Bumper sticker, spotted today on a Cadillac full of old women: “My other car is a tiny penis.”
What does that even mean?
“Short of examining the entire history of each individual participating, short of anatomizing each soul, what hope has anyone of understanding a Situation?” —Thomas Pynchon, from the novel V.
So, what is the situation here? We have chicken. We have waffles. From what I’ve heard, the combination is wildly popular in the deep American South. Then we have a potato chip company, trying to fuse the two into a flat, crunchy, wafer-like substance.
We’ll start at the beginning—what do we know about chickens? They taste good, especially when cooked and slathered in any variety of sauces—teriyaki, barbecue, sweet & sour, the list goes on—but what business do they have canoodling with potato chips?
And the waffle—a doughy member of the cake family, commonly stamped with a gridded pattern of craters that house syrup, butter, and any other condiment desired by the diner.
Then comes Lay’s, a potato chip manufacturer with origins in the American state of Ohio. Of what interest is a soul food classic to a corporate giant? All signs point to something vile, sinister, and altogether dastardly that will probably in one way or another screw over immigrants or the lower class.
Prelude to the taste test: I properly cleansed my palate—three saltines, washed down with a glass of water. Room temperature, lingering between 69 and 70 degrees, Farenheit. Optimal for ingestion, and its successor, digestion. Comfortable seat. Napkins. Hands washed. Heart at resting rate. Other vital signs—appeared to be normal.
Presentation: The chips had a very light tannish-orange color to them. They didn’t differ in basic appearance from any other potato-based crisp product I have ever consumed. I briefly thought, in a flight of whimsy, that it would be pleasantly delightful if Lay’s had invested in the research and development necessary to produce a waffle-like grid pattern on each individual chip. Then my mind came back to earth, and I chuckled at the notion of how ridiculous that would be.
Initial impression: First chip, of an ovoid shape, equal in area to four quarters, American. There was a noticeable transfer of oil onto my fingers. The crunch, nothing special. If Lay’s thinks they’re gonna come into my house with a groovy new product, believing that I’m not hip to chip culture, and then drop a lackluster crack-a-lack on me, well, then, they’ve got another thing coming. I’m not saying it was a bad crunch. It could have been better. Yet, I couldn’t help but wonder, was this a sly allusion to the delicate, yet noticeable crust of an expertly-crafted waffle, or the first bite of a fried-chicken drumstick, where there is a palpable crunch, but not in an overpowering manner? If so, well-played. If not, then I give them a hearty “eh.”
Taste: I suppose I could have just said this at the beginning—the chips just taste like syrup.
I’ve been stuck behind a number of school busses in a number of neighborhoods. Despite differing localities, one common thread runs through the routing scheme: kids are getting really fat, so have a bus stop as often as possible.
This very morning, the school bus in front of me made a pick up. The kids got in, the flashing lights turned off. It moved forward about one hundred feet, stopped again. Another successful pick-up made, it accelerated off to its next stop, a hundred feet from the previous stop, two hundred feet from the original.
My radical solution: combine all three stops into one. If someone complains, inform them that kids can walk, and tell them to drive their stupid, fat, lazy kid to school themselves.
And we need more kids at each stop, because I recently saw a man with thick glasses and a comb-over standing near a stop looking very abductive-y and pervy. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t a parent. Safety in numbers.
Chris Farley should’ve been 49 today. Where would he be now? Still fat, and funny as ever? Would he have shed his weight and started doing dark indie films? Sex scandal? Drunk driving arrest? Murder? International intrigue? Political office? All I know is that we have Kevin James now. Kevin James.
From the opening line of The Communist Manifesto—“A spectre is haunting Europe–the spectre of communism”—oh baby, that’s good—to the last four sentences–“Let the ruling classes tremble at a communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Working men of all countries, unite!”—Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels had me hooked.
How about this tasty lick: “In this way arose feudal socialism: half lamentation, half lampoon; half echo of the past, half menace of the future; at times, by its bitter, witty and incisive criticism, striking the bourgeoisie to the very heart’s core, but always ludicrous in its effect, through total incapacity to comprehend the march of modern history.”
Who could forget this pungent whiff: “In political practice, therefore, they join in all coercive measures against the working class; and in ordinary life, despite their high falutin’ phrases, they stoop to pick up the golden apples dropped from the tree of industry, and to barter truth, love, and honour for traffic in wool, beetroot-sugar, and potato spirits.”
And what about the rich imagery of this: “The robe of speculative cobwebs, embroidered with flowers of rhetoric, steeped in the dew of sickly sentiment, this transcendental robe in which the German Socialists wrapped their sorry “eternal truths,” all skin and bone, served to wonderfully increase the sale of their goods amongst the public.”
I was so enveloped in the writing style, I didn’t absorb any of the ideals or theories put forth, except that Marx and Engels did call for income tax, as well as free public schools for children, so Amurica’s got a lil’ communist in her after all.
Three years ago today, my WordPress notifier tells me, this blog began. I’d love to go into a long, rambling exposition about everything I’ve learned, the bizarre events and trains of thought that led up to each post, but I don’t want to end up crying like a girl on the last day of camp, or a fat kid on the first day of fat camp, or the homesick kid that cries right around the midpoint of camp.
Plus, I live in the now, man.
Happy anniversary, WordPress. Happy anniversary.
Anthropology lesson: At the dawn of humanity, all men had beards. If a man couldn’t grow one, he was clubbed over the head with a mammoth femur, defecated on, and tossed off a cliff. By a guy with a beard. Why such harsh vibes toward the bald-faces? The reasons:
1) In those days, due to the life expectancy of early humans, an 18-year-old was considered to be a seasoned old man. Here in the present, he would be equivalent to any run-of-the-mill septuagenarian, in terms of longevity. Yet, unlike any run-of-the-mill septuagenarian of today, these “wise old” 18-year-olds were very capable of getting their breed on. Any man that didn’t have a beard by age 18 was believed to be possessed by impotent demons. As mis amigos Mexicanos would say, they were no bueno para chaka-chaka.
2) It’s natural for beards to grow. From the wisdom of the Taoists:
“Let everything be allowed to do what it naturally does, so that its nature will be satisfied.”
And if your face doesn’t naturally grow hair, its nature will be dominated and destroyed by someone whose face has the nature of beard-growing, because it is natural for humans to mock, hate, torture, and ridicule things that are bizarre and weird to them.
And so the thesis goes—women have deeply-ingrained sensory receptors that tell them to be wildly attracted to men with beards, because that is the natural way of evolution, the ultimate symbol of fecundity and virility. As you walk the path, women will tell you that too much facial hair is quote “nast” and that you “have peanut butter sauce in your beard.” Valid points? Of course. This doesn’t mean that the most remote regions of their mammalian subconscious mind aren’t whirring, wheeling, and enveloped with images of beards dancing circles around their heads.