11/29/2010

Wikileaks

People are up in arms over the Wikileaks documents.  Many believe Wiki is committing espionage -- perhaps treason!  That's just pundit melodrama.  I see the leaked State Department documents as reality programming, Washington style.  We shouldn't be surprised that a media outlet is publishing our government's communiques.  It's an eventuality of the reality programming craze.  I've spent the last couple years watching dagos wax and tan their "garbagio" on MTV.  I've seen fat people losing weight, Fat Tuesday romps, fat-assed Kardashians, a fat gay fella who won a survivor game and then stiffed the IRS out of its share, and a slew of self-centered, disillusioned posers living together in a contrived home setting, all waiting to launch into an angry soliloquy on roommate etiquette.  Reality TV programing is everywhere.  It was only a matter of time before it infected government.

I wonder what the secret documents reveal.  I hope they capture our State Department officers at their most candid (and a little drunk).  Maybe those inner-office emails show them cracking wise at world leaders' expense:  Hillary Clinton speculating on the "shortcomings" of Kim Jong-il's pecker.  Barney Frank quipping that Ahmadinejad's suit is so gay that it makes him (the pickle puffer Barney Frank, himself) look like John Wayne.  And someone please tell me upper echelon State officials are dumping all over France.  There's a hanging curve ball.  Where will the intelligentsia go with the frogs?  Body odor, loose morals, their propensity to surrender?  Hell, France needs its own Friars Club Roast to cover all its foibles.  Have you seen all the goatees in France?  But enough about the women... 

I'll bet the State Department takes an occasional shot at the president when they think nobody's listening.  Did you hear somebody socked Obama in the mouth during a pickup basketball game and gave him a fat lip?  Good.  At least now he'll have to stop kissing Arabia's collective ass for a few weeks!  Or how about this:  Obama's lip was so fat that his ears briefly appeared to be normal size.  The State Department isn't above a cheap shot.

Politicians are too wrinkled and homely to star in bedroom spy-cams or nightclubbing jaunts.  So we're reduced to prying into their emails and top secret documents for entertainment.  It's either that or watching Charles Rangel fry breakfast sausage in his boxer shorts while watching the Weather Channel.  Or maybe Nancy Pelosi preparing for bed by unscrewing the C-clamps that pull her face around the back of her vapid head.  Instead, we opt for classified documents whose publication compromises national security.  Bargain of the century!

Admittedly it might be fun to watch a herd of Washington bureaucrats waddle through the nightclub scene a la reality TV.  Popping bottles and stuffing our tax dollars into waitresses' cleavage.  After all, we've been funding their parties for decades.  Let's at least get a voyeuristic thrill for our money.

11/24/2010

Annual Thanksgiving Post.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Every Thanksgiving I get to thinking about the Indians.  I wonder if they celebrate Thanksgiving.  I don’t imagine so. The way I see it, Thanksgiving is like their Pearl Harbor Day -- nothing to celebrate. Let’s just hope Indians don’t retaliate with an atomic bomb like we did!  Ah, why worry?  The closest they'll come to splitting an atom is spilling fire-water from their canteens to the campfire.  Send my regards to Chief Stumbled Steps.  

Being a paleface, I love Thanksgiving.  I love a holiday with food as its raison d'etre.  Thanksgiving is the time of year I wish I had 4 stomachs, like a cow.  That would be great.  I could eat non-stop.  Come to think of it, better throw in a couple extra colons.  You don’t want to bottleneck the system.  If I break off the bigger part of the wishbone, I’m going to wish for that -- and for my enemies to be in pain, and a bigger penis if the wishbone can get around to it.

I love the food at a Thanksgiving feast.  Turkey is traditional fare.  Some people claim an ingredient in turkey acts as a sedative that induces slumber.  I’m skeptical.  I attribute the post-meal drowsiness to stuffing one’s gullet with a lawn bag-full of food, and all the hooch in the egg nog.  Here’s a tip for this year’s feast: marinating the turkey in Rock Star and seasoning with crushed No-Doze offsets the drowsiness.  After all, you’ll need your wits for those inevitable family fights -- another Thanksgiving staple.  I always pocket a shard of wishbone in case I have to stab my drunk uncle in the neck and make a quick getaway. That’s another tip I’d like to share.

I love egg nog, too.  Eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and your favorite liquor.  It’s chock full of calories.  I drank two glasses of egg nog last Thanksgiving and didn’t recover my appetite until Cinco De Mayo.  It’s filling stuff.  We could nourish the entire continent of Africa with a few pints of egg nog.  Happy Kwanza, Kunta Kinte.  Drink up.  Incidentally, I pride myself on being a non-judgmental person.  But if Africans celebrated Christmas instead of Kwanza, God wouldn’t let them starve.

After a huge meal, the family has to unbutton their pants to accommodate full bellies, all except my uncle, a Class 2 sex-offender who remains under court-order not to unbutton his pants within 50 feet of a minor.  Unbuttoned pants are the hallmark of a good meal, aren’t they?  That, or a really good adult website.  I can barely move by Thanksgiving evening on account of my alimentary canal being full of food.  But who needs to ambulate when you’ve got all those wonderful Christmas specials on TV?  Every time I watch Macaulay Culkin get his genitals caught in the food processor while watching himself in the mirror, I laugh my ass off. “Agggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!”  It just keeps getting funnier every year.  Some people think it’s the cologne he applies to his face.  Not true.  This year, pause yourTiVo and look at the bottom of the screen.  Freggin’ pervert is copulating with a Proctor Silex Salad Pro.  You have to watch the director's cut to see it, though.  

Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving this year!  Enjoy, Turkey.

11/22/2010

Limoncello, armadillo!

Everything tastes better when it's homemade.

I recently learned how to make my own limoncello.  I was delighted to learn one can make his own liqueur.  I figured you had to be a gnome or a hunchback Italian guy exiled to Sicily.  Ooh, you know who else might make a good liqueur?  Uncle Jessie of Dukes of Hazzard fame.  He already distills moonshine of county-wide repute.  Were Daisy inclined to zest some lemons and the Duke boys could stop humping each other long enough to bottle and market the concoction, Hazzard County would boast the finest Limoncello in the world.  That little dago Danny Devito had better watch his back.

Making limoncello is that easy, folks.  Let me walk you through the recipe.  You begin with grain alcohol.  I don't know how to make that.  I think God Himself takes a chunk of stupid and wrings it into a bottle.  Luckily you can buy it at your local liquor store.  Avoid stepping in the consolidated vomit pits on your way in, and keep some spare change handy for the local vagrant loitering the anteroom, lest he become a nuisance.  Locate the grain alcohol section and pick your poison.  I stick with Everclear because a sip of it is like a mule kick to your brain.  It's flavorless.  It's cheap.  And it doubles as floor stripper if you're in a pinch.  Any grain alcohol will do.  Vodka, which by definition is flavorless, will also do.  But it lacks the punch of grain alcohols.  So if you're a girl or a homosexual, vodka may be your choice.  Man the fuck up and buy Everclear, already.

Now you need some lemons.  Bear in mind that you'll be zesting the lemons to impart a lemon flavor into the grain alcohol.  So select those lemons with a thick, electric-yellow rind.  You'll likely find the best lemons at those hippie, whole-foods stores.  Buy 10 to 12 lemons.  Rinse them and zest them.  I bought a zesting tool at my liquor store and it works like gang-busters.  Some of you may be tempted to peel the lemons and that's fine.  But remember that if you add pith to the alcohol, the final product will be bitter and undrinkable.  You want the yellow zest from the lemon's rind -- not the white pith just beneath it.  Don't learn the hard way.

You can add the lemon zest to the bottle of alcohol.  That's what I do.  Or you can add the alcohol and zest into a jug.  Just as you please.  But zest those lemons right, soldier: all zest, no pith.  Roger, dodger.  Now I have some bad news.  You have to wait 3 weeks for the mixture to steep.  I know.  Waiting sucks.  If we liked waiting, we'd date Catholic girls.  Am I right?  But with limoncello, you don't have a choice.  You have to wait for the lemon oil to diffuse into the liquor, and that takes time.  Store your bottle in a cool, dry place and fight the cravings for 21 days.

You're almost there!  After you've steeped the liquor, you make simple syrup.  Relax.  You don't have to hike into the woods and tap a fir tree, Grizzly Adams.  All you have to do is boil a cup of water and add an equal volume of granulated sugar.  Mix until the sugar dissolves into the water.  Allow the fluid to cool to room temperature.  Strain the grain alcohol into a container (a mason jar works; so does an empty liquor bottle, and don't pretend you don't have one handy, you lushes!).  You can use a coffee filter to strain the zest from the alcohol.  Then combine equal parts of the lemony liquor with your (cooled!) simple syrup.  Put the concoction into the freezer (it won't freeze due to the alcohol content).  After it reaches freezing temperature, pour a few ounces into a snifter and enjoy.  Make sure you have bail money handy!  Are you ready to blast off, cosmonaut?  3-2-1, ignition!  We're in flavor country now, bitches.  

You can enjoy it straight or add it to cranberry juice, Mountain Dew, seltzer or lemonade.  The possibilities are endless.  Sip it after dinner or on the porch in the evening.  Bring a flask to work and take a nip on your restroom breaks.  Drink it straight while watching Monday Night Football or reality TV programming.  Keep it at the ready during the holidays and bottle it for gifts to those you love.  When you give limoncello, you give love.  And yes, if you must know, I'm drinking some right now.

As long as I'm cocked off my ass on limoncello, I should tell you all that I'm thrilled to be blogging again, and to have such a charming readership, and to have all these fresh, vibrant blogs a mouse-click away.  Know this:  If I'm reading you, it's because I love your writing.  Enjoy your limoncello in good health and with those you love.  And know that while I'm drinking mine, I'll be thinking of you all (and surfing homemade porn.  Remember, if it's homemade, it's better!).

Later in the week I'll repost my annual Thanksgiving Day essay.  I hope you enjoy it.  And should I miss the chance to tell you, Happy Thanksgiving!

11/18/2010

Too cool for school

List of cool things I want to do:

*Hurl a knife at a guy such that the knife sticks into the wall inches above his head, and then shimmies back and forth, and even though I don't have the knife anymore, he knows not to mess with me because if I can throw a knife like that, then who knows what else I can do?

*Discern the precise depth of a gorge by dropping a stone and listening for the report of the stone when it strikes the ground.  Then having my friend doubt my estimate because "that's impossible."  Then later, we Google it and it turns out I was right.  Steak dinner!

*Tame a wild animal threatening a campsite using my body language to communicate that I'm indeed the alpha male, yet I mean him no harm.  When all the campers rush to thank me, I pose humble and explain that I learned it watching Discovery Channel, and that they're the real heroes.

*Be the first on the scene at a traffic hazard and direct traffic.  People gather from my demeanor that I'm in charge -- so no horn blasts and no little kids giving me the finger from the back seat.

*Pop open the hood of a disabled vehicle, jiggle the right wires, hoses and components so that the car suddenly starts up.  Admittedly, this is probably the most unlikely of all my goals listed here.  Unless the car ran out of gas and there's a 7-Eleven in sight, no way I'm getting the car to start!

*Tackle a purse thief in mid-thievery.  Come to learn that the old lady victim had Christmas money in her purse for grandkids which they will get, thanks to me.  Humbly decline invite to Christmas dinner.

*Be the guy who scales the wall, goes around and unlocks the door from the other side for the others to get into wherever we're trying to get into.

*Successfully navigate a hike using a makeshift compass needle, noting the position of celestial bodies and tree moss, and drawing on my experience as a cub scout -- even though we could have taken the easy way out and used my Droid's GPS.

*Join in a doo-wop group singing around a barrel fire, slip right in with the harmonies, take over the lead and end the song with a hoo-OOO-ooo-waaahhhhhhhh.  Shake hands with the guys and then keep walking while the leader of the group asks the other guys, who was that cool cat? -- or words to that effect.

*Get drafted by a group of guys playing football at the park because their friend got hurt and now they're a man short.  Catch the winning touchdown and lead team to a come-from-behind victory.  Guys are almost glad their friend got hurt.  Other team clamors for a rematch, but I look at my watch and say I have to go.

*Spear a fish with a stick of bamboo.  Cook it rotisserie style on a sandy beach.

*Successfully negotiate my party's way out of a foreign jail cell with my considerable charm and also by besting the guardsmen at cards, chess or whatever their pastime is while on the job.

*After learning we're flooded in for the night, whip up a 7-course meal using whatever ingredients I can find in the cabin kitchen.  Wow fellow travelers.

*Hit a ridiculously high hand in blackjack and catch a small card, giving me 21 and making the dealer sneer.  Then giving a knowing look to the attractive lady across the table.

*Flip a bunch of burgers on the grill at just the right time so that they only have one set of parallel grill markings on each side.  Serve them by pointing to each guy with the spatula and saying "you wanted yours medium-well, right?"

11/17/2010

Thoughtprints

  • The wife bought me a box of Mint Fudge Oreo cookies.  Nabisco covered the Oreo we all know and love with a layer of mint-flavored fudge.  This is too much decadence.  It's baroque and sinful.  Nabisco is no longer baking; it's tapping into the occult.  I'm afraid that when I look in the box, the Light of Christ will obliterate me like it did the Nazi's when they peered into the Ark of the Covenant in the first Indiana Jones movie.
  • I think sites like MySpace and Facebook did weblogs a favor by siphoning off the lightweights and posers. Left in their wake is a high concentration of first-rate writers.  It feels so good to be blogging again.  You people are so much more interesting than the social networking sites and so much less depressing than the daily news.
  • I ate a carne asada bake at Costco the other day.  Evidently "carne asada" is Spanish for "flavorless prison food."  That bake was so bland it could have hosted a show on NPR.
  • "Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning."  -- Bill Gates.  "In that case, you're the wisest em effer on the planet."  -- LBB.
  • TV ads should come with a disclaimer: "Best possible scenario depicted." Advertisers don't lie. They're just showing you the rare occasion when the piece of crap actually does what it's supposed to do.
  • You know what word processors need?  A "stop trying to fucking help me" button.  Also, when importing text via the clipboard, a "don't retain the jacked-up, ass-backwards font from the source page" button.  These programs have become too smart for their own good.
  • Airport security is patting down toddlers.  Remember the good ole days when frisking a kid at the airport got you 15-to-life in prison?  Nowadays, they give you an Employee of the Month pin.  Hey, Captain, this one's trying to smuggle a couple of Milk Duds and a Twizzler.... uh, oops.  False alarm.  Sorry kid.
  • People are up in arms over airport body scan images leaked onto the Internet.  Yeah, because millions of teenage boys are discarding gigabytes of hi-def Internet porn so they can pop one out to a 32-bit grey-scale image of your cocktail wiener and middle-age traveling salesman ass.  Incidentally, it must be awfully cold in those scanners.
  • A woman has recently become the first transgender judge -- giving rise to the phrase, Your Hon-Or-Off.
  •  In the news today, a fisherman found a human head in his bucket, but at first mistook it for a fish.  It turns out, somebody decapitated Steve Buscemi.  

11/12/2010

A clean slate

Sometimes I have to clean stuff.  I'm a messy person by nature.  And I like to drink.  So I tend to soil things, and then my neatness-freak mentality erupts.  I get the compulsion to clean whatever I messed.  Usually my computer desk, mouse and keyboard take most of the shrapnel when I'm eating and computing at the same time.  It's a bad habit, but I love it.  I could feed a family for a week on the crumbs in my keyboard.

Murphy's Law is everywhere you look, and the world of cleaning is no exception.  Whatever cleaning agent you need is the one you don't have.  So if you're like me, you fumble for a substitution or concoct your own formula using those chemicals on offer in your utility room.  I fancy myself a bit of an alchemist.  I can whip up a cleaning agent for just about any mess.

My go-to cleaning agent is glass cleaner.  Rationale:  If it cleans glass, it'll clean anything.  You'll find glass cleaner is a serviceable all-purpose cleaner.  Just keep spraying and rubbing until the gunk disappears.  It'll handle all but the most stubborn stains.  Glass cleaner is the booty-call of cleaning agents: it'll do when you can't find exactly what you're looking for.  So keep it handy.

Sometimes I'll mix two or more chemicals together in hopes of formulating a miracle cleaner.  The idea is to maximize the probability that your concoction will have the desired effect.  It's guesswork.  Sometimes I miss the mark.  I mixed an ammonia product with bleach and woke up in a puddle of my own drool 17 hours later.  For the next 4 days I soiled myself every 20 minutes and labored under the delusion that I was Mr. Clean.  I even shaved my head and hid out in my neighbor lady's cupboards until she needed to clean her tile floor.  Surprise, bitch!  But my toilet gleamed like it did on the showroom floor.

Every cleaning product has this vaguely threatening federal law on the label:  "Using this product for purposes other than those indicated may violate federal laws."  I ignore this warning.  It's my constitutional right to mix and match these substances as I please as long as I'm not making crank.  Most of us agree that we want the government out of our bedroom.  Stay out of our bathrooms, too.  Unless you're going to clean it, Uncle Sam.  

I've had other laboratory mishaps.  One time I mixed Draino, Simple Green and Pledge Furniture Polish and created a radioactive goo in my bathtub.  I had a China Syndrome situation going on.  Think fast, LBB!  I grabbed some baking soda from the pantry and neutralized the goo before it reached critical mass.  A few burns, some mild hair loss and a Silkwood shower later, everything was copesetic.   My tub was gleaming.  Plus I saved myself a trip to Target.

If you read the cleaning agent's ingredient list, you'll notice that the active ingredient -- the stuff that actually makes it work -- is some microscopically small percentage of the product, like .05%.  The rest of the bottle is just water and buffers and other useless stuff.  I'm getting fleeced!  Look, I'll pay extra, but I want the full-strength shit.  Whatever chemical is making the product work, just fill the bottle with that and sell it to me.  Let me worry about diluting it if I have to.  But I probably won't.  Whatever cleaning produce I use, I want to hear it sizzle.  I want to pack the firepower, yo.

Sometimes things are clean, but you need to kill a bug.  Again, Murphy's Law applies -- now you're out of Raid.  I swear those little bastard bugs know when I'm out of Raid.  Suddenly it's a regular Boston Bug-athon across my kitchen floors.  Double dumbass on you, bugs!  I may not have bug poison, but I can find something useful in the cupboard!  That's when I rifle through the shelves and search for the most poisonous cleaning agent I can spray.  Let's see.  What would make the most potent nerve agent?  Ah, Comet powder!  Or maybe 409.  The way I see it, even if the chemical doesn't induce an acute fatality, it'll give the bug cancer.  Bug won't be much of a problem on chemo and bed-ridden.

Here's a free alchemy tip from LBB: Don't use Pam on your toilet seat.  You may slip off and become "familiar with" the business end of a plunger.  Also, don't use household bug poisons to clean it, unless you want a red ring of irritated/gangrenous skin encircling your ass for a week.  In retrospect, I should have anticipated these risks.  But once I get to cleaning, I attack with the fervor and single-mindedness of other great scientists.

Happy cleaning and best of luck.

11/08/2010

Thoughtprints

  • Environmentalists forget that man makes the most beautiful things.  Look at at city skyline or a modern marvel of architecture.  
  • I went into a Dick's Sporting Goods.  Not a single jock strap for sale.  Ironic.
  • If cars were cheap to fix, traffic jams would be fun!  Imagine not having to worry about fender-benders!  Every commute to work would become the A-hole 500.  
  • Curiosity is the essence of intelligence.  If you really want to know, you'll figure it out.  If you don't, you'll come off like a dunce.  
  • People praise the virtue of patience.  But the way I see it, patience is just tolerance for what's wrong.
  • TV ads should come with a disclaimer:  "Best possible scenario depicted."  Advertisers don't lie.  They're showing you the rare occasion when the piece of crap actually does what it's supposed to do.  I bought one of those clapper vegetable choppers because after watching the commercial I realized my life was worthless without one.  The thing is great at almost chopping vegetables.  It's perfect for those occasions where you need a checkerboard of tomato held together by a membrane of tomato skin.    
  • I'm much more inclined to believe salesmen with accents.  If they have an accent, they must be telling the truth.  A pitchman from Australia convinced me there's a magical cloth called a shammy that will soak up any quantity of fluid, retain it within its water-tight textiles, and with a wring over the sink, spill its contents down the drain.  If he were American, I'd know he was full of crap and just buy more paper towels.  But the accent proves he's sincere.  The next time I call in sick for work, I'm doing it in my best Chinese accent.  "Soddy fo sick.  No wok today.  I stay home an surf innet pawn."
  • If you always seem to say the wrong thing, you might just be talking to the wrong person.
  • When I'm at a restaurant, I'll wait however long it takes for them to bring my meal.  I don't mind waiting.  I'll enjoy the ambiance and my company.  But if the waiter forgets the complimentary bread, I panic.  If he's more than one minute late with the bread basket, I pull the fire alarm.  
  • Dogs lack the ability to wonder.  I'll walk into a room and flip the light switch.  The light goes on and my dog can see where he once was blind.  The only thing is, he doesn't know about electricity or light bulbs.  So shouldn't he see that as a miracle?  Imagine being blind and then for no discernible reason, suddenly you can see.  That would be a miracle, right?  And whoever walked in the room just before it happened would be a messiah.  Yet my dog just wags his tail at me and takes another nap.  
  • The bad economy is turning me into a real prick.  Nowadays, when I walk into a store, I expect to be treated like royalty.  As if I don't spend my precious money at their store, the employees will be sucking cock for beer money.  But things really aren't that bad. 
  • Feminine fashion appears to be in a state of flux.  I'm not sure quite how to describe my preferences: somewhere between shaved bald and the illusion that Gary Coleman is taking a nap in your lap -- if you please.
  • If we shouldn't worry what others think of us, why should we worry what other countries think of us?  What is a country but a collection of people (who all eat the same kind of food)?
  • There's a cute little electronic gadget that plays 20-Questions, and then does an excellent job of telling you what you were thinking about.  They should make one for which country you're thinking about.  "Do you prefer football or soccer?"  "Does your diet consist mostly of rice and beans?"  "If you get caught stealing, will they saw your hand off?  "Does your country feature TV shows that show fat people struggling to lose weight in a competitive environment."
  • I don't mean to appear insensitive to starving people, but I wonder how anybody goes hungry in America.  Why not go into a fine restaurant, sit down, and kill off a few baskets of complimentary bread?  After you get your fill, tell the waiter that the wine list is unacceptable and march out indignantly.  But don't forget to visit the men's room first, and get a free spritz of fine cologne from the restroom attendant to negate the sewer smell of your soiled clothing, you piece of garbage!
  • I've never met somebody who needed something to eat.  But I've met many who've needed something to drink.  
  • The best way I figure we can fight terrorism is stuff millions of cute, stuffed toy camels with nanny-cams and ship them to toy stores in the Middle East.  Why should a terrorist enjoy more privacy rights than an au pair?  
  • How do blind people stop themselves from falling asleep when they're tired?  
  • The best thing about the latest Batman film is that the bat suit didn't have nipples.  That was worth the $9.50 right there.  Every costume department should have at least one heterosexual to stop things from getting out of hand.
  • Police do have a tough job.  Nobody is happy to see you.  Everybody wants you out of their rear view mirror and their life as soon as possible.  Everybody hates the job you're doing.  Nobody can relate to that, except maybe Whoopi Goldberg.  
  • My idea for USB-connected computer dildo: the iBeam.  
  • I can't decide whether to continue investing in the stock market, or just go to the ATM teller every week day, withdraw 40 bucks and light it on fire.
  • Do you know the anxious feeling you get when you roll out into an intersection to make a left-hand turn, and then you realize there's no green arrow, and now you're just hanging out in an intersection with a guy behind you who took your spot and a few oncoming a-holes trying to blow throw the yellow light?  That's how I feel about the future of this country: can't go back; and moving forward is scary as hell. 
  • Why don't people who talk a lot get repetitive stress disorder in their jaw?  Wouldn't that be nice?
  • When I was younger, I'd get ready in the mirror and I'd try to look hip, cool and sexy.  Now I just try to achieve whatever look won't embarrass me too much.
  • I envy those people who snack on fruit.  I wish I could satisfy my cravings with fruit.  I need a couple Pop Tarts or a row of Girl Scout Thin Mints or fudge brownie sundae.  Who snacks on fruit, anyway?  "Gee,  I'm craving something sweet right now.  I'm so in the mood for a.... cumkwat.  Mmmmmmm... that would hit the spot."  You freakin' weirdo!  
  • We're such a self-loathing culture.  We don't even give ourselves credit when we do something right -- like when you snack on fruit.  It doesn't count unless it's organic.  See, it's not enough that you chose broccoli over a Three Musketeers Bar.  It has to be grown without pesticides and hormones -- otherwise you're eating what The Man wants you to.  If I eat legumes, I want credit, dammit.  I don't care if they grew them in plutonium.  

11/04/2010

Fat chance they sell molcajetes

I wonder whether I've become too angry. Then I squelch my wonder for fear that I can't help it, anyway.  Why ponder what one can't change?  Oh, for the power to choose those things that enrage or delight us!

I love homemade salsa.  I'm still searching for the perfect recipe.  Although I've made some whiz-bang salsas, I have yet to unlock the perfect combination of vegetables, spices and blending technique.  My salsas are always good -- not great.  But I'm getting closer.  Salsa is a strange and magical food.  When you nail it, as a few local restaurants do, it's the most delicious dish on the planet – particularly odd when one remembers it's composed of vegetables, a notoriously unsatisfying and often disgusting food group. Barring salsa, I haven't eaten a vegetable since I was 12, and then only under protest.  But I never met a salsa I didn't like.

I recently learned about an ancient food processing tool called a molcajete.  It's a mortar and pestle made of ceramic, marble or lava rock.  Its two components are a large, rugged bowl standing on 3 legs, and a blunt club for pulverizing foodstuff.  Cooks process herbs and spices in them, or mix sauces and pesto.  Salsas, too, are a traditional food whipped up in the molcajete.  Legend has it molcajetes make the best salsas because they release the flavors of the peppers in a way food processors can't.  We'll see.

What does the above have to do with anger?  I'm glad you asked.  I had to buy a molcajete, which brought me to the local Crate & Barrel, where one can find novel kitchen items.  Anxious to learn whether I would find a molcajete, I burst through the entrance.  To my horror, I see a tall, pear-shaped fat man hobbling with a cane and clogging the aisle.  Imagine Paul Bunyan aged another 30 years and having swallowed his ox whole.  Bingo.

The reader should know the store files patrons through an “in” and “out” aisle.  So I can't sidestep this gimpy rhinoceros and get along with my shopping.  I have to deal with him.  By now I observed him moving at roughly the speed of moss and with the nimbleness of an anesthetized koala bear.  Aw, jeez!  I'll never get by!  Even when I do, I'll be bouncing into this behemoth for the length of my visit.  God forbid I have to double back to the stoneware section or something.  I'll need a springboard, rocket boots and a climbing pick to scale over him.  Jesus, you're fat!

See all the anger, above?   Please know I was as appalled as you at my internal dialogue.  Yikes, that's harsh!  I had a moment of clarity just then in the Crate & Barrel.  I observed myself hating on this guy, fantasizing the number of ways I'd assail him, saying a little prayer asking God to condemn him to hell (which for him would surely be a grocery store devoid of Hostess products).  Suddenly I wanted to punch myself in the face.  What had I become?  What gave rise to my rage?  Why am I such an impatient jerk?  Why am I so angry at this?

Just as the self-awareness struck, I dissected my thoughts: It's unfair. I feel cheated somehow.  His very presence is an imposition...  But that imposition was really just 10 or 15 seconds of my time until he waddled this way or that, and I could pass.  Fifteen seconds?  How could that matter?  It's trivial.  After all, I had the day off.  I needed to kill some time.  It was a beautiful day and a beautiful store.  I might just as easily have yielded 15 seconds to the food sample clerk or the lovely recipe book display.  So if not the brief time he threatened to steal from me, then what?

It had to be the moral implications of being fat.  Somehow, indulging his appetite to the point where he became a human barricade – that offended me.  I don't begrudge a man a few extra pounds.  But how dare he grow so big that he clogs a thoroughfare?  That's the precise moment a fat person becomes offensive – when he blocks your passage.  Take stock of yourself.  You're blocking passersby.  You're a one-man fire code violation.  Stop being so complacent and bow your head in shame, you blimp. 

Here's the rub.  I don't want to be that angry.  I don't want to be a cauldron of hate that boils over at the slightest offense.  Instead, I want to be one of those a-holes with the “Life's a Beach” t-shirt and the live-and-let-live attitude.  On second thought, fuck that guy.  But still, I don't want to hate obese, wayward shoppers!  The fat guy's only crimes were bumping Pizza Hut's stock a few points and having the metabolism of a zygote.  I should let it go, right?

I would, but I just don't know how to change.  How do you stop anger from getting the best of you?  It sure as hell isn't positive thinking.  I've tried that stuff and it just pisses me off.  Once I caught myself getting angry in a traffic jam.  So I went to the positive thinking.  “LBB, aren't you glad you weren't one of the unfortunate people involved in the accident ahead. You're lucky that for you, it's just a delay and not something more serious...” “Bullshit!  These Stevie Wonders cost me 20 minutes because they don't know how to drive. I'd better see a torso in the ditch!”

You see? Positive thinking failed me. My negativity only redoubles its efforts and squashes the positive thinking. Plus I hate myself a little bit for being disingenuous. So now I'm worse than when I started  Thanks a lot, positive thinking.  I knew you wouldn't work!

Back to the anger and its causes.  I think it's evolutionary.  Hating pathetic people is encoded in our genes.  Elsewhere in the animal kingdom, stuff like this happens.  I've watched it on the Discovery Channel.  Chimpanzees and lions will ostracize or even attack one of their own kind should he exhibit a conspicuous flaw like a crooked tail or a deformed appendage.  It's Mother Nature's way of purifying the gene pool – or at least for filtering out the fat guy in the Speedo wading around in it.  We've retained the millions-of-years old instinct to eliminate the weak before they bring harm to the herd.  It may be in our higher nature to accept and love those with genetic anomalies, but our primitive brains invoke the emotional circuitry of hostility.  And so it is that I could feel two opposing emotions for the fat guy: antipathy and compassion (yes, I left the store feeling compassion for the fat guy once I calmed down).  I also felt concerned about my mental well-being, what with the glaring anger issue.  But neither sentiment lasted long.  It turns out the Crate & Barrel had molcajetes!  I was off to the neighboring grocer to buy fresh vegetable for my salsa sublime.  Incidentally, it turned out to be the best salsa I've ever made.  Thanks for not eating all the vegetables before I got there, fat guy!