The year was 1961 it was my first duty assignment as a Second Lieutenant--Company B, 720th MP Battalion, Fort Hood, TX. As a company officer I had many additional duties to supplement my primary duty as Platoon Leader. One of my favorite duties was that of Mess Officer. It was through this duty that I learned to enjoy scallops again. As a kid I got sick one time from eating them so I swore off of them for the rest of my life.
Well, fate has a unique way of getting your attention. This time it was very pleasant. While walking through the company area near noon I could not help but notice the most enticing aroma emanating from the mess hall. Any conscientious leader has to investigate everything that is happening within the olfactory range as well as within sight and hearing. Realizing my duties and responsibilities I forged ahead and entered the mess hall. Upon asking the Mess Sergeant what was the cause of that most marvelous aroma permeating the company area, I was informed that the luncheon special was deep-fried scallops.
Arrgh! I hate them. I cannot abide them. They make me sick. Yuck!!
I then approached the steam table where the first scallops out of the deep-fryer were waiting to be served. They looked as good as they smelled. Now I have a real dilemma. I don't like scallops, but I have a duty to the troops to test them to insure they are edible. After all we don't want the troops coming down with an illness. Scallops can do that you know.
You guessed it, I screwed up my courage. (It only took a couple of twists of the screw driver.) I asked the Mess Sergeant if I might try one. He agreed to get me one. We did have a breakdown in communication. I meant one scallop, he meant one bowl. I tried that "one" and have been eating them ever since. Thanks, Sarge.