Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Witz Pickz: Bacon-Chocolate, Calling Shotgun, and Gettin' His Friggen Post On...

Bacon Chocolate:
Yep, I had bacon chocolate. Let's start with the product and then we'll move on to the implications. Bacon chocolate is exactly what you think it is-- chocolate with bits of bacon in it. It mixes salty and sweet and actually tastes pretty good. It alllllso tastes a lot like you ate some bacon for breakfast, said screw it to brushing your teeth and had a late morning Hershey bar (aka the Sunday Special). And let's be honest, the chocolate disappears in your mouth much faster than the bacon, so you end up with a mouth full of bacon bits and basically just feel like you're eating bacon...which doesn't feel fat at all.
The IMPLICATIONS of Bacon Chocolate are far worse. Bacon Chocolate is to food now what interracial marriage was to society in the 50's ( in some places. Also, ironically, the chocolate in this metaphor is the white person and the bacon is the other person). You're going to get some looks, some people will scorn you, and at least one person will yell, "NOT WHAT GOD INTENDED!" But, like we all know, it IS what God intended. Bacon comes from pigs. Where do pigs live? In mud. What's mud look like? No, not that. Chocolate, exactly. All these years, we've been up in arms about pigs being filthy animals, while The big G to the Hyphen to the D (an awesome rapper name would be G-Hyphie-D...ok, that's sooo my rapper name now) has been pulling out His hair yelling, "NOT THE POINT, EFFERS! NOT THE POINT! I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU FIGURED OUT 'EATING EGGS' AND 'MILKING COWS' BUT YOU CAN'T QUITE GET YOUR MIND AROUND 'BACON-CHOCOLATE!'" And yet people are still wary-- and possibly for good reason.

Bacon-Chocolate is a Gateway Treat. Once you eat a bar of chocolate laced with flesh, anything seems acceptable. Case and point, checkout this recipe for Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies. Oh, it's ok to eat bacon in things? Might as well have that human meat on rye sandwich I've been pining for (Ok, I'm going to make my first and only "Alive" the movie/book/real-life-experience joke/pun here so get ready-- "as all old people know, Andes Candies have been puttin' human flesh in their chocolates for years." Boom-- not all gems). It's a slippery slope to slovenly death once you have bacon-chocolate, but it's a slope lubed by chocolate syrup ridden down on a sled of crispy pork product. Or as some like to call it, "Hershey Park in Pennsylvania." Shockingly, the park has provided a picture which perfectly sums up everything I've said here today:

Calling "Shotgun":
It was brought to my attention yesterday that somebody tried to call shotgun on Thanksgiving leftovers. This struck me as a) fascist b) homeless and c) against the rules. Let's deal with "c." I don't know what's it was for previous generations, or in other geographic locations, but growing up, calling "shotgun" applied solely to cars. You can call, "no bitch" if you're worried about the middle (because as we all know, only BITCHES sit in the middle). If you were worried about your chair when you got up you'd call, "Fives" (note: I've learned that some people called, "Fire on my seat" which is both more creative and less than cool), and if you wanted anything else, you'd simply, "Call it." For example, in 2000 and 2004, George Bush won the election simply by "Calling it" (just to get in one G. Bush joke before OBAMA!!!). You could try calling "dibs," but there was only a 50/50 shot of anyone recognizing that as a legitimate claim and not simply something to mock you with.

Calling "shotgun" is a whole other thing. You can only call shotgun when it comes to cars, and you can only call it when the car is in sight. Unless you are planning on cutting a hole in the food and consuming it at great speeds (just open up your throat, the mashed potatoes go right down), it's not the appropriate call. Even if you COULD call shotgun on leftovers, this person's claim wouldn't count yet. It would have to come RIGHT as the LAST person at the table stopped eating and not a moment sooner. That is the moment food becomes leftovers (it's in the Bible somewhere). The BEST way to claim leftovers is to load up your own plate with food and then NOT eat much, if any, of it (also in the Bible-- if you look at The Last Supper close enough, you will see Judas sneaking food scraps into a 'to go' bag. This is also called anorexia). Regardless, shotgun refers specifically to the front seat of a car. HOWEVER, the one thing that trumps even calling "shotgun" is motion sickness. I get extremely motion sick in the back of cars, so I usually just wait until someone else joyfully calls "shotty" and then call, "throwing up on person in the front seat" which almost always results in a seat exchange and a few choice phrases from the former shotgunner. But as they say, "sticks and stones may break my bones, but inner ear imbalances leading to nausea last forever."

So, Leftovers Shotgunner, time to grow up and play by the rules. Without the rules, we're just a bunch of wild barbarians, running around making a mess, with bacon in our chocolate.

You Down with G-Hyphie-D? Yeah, You Know Me,
Justin Timberlake Shotgunning a Beer-- you know, for the ladies...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Witz Pickz: Fry-Day -- A Food Post

Eff it-- let's talk food. I had a grilled cheese and fries for lunch, which was awesome, because it's delicious, and it was also telling, because eating a grilled cheese and fries at work is like screaming, "DESPITE MY THOROUGH HATRED OF SCHOOL, I STILL YEARN FOR COMFORT FOOD THAT REMINDS ME OF MY CHILDHOOD AND THE SCHOOL CAFETERIA BECAUSE I'D RATHER BE THERE THAN HERE TODAY!*" Here are some other food thoughts:

We Want Food Within Other Food: If there's one thing my twenty six years on this planet have taught me, it's that us humans want our food served the way we expect to be at the end of the meal-- stuffed. If we are immediately able to deduce what our food is, simply by looking at its exterior, then something is drastically wrong. Thanksgiving is the perfect example:

JOHN SMITH: Whoah whoah whoah-- what the hell is this gaping hole in the turkey? Now that we've ripped out all the guts...why WOULDN'T we stuff something else in there??
SQUANTO: Sounds logical-- I vote for seasoned bread cubes!
JOHN SMITH: Good call, Squanto! (They high-five)

But it doesn't end there. Chicken Cordon Bleu suggests that when we eat chicken, we're all secretly disappointed that we aren't eating ham. Chicken Kiev suggests that we secretly want butter hidden inside everything, and for that butter to surprise us in a painful explosion of burning hot liquid. Eating a pepper and eating rice seems ill-conceived, so why not throw the two together? I'm sure everyone will still eat the pepper and not just the rice...Most recently, I have discovered goat cheese and walnut stuffed figs...that were wrapped in prosciutto. I don't even have a joke for that one-- I'm just really excited they exist, and it just goes to show that the stuffed food theory is thriving.

Mr. Phipps' Pretzel Chips: I wonder if Mr. Phipps was fated to make pretzel chips just for the sake of end rhyme-- like maybe he would rather have made scones, but that was not alright with his food company. I imagine him saying to his Dad, "When I'm older, I'm going to make SCONES!" and his Dad angrily replying, "Goddammit! You're a Phipps! You will make chips, like your father, and my father, and his father before him!" and Little Phipps screaming, "I hate you! I hate you!" and running to his room. Sad.

Breakfast for Dinner: Was anything more falsely exhilirating growing up than "breakfast for dinner?" I have vivid memories of my mom popping into the kitchen after a long day, usually in her sweatpants and a sweatshirt, and whispering to my sister and I, "Hey...let's do BREAKFAST FOR DINNER!" as if her parents were going to run into the room at any moment and tell her to behave like a respectable adult. Maybe she was whispering because she didn't want my Dad to hear, as if he would put a stop to such shenanigans, but the only reason I remember him sighing whenever my mom said, "Let's be ridiculous! BREAKFAST FOR DINNER!" was because it meant he was the one who had to make us omelettes.

Which was the thing-- Breakfast for dinner never meant our ACTUAL breakfast for dinner. If it meant our ACTUAL breakfast for dinner, we would have had to jump up excitedly and shout, "HELL YEAH! TOAST FOR DINNER!" or my mom would have had to say when we got home from school, "Now don't spoil your appetite before we have YOGURT FOR DINNER!" Because actual breakfasts consist of cereal or less. I do that NOW. I have breakfast for dinner because I can't afford more or can't drag my ass to the store to fix myself a real meal. If my mom said, "Hey kids, what about breakfast for dinner??" and it meant toast and cereal, I'd have to ask if we had suddenly become ass poor. "Jesus, Mom, breakfast for dinner? What happened? Were we robbed? Did Dad go Willy Lohman on us? Do-- do I need to get a job to help support this family?...Because I'm eight." But that wasn't the case. Breakfast for dinner meant eggs or omelettes, and fruit, and bacon and maybe even waffles or pancakes. Sometimes it meant bacon, egg, and cheese on a bagel, which my dad served like it was gourmet and Dunkin Donuts serves like it couldn't care less.

"Breakfast for dinner" should be the rebellious slogan of a generation. When 50's values were thrown to the wind in favor of the unconventional, the indulgent, and the syrupy freedom of post-work waffles.

The Color of Cheese: Not the name of an unpublished Toni Morrison novel and not a collection of Maya Angelou poems, the color of cheese is actually a sensitive issue within our society as a whole. On numerous occasions, I have run into people who have a problem with yellow cheese, and as a kid, I remember PREFERRING yellow cheese to white cheese. I'm pretty sure Velveeta and Kraft capitalized on this color rift and succeeded in putting a greater divide between those on the left (yellow/orange) and those on the right (white). Well, I'm gonna put myself out on a limb and solve this one once and for all: THERE'S ABSOLUTELY NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO! It's just food coloring. If you can taste the difference between orange and white cheese, then you can taste the difference between blue and brown M&M's and that means you need to either join the marines so your skills can be put to greater use (I have no idea how this would be utilized) OR you need to tell us which M&M is the best, because I ASSUME that it's blue, but that could be waaaaay off and I think marketing has a lot to do with it. Also, you must waste about 80% of your M&M's.

Sweet N' Low: When I was little, my friend Zak Jazz and I were at a Friendly's and proceeded to take all of the Sweet N' Low out of the holder and hide them in the cracks in the booth. When the waitress came over and asked us what we were doing, Zak shouted, "Uh, we're stopping CANCER!" because we believed Sweet N' Low caused Cancer. The waitress looked at us blankly, because that's probably the last thing she expected to hear and because what can you say to that really? You can't say, "Well, put it back," because then you're Pro-Cancer. So she left. The point of the story isn't whether we were brats or whether or not I now realize how annoying we must have been to a sad, tired Friendly's waitress. The point is that I still have no idea of Sweet N' Low actually contributes to Cancer, and I'm not sure I ever truly will.

Top Chef: The newest season of Top Chef has started, which is cool, because it's the only socially acceptable show to watch where people cook amazing food. If you sit watching the Food Network for too long, you a) can't talk about it with anyone and b) feel like a tubby bitch. "Hey, what'd you do last night?" someone asks you the next day. "Oh, I sat around eating dinner, watching people make more dinner, and then felt hungry because theirs was better than mine." Not cool.

Top Chef is acceptable because it's a competition. It's like The Real World if everyone on the show was super responsible and focused on their careers. All these chefs from around the country/world compete to out-delicious each other. They very rarely create drama and when they do, it's usually because someone turned the oven up too high or they're out of cumin. Despite the omnipresence of knives, nobody ever attacks anyone else, they just yell in a way that would make my family say, "Amateurs," and then they go back to making their five course meals. It's not dramatic, but it's enjoyable. Because these are people who can cook really effing well. They are the MacGuyver's of the culinary world, and since we all eat (mostly-- Sorry India!), we all can connect with what they are doing.

Plus, at least for me, it makes me want to cook. After I watch a season of that show, I'm downstairs, laying out my ingredients, doin' a little meal prep. Then, at the end of the night, you can walk in, see me surrounded by vegetables, herbs, empty meat cartons, shredded cheese, heaps of coriander, covered cutting boards, carved out cans, and a sink full of dishes-- and you can ask me what I've made, and I will inevitably tell you, "Toast." Because, as it turns out, I am no top chef. Yet. But at least I can have breakfast for dinner.

Have Delicious Weekends...Better Posts Next Week,


Sunday, November 09, 2008

Witz Pickz: THE RETURN!

Aaaaaaand THAT'S what it would have been like if all my jokes about my immune system turned out to be true or if my comedy karma caught up to me and wiped me off the face of the Earth-- no more Witz Pickz.

I apologize for my inadvertent "Child left in the grocery store" situation I put you in. One minute I'm there and you're eating free samples of "Just Bunches" cereal (which is a ridiculous product! How can we serve a spin-off cereal of Honey Bunches of Oats? Aside from the fact that food products shouldn't have spin-offs, we don't live in a "Just Bunches" world-- giving people just the bunches creates a false reality about how people are able to get what they want. It says, "You don't have to work hard for what you want, wading through the bad times to get to the good; simply wait around until somebody offers you exactly what you want with a price tag on it-- 'Just the bunches.'" What's so wrong with the flakes? Doesn't good need evil? Doesn't right need wrong? Do the bunches taste as good without flakes? Probably. Bunches are fucking delicious!), and the next minute you're swiveling your head around looking for me-- at first casually, then with some confusion, and then with concern. Not that I've disappeared, necessarily, but that you don't have a ride home. Well, people, I'm back-- and my station wagon has room for you all.*

The fact is, it's absurd that I haven't been able to post for so long, and I have an abundance of things to write about. I have stories about meeting Sarah Silverman, horrible New York City bartenders, baffling reservation policies, ridiculous commercials, endeavors in Dallas, and the ever-present tales of public humiliation. Barack Obama is our next President (and your new bicycle), Knight Rider: The Series exists, and I have eaten Bacon Chocolate. There will be a lot to look forward to in the coming days.

Consider this the new season of Witz Pickz-- the one where you weren't sure if the show was cancelled or not (Californication: not cancelled. Arrested Development: still cancelled. Friday Night Lights: sort of's on DirectTV only now...which is weird, but not as weird as the fact that Lyla Garrity is banging Derek Jeter, which may or may not mean that Tim Riggins has herpes), and it didn't effect your life very much, but now that you're watching it again, you're glad it's around.

Here's a pick to get things started:

Witz DOESN'T Pick: Center Seat Surprise
I flew United Airlines for the first time in a long while and was surprised by how smoothly the whole trip was. We left on-time, we arrived early both legs, and thanks to a big booking move by Smokin' Ocken, I got to sit in Economy Plus, where the "plus" stands for more leg room. Unfortunately, my neighbor in the middle seat misinterpreted the "plus" to mean, "for four-hundred pound behemoths." To my dismay (but not surprise at this point in my life), one of the larger human cubes I've seen sidled up to my row and plunked himself into his seat, which I can only accurately refer to as his "ass cage." It was like those egg-like Fischer Price people that fit specifically into rounded "action stations." In this case, his actions were limited to "heavy breathing" and "emmanating odd, difficult to place scents." Also, he had a Nantucket Nectars lemonade-- life is in the details.

As his lower body fit snugly into the seat, his upper body sort of poofed out, so his top half spread over into my seat (which made me think of the song "Do you know the Muffin Man?" to which my answer was a resounding, "YES, and his sweat knows no bounds!"). While I normally sit in a window seat (left side for ultimate sleepability), I was thankfully given an aisle seat on this trip, which meant that while I wasn't squished up against the window praying for death, I WAS in an awkward nodding off predicament. Because the man was so large, his shoulder blades weren't quite able to go all the way back, so as I fell asleep, I sort of snuggled back in behind his shoulder like a makeshift sleeping cave. My only other option was letting my head loll to the side into the aisle, which happened several times and each time resulted in a near tragic Drink Cart Demise, which would have been embarrassing, but predictable (Witz died dignified right? Oh, no, that's right-- he was aced by a drink cart on an airplane). It was impossible to tell if the man was asleep or not, because the difference between sleep and waking was about an inch of space between the man's head and barrel-chest. His belabored breathing was also a constant, which led to an odd thought process on my part:

While I wasn't stuck by the window praying for my own death, I did start to inexplicably hope that this large man would die-- not because I wanted him dead, but because I somehow believed it would make the situation a lot better for the both of us. It would relieve him of his awful breathing struggles and obvious discomfort, and it would allow me to lean up against his corpse without feeling awkward. I imagined it would feel a lot like sleeping on one of those "Wrestling Buddy" pillows from the 90's. Anyway, I realized that if the guy died, they still probably wouldn't move his body until the flight was over, and odds were in favor of unwanted bodily excretions (which may or may not have been happening already pre-death), so I quickly put thoughts of euthanasia out of my mind, and concentrated on not getting smothered like a kitten getting slept on by a gorilla.

While we flew, I wondered how it was possible that a man that large not only was able to purchase only one seat, but how in the world he decided on settling for a center seat. What are the limits for size in seats? My Dad (No Paullution) later asked me why this guy was able to buy just one seat if he was that big, and I guess the answer is that when you buy tickets online, there's no box for height, weight, or morbid obesity. They should just have a link that reads, "If you are built even remotely like Grimace, please click here." I then started wondering if it would make sense to just force anybody that looked borderline huge to climb into one of those "Must be this size or smaller" cases before they can board the plane-- like a money booth without any money. They already make me put my carry on luggage in there to make sure it will fit in the overhead compartment, why not have a little closet for larger folks? If nothing else, the shear embarassment of it will make them deal with the problem themselves, although much like me and my luggage, I suppose it could result in a lot of big people taking off clothes they are wearing and putting them into their backpack in order to fit. These are the thoughts that occupy my time on airplanes.

Four hours later, we landed in Dallas and I was forced to admit that everything is, indeed, bigger in Texas.

Witz Is Back, Back Again, Witz Is Back, Tell Your Friends, Witz Is Back, Witz Is Back, Witz Is Back...,

*Well...four of would have been six, but the whole "Click it or ticket" thing has me uneasy with passengers in the trunk. You understand.