Podcast Episode 9: Love and The Hamburglar
Welcome to the ninth (slightly more entertaining than watching toast dry) episode of the Mostly Teachable Podcast. This week I goof around about finding love at McDonald’s, finding one’s way out of a coma by listening to Rolling in the Deep and finding a ring with Lebron James. This was a hard week to find news that wasn’t sick and disheartening, but when all else fails there are still McNuggets of goodness in the world. Thanks and see you around the blog!
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Podcast Episode 9 Love and The Hamburgler
I found myself eating an American cheese slice (Good Heavens. I can get a blog out of flippin’ cheese slices?). Lori and I were trying to feed Grace the wayward beagle pain medication (yeah, I buried the lead story. Grace is fine. Old, stinky, expensive, but essentially fine) by hiding the tablets in “cheese food product.” Eating a slice of individually wrapped American cheese always reminds me that this rubbery product really is the unwelcome offspring of an unholy union between food and science. This is how bad relationships often end. You know, food and science met in some dark place, there were chemicals involved and numbers exchanged. Nothing meaningful could ever come from the hook-up. The results were mind-boggling products like processed cheese, near-beer and fat-free mayonnaise.
For the most part, I’m not a food snob. There are certain foods that would not exist in their present form if not for the help of scientists and research chefs. For there to be McDonald’s French Fries, someone had to invent the Lamb Weston Water Gun Knife. The device shoots potatoes at great velocity through a series of blades, using high pressure streams of water. Even renowned chef James Beard was an ardent fan of the McFry. For every better French Fry through science, there are too many ideas like pasteurized, processed cheese slices, though. Spam is another one of these, the meat equivalent of processed cheese. I have great memories of my mom frying up spam while I explained to her not to even discuss what Spam might actually be. I think Spam was one of the foods that made me try to reverse engineer beef jerky as kid. I put it in a jar of water over one summer, taking notes and hoping it would turn back into a steak. I ate my soggy jerky in September and let the mystery be.
The nice thing about losing one’s mind (and there are nice things. I’m not a glass half empty person, preferring to drink straight from the bottle) is that you can function in society for quite a while before anybody comments on the situation. My mind started playing tricks last week and I began to hear phrases in the night coming from the kitchen. I’d wake in the wee hours of the morning (so-called, because that’s when middle-aged men have to get up and go) and hear phrases uttered from across the house. Indecipherable mutterings arising for no reason. Only after a few days of hearing voices did I realize the voice was that of a Happy Meal give-away toy and that I’d never find the culprit. The offending toy would keep jabbering until the battery went dead. It hasn’t yet.
My 9-year-old daughter has mostly moved past playing with toys, but she still accumulates fast-food freebies with disturbing frequency. Talking things that reinforce nonsensical slogans and jargon for no good reason. For every one that does something interesting (like burp on command, or sit quietly and stare into space) there are dozens that shout stupid drivel. Once we even got a Simon Cowell talking bauble that I had to run over with a car in order to silence. I’m not a hater, and thrive on the absurd, but I draw the line at talking toys. As a teenage McDonald’s employee I used to deep fry them in batches. Needless to say, my career under the arches was brief. Personal kindness and patience shouldn’t extend to talking toys.
I’ve pinpointed the location of the nightly jabbering toy and have been informed by my family that it’s a zebra, inexplicably voiced by Chris Rock. Sorry, I’d rather be crazy.