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!