Food Heretics!

kitkatFor centuries, burning heretics at the stake was a perfectly acceptable practice.  Unfortunately, in recent history (400 years or so) it has fallen out of favour.  Too bad!  I think we should resurrect this little community activity, and get rid of one of the most undesirable members of our society – the food heretic.  These are people who cause anguish and consternation among all good and decent people by refusing to follow accepted gastronomic doctrine.  Here are a few examples:

Ketchup on eggs – Mother Nature has provided her children with the perfect food.  In fact, except for that pesky cholesterol (the bogeyman of the 21st century) eggs have all the nutrients humans need to survive – and they taste good.   So why would anyone drown them in faux pas tomato sauce?  Ketchup is for fries only – FRIES ONLY!  Besides, ketchup on eggs looks totally gross – like somebody just murdered a canary.

Opening snacks from the bottom of the bag/box – There are people (I’ve known a few) who don’t give a damn which end of the package they open.  It’s as if they don’t understand that top is always above bottom.  This is a law of physics as well as linguistics.  For God’s sake!  The writing on the package is upside down.  UPSIDE DOWN!  How can you even enjoy your snack, ya damn hoodlum?

Cutting pizza into squares – Since the days of Romulus and Remus, pizza has been cut into triangles.  TRIANGLES!  Okay, if you’re in Italy, you can eat your pizza with a knife and fork (When in Rome, etc, etc.) but everywhere else in the world, circles are cut into triangles so everyone gets an equal share.  This is a basic rule of geometry.  Sometimes I wonder how we ever even got to the Moon!

Milk in the bowl before the cereal – There are people who do this to children.  CHILDREN!  I have no words for this godawful habit.

Buttering toast with a sharp knife – Sharp knives are for cutting things; dull knives are for spreading things.  If you absolutely must, you can cut your toast with a dull knife, but never, under any circumstances, stick a sharp knife in the butter.  NEVER!  People who are capable of that are capable of anything – theft, arson, extortion, socks and sandals, Hawaiian shirts with lederhosen?  There’s just no end to it.

But the worst:

Randomly biting a KitKat™ — Since 1935, first Rowntree’s and now Nestle have been making KitKat bars to a specific standard.  In those 80 plus years, this cute little snack has spread all over the world and mutated into a plethora of flavours — including soy sauce, sake and banana.  And every minute of every day, someone, somewhere is carefully breaking a KitKat apart and eating it properly.  Yet, every once in a while, a wild-eyed anarchist will rip open the package and just take a bite.  A RANDOM BITE!  And people are surprised that some religious nutbars are calling these The Final Days?


6 People At The Grocery Store (Plus 1)

shopping-cartI’m not a shopper.  I don’t have a philosophical problem with shopping. In fact, I’m a huge fan of our consumer society. It’s just that I’m too many civilized generations removed from The Hunt to appreciate the joy of finding that perfect item — on sale.  This doesn’t mean I don’t shop — I do.  Every week, like my Cro-Magnon ancestors, I go out into the urban wilderness to claim my rightful place in the food chain.  It’s called grocery shopping, and in North America, it’s a mutant hybrid of a scavenger hunt, an obstacle course and a futile battle against stupidity.  Here is just a sampling of the moronic forces arrayed against us every time we venture forth to buy food.

My Real Name Is richard.petty\943 Even before you get into the store, there are the people who think that, just because they have a video screen in the dash of their car, they can drive as if the parking lot is a RealTime simulation of Nascar Heat 2 from Playstation.

Where Am I? — These are the folks who enter the store and stop dead –as though they’ve just broken the Time/Space continuum and have no idea what dimension they’re in.
“It’s a grocery store.  That stuff on the shelves is food.  You came here on purpose!”

Me Go Here Now — There are the people who have no reasonable sense of direction, nor any concept of organization.  They stop in the middle of the aisle; back up, turn around, start again; think about it, stop, turn, bash into the cart next to them; stop, try again and then nonchalantly head off in the direction they started with.  And even though you get stuck behind these idiots three or four times, when you see them at the checkout, all they have in their cart is a frozen pizza, a package of disposable diapers and two cans of dog food.

Me Stop Here Now — These are the folks who stop their cart sideways in the middle of the aisle, tying up traffic in both directions, while they contemplate the pickles.
“It’s a condiment, for God’s sake — not the Bayonne Tapestry!”

There’s A Reason I’m Lonely — These are the people who ambush you into listening to a long-winded monologue that starts with the price of sugar, goes through the hurricanes in the Caribbean and finally fades away — somewhere between the guy next door who won’t cut his grass and the drug dealer across the street — but only because you quit being polite and just walked away.

OMG!  I Haven’t Seen You Since Tuesday — These are the friends who meet at the congested intersection of Dairy and Frozen Food, or in Produce, or — oh, hell, it doesn’t matter — because they invariably launch into a protracted conversation about how much they loved their vacation, how much they hate their vocation or Henry’s hemorrhoid operation.  You can’t get past them, around them or over them without pulling out a gun.  And on particularly bad days, Henry and his proctologist are standing there, as well.

And finally, just when you think it’s over:

I Forgot You Have To Pay —  These are the people who stoically stand in line at the checkout for twenty minutes; then, when it’s their turn, wait patiently while the cashier beeps every item — until, at the very end, they suddenly realize they’re in the middle of a financial transaction and start fumbling for their money.

I Love Getting Old — II

time-and-oldI took a little local flak for Tuesday’s (January 24, 2017) post, “I Love Getting Old.”  The general consensus was, “Hey, (descriptive derogatory noun deleted) gettin’ old isn’t all beer and skittles, ya know.”  This is true.  So, in the interests of fair play, here are a few things about getting old that aren’t so nice.

1 — You forget things — a lot of things.  The days of keeping phone numbers, addresses, birthdays, bank accounts and a grocery list in your head are over.  You’re lucky if you can remember why you just walked into the kitchen.  The thing I hate the most about memory loss is you can almost remember stuff — but nope — it ain’t there.  For example, sometimes when you see a familiar face you can’t quite remember how you know that person.  Or sometimes you can conjure the face in your mind but you haven’t got a clue what the name is — and that includes famous people like Albert Einstein or that fat Brit who sang at Diana’s funeral.

2 — Your body betrays you.  This is the worst.  All those little aches and pains that weren’t there yesterday — in places you didn’t even know you had.  But the real problem is you have no idea which ones are Get-Thee-To-A-Hospital-Immediately and which ones are Cowboy-Up-Ya-Wimp.  And that means you’re either going to spend the rest of your days reading out-dated National Geographic magazines at the doctor’s office or die naked in the shower because you didn’t.

3 — Mirrors are the enemy.  It’s not just changing rooms that hate you.  First thing in the morning looks like Night of the Living Dead, and last thing at night looks like you might not make it ’til morning.  Even shop windows on a cloudy day can scare the hell out of you.

4 — Cute.  This is a major problem.  Mother Nature provided us with natural defences against bratty kids and vicious little dogs.  Unfortunately, as you get older, everything under 3 feet tall just looks so damn cute that you spend a lot of time getting bitten on the ankles and putting up with yappy dogs.

5 — It turns out all the TV programs you loved as a kid actually suck.

6 — Modern music all sounds like the Klingon Wedding Song for bassoon, drums and base guitar.

But the very worst thing about getting old is:

7 — You’ve had the misfortune of living long enough to see the Red Sox win the World Series!