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Mullin it over: Comfort zone

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Published 2012-04-30T18:44:00Z”/>


Ben Mullin

I will never forget staring down my first piece of sushi.

Cold, small, scaly and covered with what looked like dollops of neon pink hot glue, it looked about as appetizing as a well-decorated wad of gum — and about half as filling.

My girlfriend urged me to pop it in my mouth, so I did, with everyone at the table watching. Here’s what I remember:

First chew: Oh god, it tastes exactly like I thought it would.

Second chew: It’s like eraser combined with dirty ocean water.

Third chew: I may need a bathroom shortly.

I was about to swallow the first roll down manfully when my girlfriend’s sister told me I had just eaten Nemo, the adorable clown fish from Pixar’s “Finding Nemo.” She proceeded to pretend that Nemo was locked in that dangerous no-mans-land between my tongue and esophagus, swimming around my mouth, searching fruitlessly for his father.

I made quite a scene as I sprinted to the bathroom during the dinnertime rush.

I know it may not seem like much, but the night I tried sushi a few months ago was my first real foray into the offbeat delights of trying bizarre foods.

When I learned that a new ice cream parlor opened with all sorts of exotic flavors, I had to go try it. Not because I thought the ice cream would taste great — although it did — but because I believe that comfort zones are for introverts.

This is a theme on every page of the features section this week: pushing the boundaries of personal experience, whether it be trying mad-scientist flavors of ice cream — cheese and tequila, to name two — or running around campus carrying an arsenal of socks, as the players in Humans vs. Zombies do.

This week, features shows a side of Chico State’s community that dares to be different, a side that refuses to conform to social norms.

Humans. Zombies. Dramatic breakups. Wacky ice cream. This is what college is all about — experiences that transform us, inspire us or prompt us to be silly for a day.

There is no better way to figure out who you are than by doing things out of character as much as possible. And now is the time and place to do it.

We all need a taste of the unknown before we leave this strange in-between place and settle down into the person we will be for our adult lives.

But if I have my way, I’ll keep my sushi-eating to a minimum.

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<strong>Ben Mullin can be reached at</strong>

<em>[email protected]</em>

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      Mullin it over: Comfort zone