my misbegotten youth, when I lived in the San Francisco Bay area, the Gilroy Garlic Festival was not on my short list of things to do before I died.

I chose to flock north, to the Sonoma County Harvest Festival. I could have been slurping down garlic ice cream, but decided instead to swirl and swish free samples of fine wines with gourmet magazine columnists. Heathen that I was, I never spat.

Problem is, now that I live on the opposite side of the country from Gilroy, I’ve discovered my love of garlic, and the detrimental effects of alcohol on my police record.

At the best of times, medication I take for the sanity-challenged has the side effect of dry mouth. Add a clove of garlic, and you now have a full-blown halitosis fallout zone with a radioactive half-life of at least six minutes. After I have a meal of garlic chicken, even the dog doesn’t want mouth kisses, and he licks his own butt.

Where does that leave romance? In the movies, each time the actors are having wake-up sex, my first thoughts are a) why isn’t her mascara smudged down to her cheekbones, and b) how can they do it without breath mints, gum, or Clorox shots? (Medical disclaimer: the author does not recommend the consumption of chlorine bleach, paint thinner, or drain cleaner except under a doctor’s supervision).

On my second dinner date with husband number two, we went to a fine seafood establishment. We both had the swordfish, heavily seasoned with garlic. We almost didn’t make it to date number three.

If you and your loved one must make a pilgrimage to Gilroy, allow me to recommend the garlic ice cream, and separate motel rooms.

10 thoughts on “Take my breath away

    • Are you sure that’s not an urban legend, because the garlic breath incident was definitely a buzz-kill.

  1. I don’t think they cancel each other out, but no matter how bad my breath is, my partner’s is worse. At least that’s My side of the story.
    To somewhat parallel your adventures in Gilroy, before we moved to Vegas we lived in McClure, Ohio, the “radish capital of the world”. That’s what the big sign says as you enter the little bitty town. They have a radish festival every year, only no one grows radishes there anymore. They truck the radishes in for the festival.
    In the 9 years I lived there, I never went to the festival. I’m such a party poop. But in my defense, radishes do ugly things to my person. Ugly ugly things.

  2. Ugh! Morning breath is the worst. I suggest having spray breath freshener or Febreeze on your night stand and both partners must use it before any kisssing takes place.

  3. Garlic is one of those unique food items that has great health benefits, adds wonderful flavors to foods, and gives people the worst bad breath. What a combination.

  4. Garlic is one of those in moderation items, of course.

    On the plus side, it comes in really handy for warding off vampires.

  5. I’ve been to Gilroy and the Garlic Festival and I loved it. Pass on garlic ice cream, garlic wine and chocolate infused with garlic. I’m nuts for Pesto with garlic bread. I went with my sister so we didn’t have to kiss and we took pictures all day of cute guys who love garlic. It was awesome. I recommend it. Total fun.

Comments are closed.