Exchange at a certain kitchen counter this a.m.: Hey, this sounds like you, in this story on how careful people have to be in learning slang in a second language: “Literally—While this can mean truthfully or without exaggeration, English students learn it can be used to exaggerate. Example: “We have literally been waiting for a table at this restaurant for a million years,” says Mr. Hayden.” LOL, I respond. Then turn back to what I was slogging through: “Everyone is talking about the chicken for two at NoMad . . .” Of course. The elevator guy, the panhandler at the corner, the fisherman’s wife at the Greenmarket, the lost tourist on 14th Street looking for Bleecker, the 6 million people I follow on Twitter — every goddamn one was talking about that chicken.
I never know quite what goes through a certain junkyard dog’s mind, but I do know the shiv inevitably comes out where it’s least expected (ask publishers who’ve been scalded by weighted praise). So I wonder what the agenda was in having a Thai chef say Niman Ranch tastes no different from “regular” beef. I thought flavor was just one reason to choose your meat in this day and filthy age? Also, too, whole lot o’ floatin’ going on that issue. And one image you do not want in your head is a “pea soup floater.” It conjures a very unfortunate punchbowl.