Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Obama's Fancy State Dinner and Step Stools

Rick Bayless, owner of Chicago eateries Frontera Grill and Topolobampo:

"I'm going to be making a mole and I think it's got 27, 28 ingredients in it." (For those unfamiliar, mole is a type of sauce, not a rodent.)

Well which is it? 27 or 28? And hey, that's a lot of ingredients. I mean humans can only recognize what, five basic flavors? Well, six for people like me, who have developed a keen ability to detect the bitter taste of defeat. (due to constant, it seems, exposure)

Speaking of which defeat, and food: I'll be going to work with a limp today and I blame Sam's Club. Why? Well, who else sells a box of Cheez-Its so big that it can break a toe by falling from the top shelf of the pantry? I know, I know, what were you thinking? You never put Sam's-sized products on the top shelf. Yeah well after many years of marriage to the woods princess, I've been forced to embrace the "there's a flat spot, it'll fit there" school of Feng Shui. So oftentimes the top shelf is only place possible to put stuff.

There was once a time when the top shelf of the pantry was always clear and neat. I used it to store those spices that, you don't know where they came from, and you know you'll never use. (what I call the "gee, I wonder what that tastes like" spices) You used to be able to put entire dioramas on the top shelf of my pantry. Then some evil genius introduced the kitchen step stool and now you're liable to find anything up there -- Barbie's heads, yarn, burned out light bulbs... I was foolish to think I could balance a cubic yard of Cheez-Its on top of a rack of deer antlers.

So anyway, before step stools, my height granted me exclusive access to the top shelf. The shorter members of the household could only dream about what might be up there. I'll think of those as the good old days.

Even though I know, in Obama's America, it's wrong to have an advantage over anyone else. (and there's probably a team of googlers in the basement of the white house looking for "exclusive access", for the purpose of stamping it out) I suppose I should rejoice over step stools because Obama's solution wouldn't focus so much on raising the short people as on chopping 12 inches or so off of those of us blessed with height.

So I guess I'm happy with what I got: a limp, sure, but I also own so many Cheez-Its that their mass affects tidal activity in the Northeast. And fancy pants Obama is stuck with a mole made from ingredients of indeterminate number.