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Sunday, January 30, 2011

I Wish Everyone Would Get This Passionate About, Say, The Proper Use Of The Apostrophe...

Let's just go ahead and stipulate that I watch an inordinate amount of television/read a great deal of information regarding Food. It's one of my interests, along with Politics and Shoes. (And Cows. Let's not forget Cows.) Having said all of that--and digressing shamefully, as is my wont--I've become increasingly aware of downright ridiculous fawning over a particular food lately. It's completely absurd.

It's not like this is a trendy, foreign, newish food, either, like sushi, although sushi is all of a sudden a bigass deal too, even among teenagers in Podunk, Ohio, where I live. No, this is a humble, everyday food that most of us grew up with and ate at least once a week here in the Midwest. But now it's a Celebrated Star in the Culinary Galaxy. It is swooned over, idolized, and has even been called a danger to certain groups because of its incredible, sexy allure. What is this mighty foodstuff, you ask?

It's bacon.

I know, right?

But everyone I know waxes poetic about bacon. Hell, one of comedian Jim Gaffigan's most popular bits on You Tube, with over a million hits, is the one about bacon, in which he calls it the "most beautiful thing on earth." "Even the frying of bacon," he points out with the air of interpreting prophecy, "sounds like applause."

Vegetarians everywhere are on High Alert around it! And well they should be, for bacon is The Gateway Meat for vegetarians. Scientist Johan Lundstrom, who once had a girlfriend who eschewed her own vegetarianism thanks to bacon, posits that bacon's double whammy of "odor and emotion, and odor and memory"...is the culprit. "When you pair that with the social atmosphere of weekend breakfast and hunger, bacon is in the perfect position to take advantage of how the brain is wired." Bacon is one-third to two-thirds fat and contains protein; it speaks to our evolutionary needs. We are, in short, powerless against it.

With this in mind, certainly, this website was born. Who doesn't need "Daily News On The World Of Sweet, Sweet Bacon"? Or Bacon Events, Bacon News, Bacon Recipes, Bacon Reviews, Bacon Desserts, and heaven help us, Bacon Books. (I searched in vain for any of Sir Francis' writings, but found instead a mildly humorous warning against reading A Day no Pigs Would Die.) Noteworthy, I think, is the article at the bottom of the site: Headline reads "People in Canada Choose Bacon Over Sex." (Note to self: Google birthrate stats in Canada, also per capita consumption of bacon, also email friends in Canada for info on same.) Next to the Popular Articles are Hot Bacony Deals. If you are Hot for Bacon Lip Balm, though, too bad. Baconfreak.com is sold out!

But never let it be said that the Dept. of Nance is not here for you! Thanks to the 2011 Ubiquity Of Bacon, we have Options. Just look! Have you ever seen so much Bacon Shit in your Whole Damn Life? And I'm even behind the curve on bacon: Back in October 2010 in NYC, a bunch of hightoned society types threw an autism fundraiser called Bacon-Palooza. Bacon was chosen as the theme of this three-day gala because not only did they believe it was "the hippest food", but that it "crossed all social lines. If there's one thing that everyone can agree on, it's bacon."

Okay, but...no.

And I'm not even going to "go there" with regard to the obvious PETA or vegan/vegetarian issues, neither of which are my personal concerns.
I just...don't get excited about bacon.

As a matter of fact, I don't care if I never eat bacon again. Bacon is...overrated. Except for the occasional BLT in the summertime, I assiduously avoid bacon. It's too overpowering. Once you put bacon on something, it's over. That food has been BACONIZED. You can't taste anything else but BACON. Why ruin a perfectly lovely cheeseburger with bacon? Why put bacon on a chicken sandwich? It has now become a BACON sandwich. If you wanted a bacon sandwich to begin with, then you should have made/ordered it.

Bacon is bossy and obnoxious. It shows up and takes all the credit. It's the kid in the class who hogs (sigh, a pun) the discussion. It's the John Hancock on the Declaration of Independence. It's the "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" part of the Beatles song. (Do you even know there are any other lyrics? Do you??) It's just too much. I don't like the over-the-top flavor of it. It's not interesting or complex to me. Bacon just doesn't have a lot going on for me. It's too in-your-face smoky and strong. It tastes like my livingroom fireplace when Rick can't get it to draw right away and the trails and puffs of woodsmoke start escaping into the room and I have to worry about the smoke alarm going off and the kittens getting upset. I don't like that.

And I don't like bacon.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

teaparty Prodigy Of The Week: The teaparty Diary Entry

How hard is it, teaparty teeshirt maker, to spell the same word the same way twice? Correctly? And then to omit, simply, the S? Just what was your thought process here? Allow me to hypothesize:

teapartier 1: How do you spell "lose"?
teapartier 2: L-O-O-S-E. I think.
teapartier 1: That don't look right. And we want to put "loses" on here, too.
teapartier 2: Oh. Right. In that case, it's L-O-S-S-E-S.
teapartier 1: You sure? Well, shoot. Now I'm all confused. And we need to get these here shirt orders done in time for the rally on Monday. I have to hurry and pick up a few things at the Wal*Mart before it's time to get Earl at his NRA meeting. Our truck is in the shop.
teapartier 2: Oh, let's just put one of each. It's not like anyone'll say anything. Everyone'll know what it means, and that's the important thing. It's the picture that I don't get. Is that how Obama looked in college or something? I just don't get it. Is it a gay thing?
teapartier 1: I think it's about being soft on the Mexicans and immigrations. Or maybe it's about his birth certificate. Anyway, let's just get this done so's I can get on to Wal*Mart. We're outa dog food and I think I'll just get a frozen pizza for dinner now.

picture found here

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Et Tu, Teachers? The Ides Of Education (It's All Here In Black And White)


Scene opens in teacher workroom. Some teachers are at computer stations, others are at long tables either eating lunch or grading papers. All would rather be someplace else, so no real names will be used here, except for mine.

Elaine: (tiredly) I may not even show the movie. I mean, it's in black and white. The regular kids just make such a big deal over it. I can't deal with their comments. (whiny, mocking voice) This is in black and white? Is the whole movie like this? How old is this movie? ( deep sigh.) Ugh. It's just not worth it.

Nance: You know...(leans over conspiriatorially) you might want to do what I did when I used to show the original Julius Caesar with Brando, James Mason, and Sir John Gielgud. The newer color version is crap, as you know--

Elaine:--Oh, God. That thing is such a piece of shit. Jason Robards is asleep during the whole entire thing. Anything is better than that. Has to be!

Nance: Exactly. Well, the original is wonderful, but it's ancient and in black and white. So, I used to tell the kids that some now-famous stars or celebrities were in the crowd scenes--you know, as extras. They'd sit there, eyes glued to that film, waiting to spot that person. Now, this was back in the early 80s, so I think I said, like, the actor who played Greg Brady or maybe, oh, I don't know, some hair band singer or someone. I used to even offer bonus points, and--

Jennifer: (rubbernecking from behind her monitor) Now that is so mean! Are you serious?

Nance: Absolutely I am! I'd even stop the film and the kid would walk up to the screen, all proud and authoritative, and point out the person. A lot of the time, I'd say, "Yep! Good eye! You got it!" And I'd give him five points. Why the hell not?

Tina: I love it. But didn't anyone ever figure it out?

Nance: Oh, once or twice I'd catch the eye of one of the brighter kids who could do the math and realize that there was no effing way that the Mystery Celebrity could have been in that movie. But they were always satisfied with being "in the know" and just sort of rolled their eyes and smiled.

Elaine: I should try that. I really should. I have this one kid who is such a complete and total jerk. I'm talking all the time. No, wait. I take that back. Actually, he's been really quiet lately. A relative who moved in with them is really sick and is dying. Or died. Either way, he's completely different. Is it awful of me to wish that he had other relatives in a bad way so that he stays quiet and does all of his work?

Lori: (suddenly piping up from the back table where she's been smothered by a stack of literary analysis papers) Maybe he could foster elderly pets. Then, everybody wins!
End scene.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Happy New Year And Watch Your Back

It is New Year's Day. Rick, Nance, and eldest son Jared are gathered in the living room. Nance is tucked into the corner of her huge easy chair, encased in fleece. Rick is similarly relaxing in his chair and Jared, sprawled on the couch, is drinking Diet Pepsi and eating...something...again. On the television is a Lockup RAW marathon.

Me: Is this really all that's on?
Jared: (rolls eyes at me; speaks only to his father) Dad, if you were in prison, what gang would you join?
Rick: Wow. I don't know. Hmm. Let me think about it.
Me: Seriously? This is our New Year's Discussion?
Jared: (ignoring me completely) I'd probably join the Latin Kings. Yeah, that's the one.
Me: No way. They cut people too much. That's all they do is cut people.
Rick: Yeah, that's true. They're always in knife fights in these prisons.
Jared: (authoritatively) That's just the way they operate. Sometimes you have to cut you some bitches to show 'em you mean business.
Rick: They cut, like, five people a day.
Me: I get up early anyway. If I was in prison, I'd cut five bitches before breakfast.
That way, everybody would know to leave me the hell alone.
Jared: That's what I'm talkin' about, Mom!
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