By MIKE VINSON
Right off, I'll let you know that other than wording in the title this column has nothing to do with actor Clint Eastwood and the Spaghetti Western film that helped catapult him into iconic superstardom.
(NOTE: The film The Good, the Bad and the Ugly was directed by Sergio Leone, starred Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach, was released in 1966, and is considered a cult classic in the movie industry.)
The riddle: What is craved by kings, forces a skilled survivalist to drop his guard and become lax, and even causes well-educated people to behave in the most depraved manner against their close friends?!
Sex? Drugs? Money? Though each is a logical guess, none are the answer.
A hint at solving this riddle: Each of you are guilty of this on a daily basis--and have been guilty for many years! "Gossiping?" you might answer. Though you just told on yourself, gossiping is not the answer I'm looking for.
In order to move on and get to the meat of the matter, I'm going to give you the answer to this riddle: "food." By now, you should be asking: How does one correlate the word "food" with a title such as "The Great, the Bad, and the Downright Ugly"?
This past Tuesday, September 9, I attended the "Spring Food Show" held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Murfreesboro, TN. The actual food show took place inside the Embassy Suites' Mirabella Ballroom, spacious enough to comfortably accommodate a couple thousand people. When my friend Brenda (who manages a restaurant) and I first entered the Mirabella Ballroom, I beheld, if you will, a "cornucopia" of human activity, excitement in the air!
Celebrity chefs from television's Food Network show were putting on demonstrations!
"Cook-off" contests were held the whole time Brenda and I were there (about 2 hours).
Approximately 200 food vendors had stations set up featuring an A-Z list in cuisine, and yes, it was food fit for a king. After some creamy chicken & dumpling soup, a piece of 3-cheese ravioli, and a meatball, I was very disappointed . . . disappointed that I was already full and couldn't eat more! Still, many of the vendors had on display the latest in restaurant equipment and utensils.
All-in-all, I had a great experience at the 2014 "Spring Food Show." However, while having a "great" time at the food show, for whatever reason, I gave some thought to the downside of food, as it relates to the human race.
*The Bad: Spring 1998, Eric Rudolph was placed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list, wanted for being the perpetrator of a bombing at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia, where the 1996 Summer Olympics were held. The bombing killed one and injured approximately 110. Even with a one-million-dollar bounty on his head, Rudolph, a survivalist with military training, managed to evade authorities for five years until he was arrested spring 2003. What led to Rudolph's arrest? A rookie police officer patrolling a Save-A-Lot parking lot in Murphy, North Carolina spotted Rudolph rummaging through a garbage bin behind the Save-A-Lot store at 4 a.m. looking for discarded food.
Lesson learned: If you're hungry enough, you just might drop your guard to score some food, and the consequences could be "bad."
*The Downright Ugly: Let's up the ante in the last sentence of the preceding paragraph and say, "If you're hungry enough, you'll do anything for some food! Case-in-point: On October 13, 1972, a rugby team was on a flight from Montevideo, Uruguay, to play a match in Santiago, Chile. The plane encountered blinding snowfall and strong winds and crashed in South America's rugged Andes Mountains. Of the 45 total passengers aboard (players, along with crew and others), only 16 survived the harshest of conditions, being rescued over 70 days later, on December 23, 1972. The 16 survivors admitted to resorting to "cannibalism," eating their dead friends in order to stay alive.
Food: something seemingly so simple,