food


The current slogan for Taco Bell’s Creme Frutista Freeze* line is

A CREAMY-STYLE TREAT!

and that is one of the most disturbing phrases in English. “Creamy” already means “like cream” so when you hyphenate on a “style**, you freak me right the fuck out. So it’s similar to being like cream? WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN? The qualification inherent in the “style” is really disturbing.

“What does it taste like?”
“Well, I wouldn’t call it the OPPOSITE of creamy. That much is true.”

Is this seriously the best you can do?

NOW!

Because KillAllTheWhiteMan believes in the carrot as well as the stick, I want to salute Crowne Plaza hotels, on this bit of copy from advertising about the Quiet Zone floors they have for business travelers who need their sleep.

Our promise to all guests staying this floor is to extend the following courtesies:

  • No housekeeping or maintenance activities between 9:00 PM and 10:AM
  • No children, leisure groups, marching bands or circus animals will be assigned to this area

We ask in return that you do your part in keeping the noise to a minimum by:

  • Keep TV and radio at a low volume
  • Ensure guest room doors do not slam
  • No loud singing in the shower

The fact that these jokes are almost subtle enough to go unnoticed, and are part of an otherwise humorless corporate identity and message on the other consumer facing materials just makes it better.
 
 
 
 
*Who named this fucking thing? I mean, I have to assume it went like this:
SUIT1: OK, WE HAVE A DRINK THAT IS BASICALLY A SMOOTHIE WITH NO FRUIT. WHAT DO YOU THINK?
SUIT2: WELL, WE CAN CAL IT A FRUITISTA FREEZE. THAT HAS FRUIT AND FREEZE AND ISTA MAKES ME THINK OF BARISTA, WHICH I KNOW HAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH EXPENSIVE DRINKS BUT I’M NOT REALLY CLEAR ON WHAT.
SUIT1: I LIKE IT, BUT IT HAS THE WORD FRUIT IN IT, AND THE FOOD DOES NOT, IN FACT, CONTAIN FRUIT.
SUIT3: HOW ABOUT WE LEAVE THE “I” OUT?
SUIT1: PERFECT.

**The fact that the food is “similar to being like cream” but not actually creamy, and a fruit flavored drink that contains no fruit almost gets me thinking this entire product line is all a really great joke some disaffected guy at Taco Bell Headquarters was playing that got out of hand. If this is the case, I would like to buy that guy a drink.

I’ve long wondered what the deal was with candy, Slurpees and popsicles coming in the apparently fictional flavor of Blue Raspberry. After all, there is no such things as blue raspberries. So why have we all entered into a social contract where we accept blue as the flavor of a fruit which is, in fact, more or a red or maroon.

It turns out there IS a blue raspberry plant, kind of. It’s actually called the black raspberry, or more often, whitebark raspberry (Rubus leucodermis). The color is dark, almost black, but when you get down to it, it’s a deep navy blue. The juice in indeed blue, and is apparently the inspiration for blue raspberry as a flavor.

Of course, the REAL answer is that cherry had somehow claimed red, and strawberry seemed to have pink — and since candy is often sold to children and idiots, it needs to be color coded to facilitate purchase by illiterates — raspberry had very few color options. When a tenuous claim at blue showed up, it was pretty quickly agreed upon. Especially since basically no one wants to drink a blueberry Slurpee.

The only real mystery is why, instead of a dark navy blue, the foods are always an insane neon shade of blue. I suppose this goes back to an attempt to attract children and idiots.

Puns not used: Gimme a Break, Taking a Break, Dystopian Future Comics 2: Electric Boogalo (even though it\'s both a sequel AND about Breakin\')

I guess in the future break dancing causes people to spontaneously give you tacos and chicken cutlets? What a crazy mixed up world it is.

Going to be. What a crazy mixed up world it is going to be.

previously Things you should know about Ireland.

In Paris food is very expensive and very cheap, alternately. If you are paying someone to bring you the food the odds are good that the service will be poor, and you never have one consistent waiter. Instead everyone on the staff bumbles around inefficiently, and they always forget your water. Also, your wife, who doesn’t eat much meat, will find ordering very difficult. This will be the expensive kind of meal. However, if you just buy fresh bread, fresh fruit and some cheese, then take it on the Metro down to the Cité station, and eat it in the park outside Notre Dame it will be the best meal you had in the city, and also the cheapest.

In Montmartre there are a lot of famous places. You will walk into a place that says it is a Tabac, where you should be able to buy a phone card. When you get inside, it will be oddly familiar, and you’ll ask the very harried waitress if they have phone cards, and she’ll say “ce n’es pas un tabac, vraiment.” Then you’ll realize you’re in the café from Amélie. They’ve pulled out the Tabac to make room for more seating. A few days later, right at the bottom of that street, you’ll go to the Moulin Rouge, which is alternately kind of dumb and amazing. The Can-Can will be excellent, and at one point a naked lady swims in a transparent tank with some pythons.

In the tiny elevator at the Eiffel Tower, which is not really that tiny but so packed with people it feels tiny, there is an Italian couple. All four of you will be amazed by the view, and the building itself, which feels built in a way no other building ever has. You will take pictures for each other, but you will forget to take a picture of them, and you will never learn their names.

In the Sacré-Cœur, you will make jokes about God, and Catholicism, and your friend will light a candle for his Grandparents. You will feel a little guilty for the jokes. You will decide that $7 is too much to look at bones, so you won’t go into to catacombs.

In Montmartre again, on your first day, you will walk down to the Boulevard de Clichy, where there is an adult movie theater next door to a McDonalds. You will have never seen that many pictures of naked women on a public street in your life.

In the underground Metro station you will realize that any city without some kind of non-road rapid transit is a bullshit city.

In the modern art museum there will be a great many works that you really like, but it will all be diminished by the two blank canvases in the room all the way to the left, and back. There is an author’s statement there, but if you read it, you will know it is bullshit.

In Paris there is a train you can take to Versailles, where you will just go straight to the Palace. And Palace is the word. The interior is decorated and made up to the point that when you are finally finished, the entire place was simply draining. The audio tour will be interesting, but strangely positive. There will be no indication in it that the levels of excess displayed were anything but appropriate and worthy of your awe. The Gardens though, those are amazing. More than a mile, at the end of which is another god damn palace, this one constructed with what appears to be the bulk of the extant pink marble, which you frankly do not have the energy to bother with.

In the comic shop on Rue Lepic almost all the comics will be hardbacks. This will impress you.

In the apartment you rent, on Rue Lepic, right next door to the comic shop, you will be comfortable. Strangely comfortable. You will find yourself becoming so at home that you spend large periods of time inside, laying in bed and watching a channel that plays nothing but short films. You will wonder why they don’t have a channel like this in the U.S.

In Avignon there is a train station with what is, definitively, the worst parking situation in the world. You will drive through seven times trying to figure out where the hell your rental car is supposed to go, and in the process you will perform several illegal maneuvers, and do minor damage to the car. You will have something of a breakdown at one point. You will return the car in a rush, run to the train, and hurt your shoulder by leaping onto the train to block the automatic door from closing.

Number One Thing Probably No One Told You About Ireland:
They have Dolphins there. Right off the coast. Dolphins that come up and swim with your boat and make you totally forget that you’re in the boat to see the Cliffs of Moher, which are about 40 stories high and totally amazing, but mean almost nothing when there’s a Dolphin five feet from you jumping and playing in the water.

Something You Probably Wouldn’t Expect:
Pringles has Ireland LOCKED DOWN. Every single pub I went to had Pringles for sale, and usually no alternative for crisps (that would be chips, except I think Pringles actually call themselves potato crisps even in the States).

Biggest Food Let Down:
No one wanted to serve me Bangers and Mash. I could get Sausage (I actually had to consciously avoid it to get through a day without eating any) and I could get potatoes, but no one seemed to want to combine them for me. Sad.

Biggest Food Success:
It’s so easy to get curry for your sausage and fries. Shop Keepers of the USA, when will you catch on?

Totally Accurate Stereotypes:

  • Irish People Love To Drink
  • People in Pubs Sing Songs Together
  • Irish People Are Friendly
  • The Roads are a Fucking Nightmare
  • Gaelic is Absurd

On My Second Day There:
My mom crashed our car. It was really minor, and no one was hurt, but it totally fucked up the plans for the day. The upside to all this was getting to do things in Ireland that a tourist normally never experiences, like riding around in a guarda (cop) car, hanging out at a tow yard, and riding with a totally awesome cab driver all the way from Bray to the Dublin Airport.

One of the Guarda Actually Said This When Talking About Our Trip:
“I dunno why anyone would want to holiday in Ireland. We’ve nothin’ to offer and the weather’s crap.”

It Was Awesome:
Clearly.

Seamus (the Cabbie) Told Me This Great Story About a Crook:
“See, his big trick was to make sure he got arrested. He’d plan a job, then the night before he’d get a drunk on and make sure he was locked up for the day. The guarda hated him.”

SPECIAL ALCOHOL SECTION

Guinness Does Taste Different There:
But I still didn’t really have any because I don’t like beer.

Something You Probably Wouldn’t Expect – Part 2:
Captain Morgan’s Rum, which is gross, is completely different there and totally drinkable.

Don’t Bother Looking for Bourbon:
I’m sure SOME pubs have Bourbon, but the closest most got was Jack Daniels, which is gross. Just get some Powers.

END SPECIAL ALCOHOL SECTION

People Assumed I was Irish Because of:
My beard.

This is Despite the Fact That:
Very few Irish men had beards.

Seamus (the Cabbie) Told Me This Great Story About a Crook – Part 2:
“Anyhow, he eventually got his license taken away, so he took up a horse and buggy. See, you don’t need a license of any kind for that. So he’d get roarin’ drunk and take his buggy up and down the street outside the guarda station.”

80% of Ireland Looks Like:
This

Better in Ireland:

  • Mars Bars
  • Fanta Orange
  • Social Values and Community
  • Coca Cola. Again.
  • Number of castles

Better in the States:

  • The roads
  • The price of a Coca Cola
  • Salad
  • Respect for castles

Sounds Great But Wound up Being Kind of Gross:
I was served bacon* at every single breakfast.

Something You Probably Wouldn’t Expect – Part 3:
Dublin has more non-Irish accents than Irish accents. It’s an insanely mixed culture.

Seamus (the Cabbie) Told Me This Great Story About a Crook – Part 3:
The crook from the story was later murdered.

Realization While Writing This:
I apparently see the world largely in terms of food.

*Irish bacon, but I don’t discriminate against the bacons of the world.

I thought I loved Sherbert. I thought it was a tasty treat that was basically the same as Sorbet. So much so, that I had guessed that they were essentially the same thing. Sorbet was the French recipe, Sherbert the English. Boy was I wrong.

First of all, they don’t have Sherbert in the U.S. They have Sherbet. There is no second R. I’m going to pause while you stare at the sentence below and reality sinks in.

There is no second R in Sherbet.

 
Why the hell does everyone still call it Sherbert? It’s insane! Last night, I was buying some at the store, and the friendly old man who works nights commented on it. “Oooh, Swiss Orange Sherbert with dark chocolate chips! That looks excellent!” He read the lable, and without even thinking he added the second R! We all do!

I remember when I first noticed. I was shopping at Larry’s Market (R.I.P.) and noticed that the not quite Ice Cream was called Sherbet. I assumed it was because it was some crazy organic brand that was using some non-standard spelling. So I continued looking, and noticed they ALL said Sherbet. The world spun. Nothing made sense. Had I been saying and hearing it wrong all this time, or was everyone saying it wrong. It was a world gone mad.

I decided to do some research, and once again the foundations of my world were rocked. They had Sherbet in the U.K., but not like you know it. Originally a sweet, fruit flavored powder which would be added to water in order to create a fizzy drink, the powder was now typically consumed on it’s own, often with a candy stick or lollypop. Think Pixy Stix or Fun Dip, but with the effervescing power of Pop Rocks.

More shocking still, Sherbert did exist! It was what they called U.K. Sherbet in Australia and New Zealand. How did this happen? How had the spelling and pronunciation for two entirely different types of sweets come into use on opposite sides of the planet?

I continued to learn about Sherbet, and found that some of my early ideas weren’t far off. It comes from the Persian word Sharbat, which means “drink.” It refered specifically to a fruit puree drink, often cooled with snow. Unsuprisingly, this is indeed the same root word as Sorbet. The practical difference in the US is that Sherbet includes a small amount of milk (less than Ice Cream), some egg white and/or gelatin.

Finally, there’s an interesting coincidence. The only slang terms I was able to find in actual use (Wikipedia often includes some fairly Apocryphal slang) are Sherbet as a term for Cocaine in the U.K., and Sherbert as a term for Beer in Australia. It strikes me as interesting that the fizzing powder version should function as slang for intoxicants, while the delicious not-quite-ice-cream remains entirely wholesome.

This would make a good cartoon.

Two guys stand, looking at one another. They are SUIT GUY and T-SHIRT GUY.

T-SHIRT GUY: What are you thinking about?

SUIT GUY: Oh, you know. NPR. Organic vegetables.

T-SHIRT GUY: Really? Why?

SUIT GUY: Because… I’m 30.

 

 

And then T-SHIRT GUY explodes.

I remember hearing this joke when I was younger. I don’t really remember any of it except the punchline. The set up involves some guy visiting a leper colony. The joke ends
“Guacamole? That’s my back!”

Tonight, after hanging out with friends, Tara and I were both craving milk shakes. Speed was important because it was late. We headed for Jack in the Box, where I was going to get a 99 cent burger, curly fries and a chocolate shake. Unfortunately, we hadn’t noticed it was 2 AM, just after last call, and every drive through was packed with drunk people.
 

I went home and had a corn dog, and a hostess apple pie. While not really an appropriate replacement, it felt thematically similar.

This is what KillAllTheWhiteMan would be like as an every day blog. You need to realize, the delay in content here is for your benefit, not mine. I could do an entry every day just ruminating on my meals. Instead, you get high quality content like A Polaroid I Found IN Don’t Drop the Baby.

Washington banned smoking in all indoor establishments with employees recently. As a result, I can finally taste the food at (the still very busy and crouded) Beth’s. It turns out that aside from being huge portions, it’s also excellent.

Most of my smoker friends don’t really mind the ban, but there are exceptions. (It should be noted that as a matter of course, the Official KillAllTheWhiteMan Style Guide requires me to dismiss verifiable, identified sources and stick almost entirely with hearsay*.) There is a backlash among the poor, put upon smokers, whose God and/or Constitution given right to inhale poison when and where they like is being infringed upon! Perish the thought!

The more self-righteous among the smoking community like to frame smoking as if it is a neutral activity, and that any banning or restricting of smoking by business owners should be handled the same way as, for example, the dress code. No smoking, must have a jacket.

Except of course, that it’s bullshit.

Smoking is a hostile act. You are lighting a carcinogen on fire, then spreading it through the surrounding air. Once your actions begin effecting people outside yourself, it is no longer an issue of personal freedom, but of the freedom of all involved. And when the action harms those around you, it becomes an issue where the government has a clear imperative: to stop you.

When you smoke, you hurt people. Really, that’s the end of the debate. Framing it as a debate about personal freedom, and the market supporting the things which people desire is fallacious. The right to swing your fist ends where the other guy’s nose begins. No one has the right to cause harm to another person without provocation. Ever.

I’m also struck by the classist nature of the argument. No one would ever expect a white collar worker to breathe poison in order to keep their job. But when a young woman starts waitressing because it’s the only job that fits around her school schedule, it is somehow reasonable to expect her to increase her risks of asthma, heart disease, and cancer? Not to mention what would happen should this girl become pregnant, and her baby is at an increased risk of a number of diseases, including SIDS.

*The Official KillAllTheWhiteMan Style Guide does however approve of nearly any excuse for a footnote.

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