Much as I would love to quit Panchito, every day brings more reminders of the disaster he played such a heavy hand in creating. He should have been safely assigned to “review” Olive Gardens long ago. But now he’s talking Bush III. Would you buy a used drunk from this guy?
Archive for August, 2013
Here’s how lame Woody Allen’s latest sucker magnet is: Halfway through, your mind starts wandering way off to Detailville. Didn’t San Francisco outlaw plastic bags in groceries? Would a cashier and her grease-monkey paramour really be drinking Moet? And out of the proper flute rather than a titty glass? But I guess it could have been worse. Cate Blanchett could have been offering to sleep with someone for a Cosmo and a cupcake.
Speaking of flute, I shouldn’t still be laughing, but whenever I type that word I remember being in a Paul in Paris for breakfast eons ago and overhearing an overbearing young woman explain to her beaten-looking companion that its inclusion in the special menu meant Champagne would be involved. J’doubt it.
And this is why the world will never see peace in the Middle East: A cookbook (call it the tome of the unknown chefs) produced to emphasize similarities over differences in kitchens of Jews and Arabs gets the trend treatment and only Israelis are consulted on how it’s going over in the city that happens to be occupied by, shall we note, Palestinians among others. So much for hummus as the healer. . .
We get two newspapers a day except (until just recently) on Sundays, and one informed us that feedlots are now in withdrawal from something I didn’t even know existed: “Vitamin Z,” a growth additive that turns cows into “muscle-bound athletes” in a matter of weeks. I immediately clicked over to the hometown paper to see if I might have missed a big story, and at that point the keyword did not turn up a single instance. And this is so far beyond pink-slime-scary it’s insane. Cows are staggering into slaughterhouses after being drugged to fatten them without the need for suddenly pricey feed. Anyone who eats supermarket/burger-chain beef is ingesting a product so freaky it makes test-tube babies look edible. And yet whole business plans are built on a commodity that was never meant to be a commodity . . .
Speaking of the four-letter fud, we were just down visiting great friends in New Hope who mentioned they had had the opportunity to tour a model slaughterhouse out in California this summer, thanks to one of their great friends. And what they took away from the experience was that ground beef packed in a chub is the safest to buy, because it comes from one animal, not the bacteria hive you might pick up “ground fresh” at the supermarket. And it can’t have been more than a day or two later that I spotted yet another 25-ton “there’s shit in the meat” recall involving . . . chubs. Even better, a Twitter pal pointed out the brand name on each of those taut plastic casings: Naturewell and Naturesource. Sounds like something dreamed up in the same conference room where they decided to put adult heads on kids’ bodies and call it macaroni without cheese.
I grew up with guns and am very lucky my parents were responsible owners; otherwise my 17-year-old blood would have been all over the living room one whacked-out night when a friend picked up a rifle, only to be thwarted by the empty chambers (or whatever the word is). So I really wonder why America’s Most Overrated Coffee Chain won’t keep the people-killers out. After all, what could possibly go wrong? Caffeine is the drug that insures you can’t shoot straight.
Given that we get all that arboreal media delivered to our door, I was able to marvel at how much coverage one death garnered and blame/credit 45+ years of journalism experience for setting off my bullshit detector. So I felt vindicated when my path crossed with someone who’d actually worked for him and who suspected just what I had: Cannoli situation. And despite all the “what a saint” stories, she recalled that she always made certain to be on the opposite side of the DR when he was on the premises. I’m with her on not “wanting to speak evil of a dead dude.” But I’ll never understand why newspapers insist on making all the departed sound dear.
Then again, we are talking newspapers today. The most gobsmacking tip I’ve gotten in donkey’s years was less about a sad story than about how it was sold. There are no heroes or villains in it; no one wants to talk, nor should they. But my hyper-famous tipster was right on the main point. It was the food world equivalent of the Iraq war BS. “No” said it best: “If you want to sell a lie, enlist the media.” I guess the wash-off stinks less from a gold-plated bidet. But jeebus, did I ever try to warn them about the family silver . . .