Sleeping in the publisher’s den

Speaking of the paper in dangerous debt to the wonderfully named Señor Slim, the corrections on the Op-Ed page are getting better than the original drivel. Pretty funny to have someone saved by the chokehold not understand what the hell happened. And her dodge around the villain in the piece was truly entertaining. Saint Alice would like the world to sing to her tune, but she doesn’t know the most basic technique in food service? You can only imagine her running through her own dining room hollering for a Chino Farms cucumber in an emergency. Then not knowing where to insert it.

And it’s warm where he sat

Mr. Maroon must have worn out his welcome at all his usual plugola places (excuse me, op-ed pages) because he has been reduced to contributing to the cheapest outlet in town. And of course the boss got what she paid for. I don’t know when I have come across a bigger pile of horseshit in one tossed-off lecture to a new president. He even sermonizes about the trim First Family sending a message on obesity. (Do as he says, not as he gorges.) Really, this pompous fool advising Obama on eating is like Joe the Plumber telling Robert Fisk how to report a war. But at least he wasn’t doing it in Chinese restaurants, and he forestalled that guy’s weighing in.

An ad wrapped in a tutu wrapped in cacao

I used to think the Chimp was the best argument ever for birth control. But increasingly I believe it is the HH III who cranks out so much No. II every week, most recently on chocolate. Junior should have been the signal to call the whole clan off — has there ever been a less worthy Plimpton wannabe? So why do I read the droppings, you might ask? Where else can someone whose motto is “once a copy editor, always a nuisance” find so much absurd pleasure in one sloppy place? Even at my advanced age, I don’t know that I have ever come across a “palate knife” before. But it is a nice image of what readers need.

Speckled sauce

Call me hopelessly cynical, but how in the name of Ray Kroc at Baskin-Robbins could any critic ever narrow the list of best hamburgers in America to a mere 20? To rate them the top, you would have to have tasted all the competition, no? Even choosing the best in Manhattan — not even New York City — would be damn close to impossible by that standard. Awarding blue ribbons for two in Philadelphia from the same restaurateur is also, how you say, suspect. At least there was none in New Orleans.

The collapsing tent

It sounds like nighttime in the switching yard down in the Bloomberg HQ’s commissary. I guess John Tesar was tied up, because the rumored choices for new chef are not exactly super three-stars; their resumes are long but not deep. When the only requirement for the food is that it can be inserted tidily between Botoxed lips, though, why would you need an Adria?

If you have to ask . . .

My consort may be too generous for his own good. He came home the other night with a food magazine for me that he had picked up in his new neighborhood, Dumbo. And it’s a nice enough magazine. But it cost $9. Nine. Dollars. For one copy. (If you tried to cook from it, you might have some trouble, too. Ingredients are routinely out of order; the recipe for duck adobo includes no duck in its ingredient list.) My cynical side suspects they con customers into buying it after picking it up thinking it is free, like the Hudson Valley magazine Keith the Garlic Guy gives out. Why else would the price be hidden inside?

Oblivion is a beautiful state

Speaking of the inexplicable phenomenon, I happened to be at Union Square while she was there with throngs of cameramen and photographers for the Wednesday market. The weirdest part was that some poor young sucker had to stand there holding up a big sign warning people that just by being in her presence they were surrendering their rights; their images could be used however she chose. But the funny part was stopping for flounder at Blue Moon and hearing the stir over her being nearby and having one of the young salesguys explain to another shopper, “They’re talking about Rachael Ray. Whoever she is.”

Maybe Trinidad was overbaking

Those who heart schadenfreude can take pleasure in the news that Mrs. Fields has filed for bankruptcy, having too greedily engulfed and devoured what my consort calls The Country’s Most Expensive Yogurt. Little Debbi once ruled her world, too, and it’s almost amusing to see what fells the mighty. Laudatory profiles used to tout her shrewdness in choosing to market the hell out of a product whose ingredients were so cheap and could be marked up so greedily. Karma’s a bitch, though. Flour, butter, eggs — these days you’re talking real money.

Heritage turkeys

One acorn has apparently fallen very far from the tree. How could the dad be so smart when the son doesn’t know free-range chickens don’t live on grain? They’re not out there stretching their drumsticks. They’re running around ingesting worms and other grossness. As a James Thurber, this kid makes a good “Moose Murders.”  

Pack up his old douche bag

As for the wannabe curmudgeon who mistook speckled for regular trout, he apparently retains an astonishing ability to have it both ways — claim bloggers are know-nothings but follow their leads; claim bloggers don’t bug him while shooting off insultingly stupid emails. As a faraway friend (south of the Mason-Dixon) commented, “It’s sad how far he’s fallen.” He did set the bar for kicking while down, though, so I just have to quote that old saying: When you find yourself in a hole, the best thing to do is stop digging. 

Climbable steeple, but where are the people?

An email with “hell has frozen over” in the subject line could not have been a more appropriate arrival in the same week one of the more insightful reviews was published under a byline old gray ladies probably would not recognize. I guess we will not be eating well anymore. Unless we do it at places like The New French, which really struck me both times as being the closest thing New York has to Le Comptoir in Paris. We are living in interesting times with food, and an analytical mind is as good as 40 years of eating for a living. Of course, the same was true 25 years ago this year, but the coven was much nastier and more insular back then. All that said, though, I have to admit I will never forget my first day back at the NYTimes after 15 years of eating for a living on my own. I later learned that Atexian instant messages were bouncing all around the Style department wondering “Who is that?” but only one person stood up, strode over, introduced herself and welcomed me warmly. Obviously she knows there are limitless second acts in American lives. Big fist bump to her.