I know that I come off as churlish as hell when I say it, but the word wholesome gives me the creeps. I associate it with hidden deceits and corruption hidden under a gossamer film of clean, yuck, wholesomeness.

Yes, from the pastor who is corrupting the organist to the young woman with the gleaming smile – when something gets held out as wholesome, I start delicately pulling curtains aside, taking a close look, and generally trying to find the yellow jacket wasp hidden in the petals of the bloom.

I know I’m just not a wholesome individual myself, and that’s why I doubt. 

But, I can’t help it if I agree with Ronnie Reagan – “trust, but verify.”

Now I didn’t come by this suspicious nature of wholesome because I grew up in New York City. This started after I got sprung from the confines of the five boroughs. It began in the sixties while I was on the road. I’d hit some shady little town with a coffeehouse and settle in. Being the friendly type, I’d get reminded soon enough that the pastor’s daughter was wholesome, and I – a Pius Itinerant Folkie- wasn’t. Judy, in the meanwhile, was just interested in living a life without daddy interfering. And who do you think told me about daddy and the organist?

It wasn’t just the occasional reminder that I was not wholesome due to occupation and tendency to move about—it was those who accepted only Anglo-Saxon sounding last names and light complexions as wholesome.

So you see, the evidence is that wholesome is a cover-up, a sham, a racket. It’s like the chemical souffle you buy in the supermarket called bread. It’s labeled wholesome but has so many chemicals that it could be a Super Fund site.

Sorry, some words just do that to me!

5 Replies to “Wholesome?”

  1. People are starting to use “wholesome” to describe acts of kindness or achievements against the odds. Which isn’t what it’s supposed to mean at all.

  2. So glad you mentioned bread at the end. That was the first thing I thought of. Wholesome, eh? Just no.

  3. Yes, lots of those little towns rival Peyton Place, and they have those hypocrisy clowns living in them. I agree with your post, though I have lived most of my life in one of those little towns. You know, where they think New York City is a terrible, corrupt place, yet they can’t see their town for what it is. So much for being a cheerful fellow today!

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