I’m so old I remember when newspapers would automatically pull airline ads (remember airline ads?) whenever there was a plane crash just to avoid that awkward association with disaster. I also remember a production editor whose job description included yanking ads away from copy that seemed just a little too complementary-cozy. So what to my wondering eyes appeared this a.m. but a full-page ad complimenting a beat reporter for his coverage of that beat, paid for by the people he covered. Journalism makes for very strange bedfellows, ethics-wise, these days. But that did get me to puzzling over whether there would ever be a similar $$$ ad on the food beat. My first thought was that most subjects would just say: Don’t let the buyout hit you on your withered ass. And my second? To get a buyout, you actually have to have been hired. Junkyard bitches are forever.
If Panchito were still restaurant critic, he’d apparently be recommending you avoid the joint he awarded four stars that went on to give you hepatitis. Fool him once . . . And I do hope soup kitchens handed out his smug ode to excess on turkey day. With, what?, one in four kids hungry in America, we are not exactly all Italian immigrants now. Also, too, is it snide to wonder if he pukes after typing? With no train to the plane in his privileged life, he does hoover up so many dollars for so few original thoughts.
Speaking of suckers born every minute, WC Fields would probably drink but undoubtedly laugh at the new bourbon “aged at sea,” since a boat ride is, apparently, just like what laundry experiences in the dryer as it bumps up against the cylinder. And it’s hard not to suspect most of the bottle price goes for the processing and pricing. Isn’t there an old saying about a 1 percenter and his money soon being parted?
Glad to know I wasn’t the only one who thought she got up the other Wednesday a.m. to find herself back in another century. My early emails included two from the other coast marveling that the town crier for most advanced food city in the country would choose to regress to the good ol’ days, as one put it, when the ads had chuck roast for 59 cents a pound. Of course the margarine in the butter biscuits just made that Betty Crocker vibe much vibier.
Then it got worse. Green grapely, and baking-powder-in-the-unbaked-mashed-potatoes, worse. Having lived in six states and eaten in at least 30 more, I wondered why, if they were gonna go back to the Claiborne heyday, they didn’t just pull out their own excellent compilation of regional recipes. Kolaches are not Danish in that compendium. Snickers are not tights, neither.
All this Bill Cosby unscabbing is depressing enough. But, as always, there’s amusement. When someone “reported” that the father of Fat Albert made young women working on a show not exactly known for enlightenment watch him eat, I could only WTF — Big Chicken makes big-time journalists watch him eat nachos. With three scoops of sour cream plus guacamole, to boot.
Big week: You can finally throw out the barely touched fresh cranberry sauce from last Thanksgiving. // Wonder if the people at the high-minded farm-reformation forum who are arguing for eating insects pitch their King Arthur flour when it hatches. . . // Pro-tip: Always use 1900 as your birthdate on entering liquor sites. Makes ‘em drink more. // Your wine should never cost more than your turkey. // Note to flacks: If your client is charging for the food, it’s not aperitivo. // Pumpkin in chili is one of the best ideas ever. In anything chocolate? Squanto would retch. // Even ghostwriters have ghostwriters. // It figures a fatal outbreak of listeria would be linked to a company called Wholesome Soy Products. // Probably not a good thing when you can’t tell whether the splotches on the menu are design or grease spots. // Gluten-free gelatin is in the house. Hope no one sensitive learns what it really contains. . . // Tagine = failure?