British Council Angers Residents Over Brussels Sprouts Tweet

What's the difference between boogers and Brussels sprouts?

One is a vile little wad of disgusting nastiness, and the other is something you pull out of your nose.

I've never been a big fan of Brussels sprouts, but I can manage a couple to be polite. Sure, they taste bitter and terrible, but if you cover them in butter and cheese, and maybe even a heavy sprinkling of bacon, I can eat a few.

Before I go on, let me say that, yes, it is spelled "Brussels sprouts," as in Brussels the city in Belgium. In fact, these modern mini-cabbages were first identified and grown there, although their agricultural forerunners were grown in Ancient Rome. Many of the sprouts I've eaten tasted like they actually were harvested in Ancient Rome.

Brussels sprouts are a divisive vegetable. People either hate them or they hang the toilet paper so it rolls under, not over.

Not like corn. Corn is a vegetable we can all get behind. Corn unites us in peace and harmony, man or woman, black or white, Democrat or Republican, mixed in the mashed potatoes or not in the mashed potatoes.

Because of the raging controversy swirling around Brussels sprouts, the Leicestershire County Council in England has decided to do what all British county councils do best: stick their nose into other people's business and tell them what to do.

So on December 16, they tweeted their recommendation about how to manage Brussels sprouts at the holiday dinner table. They only wanted to be helpful and to maybe help everyone have a happy and less wasteful Christmas: "Six sprouts = ONE portion. Don’t overbuy and they won’t go to waste."

I can tell you that even six sprouts can be too many for some people. One Thanksgiving, my nephew — who hated almost everything at the time — was roundly applauded for eating half a sprout and not throwing up or running away from home. I can't imagine going through that experience 11 more times.

The tweet also included the hashtags #Christmastip and #wastefreexmas and a URL to, a website dedicated to helping Leicestershire County residents avoid wasting food, furniture, and even recyclable materials.

And people went nuts.

They said the Leicestershire County Council was sticking their nose where it didn't belong, calling them totalitarian and the nanny state.

One resident asked, "Are you going to prosecute Leicesershire residents if they have seven or, heaven forbid, eight sprouts? Will (there) be a 'Sprout Officer?'"

Another tweeted, "Thank you. In previous years without the benefit of your advice I bought hundreds and hundreds of Brussels, you saved me from that fate. How many bananas should I buy? Is it worth pre-peeling in bulk?"

Still, many others bragged that six wouldn't be enough, and they would instead openly rebel against the council and eat 16 or 18 sprouts.

There are just some things in life you should never brag about: dressing cats in people clothes, collecting other people's toenails, and happily eating Brussels sprouts.

Other people were actually upset with the tweet, probably because their lives are empty and they enjoy manufacturing outrage over tiny matters.

One person complained that, given the terrible conditions of the roads, crime prevention, and social care, the council shouldn't bother with how many sprouts people ate.

Another guy named Nigel was concerned about the responsible use of the council employee's time, so he tweeted:"(It's) amazing someone has actually been paid for posting this about wasting working hours in the day..." (The rest of Nigel's Twitter stream was filled with posts of funny memes and videos from his Facebook page, so make of that what you will.)

To be fair, the entire tweet probably took 30 seconds to write, which based on a marketing person's average salary, is probably worth 25 cents per minute. So if Nigel is so concerned about how a social media specialist spent 25 cents of their work time, I'll send a quarter to the Leicestershire County Council myself.

In the end, nearly 170 people replied to this, which attracted the attention of the Leicester Mercury newspaper. A council spokesman told the Mercury, "We send out thousands of tweets, including messages about food waste, and sometimes we get it wrong. We want residents to enjoy every aspect of Christmas Day, including the sprouts!"

Bottom line, Brussels spouts are nasty and can taste terrible.

And that's it. There's nothing else to say.

Except to say this: You can't blame the Leicestershire County Council for trying to have a little fun with what is clearly a controversial topic. It's not their fault that their residents are a bunch of complainers with way too much time on their hands.

Said the guy who wrote an entire column about it.

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