Morning glory by a duller name

Some people might have seen Michelle O dishing up lunch at a soup kitchen and been impressed by a president’s wife who was not holed up with a cigarette and a magazine in luxury and denial like the Chimp’s lump in the bed. One astute political reporter, though, noticed only a guy with a cellphone in a photo and went off on what lucky duckies she was serving. The disconnect between the Villagers and the real world increasingly makes Per Se and Applebee’s look tight. But the funniest thing was watching the wingnuts take the bait on the menu. Yep, risotto is the new arugula. Permission to go batshit insane granted. 

Calling Al

I know I’m not the only one whose head explodes at least once a day while skimming the hometown paper. One morning that bitter bitch who never got over Bill is talking about Michelle O’s “flare,” and she doesn’t mean the rockets’ red. Or an essayist is undercutting his bathos by describing a “grizzly” reenactment of a murder, and he doesn’t mean the Werner Herzog documentary. Or the blogosphere is inundated with purloined images of a graph whose caption mentions “deductables.” And, no, fixing the fuckups online doesn’t make the newsprint go away (but maybe that’s why it’s happening). I’ve given up on anyone ever getting potpie or poundcake or wineglass right. But even my jaded jaw dropped a bit on reading about the affordable option near Carnegie Hall that offers a “prefix” menu. I guess that means all the introductory syllables you can eat.

Bridge to

I thought it would be hard for the Porcine Pantload to top his beyond-absurd scheme to separate fools from their mega-money with classes on one of the most elementary forms of communication. Could he do a fat book on healthful eating, maybe? (Think about his hips, if you dare: Every extra pound adds five pounds of stress on joints.) But it’s worse: He apparently had a ridiculous notion that people should give up food shopping and draw down their reserves. And the point was? To starve the stores and let fish rot on the ice and mesclun wilt in the bins? To kneecap the economy even more? To impose discipline while food banks are overrun? I mean, really. This sounds like going off on a two-hour sail and eating all the provisions on the way out. What happens when you’re stranded on the island? Well, I guess you’re supposed to blog about it on PhatPhuck. Pompously, of course. So all the little people can vicariously suffer your deprivation.


Now that the greatest cat ever has joined the choir invisible, I can’t decide who deserves more blame for jinxing him, the crazy-optimistic vet or my biggest fan. Whatever. It kicked the snark out of me. I could barely rouse myself to wonder what the hell an achiote pepper might be. (Can you say annato makes the cheese go orange?) Or why someone for whom English is obviously a second language is allowed to digest DI/DO with no intervention by a copy desk. (Can you say kill the fucking index and give A-section stories room to run?) And did an albino really take a dump all over the magazine? Talk about acid redux. . . .

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.


Or maybe not. Thanks to the Cod, I see no incompetence still goes uncompensated in this fucked-up society. The old girl has a book deal. Involving definitions. Of “the way we dine now.” Her agent must be very good with moving targets. Not even Applebee’s is safe with apple carts on the way any day now. Notice, though, I am avoiding all the obvious “who do you have to blow around here?” jokes. They seem to write themselves.

Wiki the Mighty One

Even my jaded self was pretty gobsmacked to click on a link to an actual food writer’s post on whether “frizzled” is actually a word. I know the internets bring out the narcissistic id in everyone, but why would anyone natter on like that for all the world to marvel without dragging out a dictionary? As Yogi Berra said, you could look it up. And not with mouse in hand. The only thing dumber, besides the dis of a hostess’s pie crust as “heartbreaking” (see above), was the straining at metaphorical stool for homeland prosciutto. Wouldn’t the blog be pork tartare? 

Little big scam

Mencken must be chortling in his grave over the exploding craze for 100-calorie snacks. More hucksters are not going broke suckering an American public that ballooned with the last fad, for fat-free Snackwells etc. Maybe if schools still taught math people would realize 100 calories is not exactly bird feed. One little Snickers leads to another, and before you know it you could have had a Happy Meal on a 2,000-calorie day. I’m just glad I got my aspiring anorexia out of the way at a young age. A hundred calories was a normal serving of almonds or chips or whatever. And you could buy portions one at a time. What good is a six-pack of baby Twinkies for someone with no self-control?

Stand facing the sink

The dishtowels my in-law equivalent gave me for xmas actually came with a tag explaining they were meant to be used for “drying dishes, cleaning up spills” and — get this — “wiping hands.” Now I don’t dare look at the fine print on the Charmin package.

Lies, damn lies and urban myths

I had high hopes for journalism after the new study showing there really is no such thing as a cure for a hangover, a lethal ailment that needs a pound of prevention. But nope, the “hold your head, New Year’s is coming” stories are being churned out as fast as the “average American gains 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s” BS. I’m just amazed no one has ever made the movie of “If This Is December, We Must Be Stupid.” Of course, cretinism takes many forms: Eating sushi twice a day to the point of mercury poisoning. (Uh. Huh.) Reading a story about calcium for PMS and seeing only the word “supplements” and never hearing “milk.” Or swallowing the notion that Oprah has found the secret to the svelte life — as recently as August her latest miracle was all over the internets; today she’s Macy’s float size again and they’re giving the stuff away in email scams. It’s Viagra for fat girls.

Why go out for Spam with steak at home?

This is also, unfortunately, the season for skewing facts to fit whatever trend makes a better story. Cynical as I am, I was still astonished to see how many outlets on- and off-line picked up the story on offal consumption rising in England and insisted on putting the hard-times spin on it. Anyone with a nose for tail knows the new appetite for the nasty bits is more about style than subsistence.

Corked nipple

The world’s dumbest credentials for a restaurant critic have to be the ones I spotted on some otherwise forgettable website: “I learned everything I need to know about food and wine at my mother’s breast at an early age.” I guess it’s safe to assume chefs who change his diapers get all the stars?

Please don’t eat the raisins

This has to be one of the lamest full-page ads ever: A big nut company swallows a smaller snack food company and takes the opportunity to tout its “culinary nuts.” That adjective drives me batshit insane to begin with, but can you not eat walnuts straight from the bag, too? Must they only be used for cooking? And wouldn’t it be better to be promoting those unsalted, un-glopped-up nuts as a healthful snack anyway? What the world needs now is culinary potatoes. Or, even better, culinary corn.

My kingdom for a Katz’s photo op

The Moose Murderer has already proven herself beyond qualified to succeed the worst president ever, and not just because she comes across as developmentally disabled in interviews. Sequestered in Philadelphia, where she greeted not voters but “fans” in an Irish bar before the debate, she ordered the requisite cheesesteak with the proper processed crap rather than elitist cheese. Viola, as they say in wingnuttia — election accomplished. Mr. Heinz, eat your heart out.