Op-ed: We Need to Talk About Squash

I'll be the first to admit it. I have no idea what squash is.

Well, that's not quite true. For 19 years, I didn't know what squash was--until recently. As late as this morning, I had lived my life with the understanding that squash could only refer to the middle-of-the-road late summer/early fall vegetable. I have had countless experiences with squash and squash-related products; some good, many bad. On an almost daily basis I consume enormous amounts of diced squash, squash pie, squash a la mode, creme of squash, or even squash shakes to cool off in the summer. As I write this, I happen to be wearing a hollowed-out yellow squash on my head (as a hat). Needless to say, I count myself to be somewhat of a squash expert (unpaid). So it came as a shock to find out that squash was also the name of a sport. A sport that has almost nothing to do with the actual squash plant, no less.

A squash player gets ready to hit the ball, which is hidden behind a loose squash in the photo.

Apparently, squash is also a game for people who want to play tennis but don't have any friends. It consists of thwacking a non-plant based shuttlecock at a wall, having it bounce back, and then hitting it again whilst yelling "SQUASH!" at the top of your lungs. If you don't yell loudly enough the ref catches you with his net and you lose. My only question is: why did such a ridiculous sport take the name of America's most beloved vegetable? And, whatever in the world shall we do about it?

Well, I've been thinking intensely about this and I might just have a solution. If the sport somehow incorporates the vegetable into the game I think it would solve the root of the issue. For example, what about holding squash tournaments in a squash field? Obviously, this problem isn't going to be fixed overnight. People's feelings will be hurt, and someone will come away from the negotiations empty-handed. But it must be done for the good of the nation. We all rely on squash for our day to day activities and this injustice cannot continue for much longer.

Your move, squash.

Nate Odenkirk has a delicious recipe for boiled squash.

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