Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Odd Bits - The Culinary Lawn Darts Edition

I don’t have a single coherent topic to discuss today, so we’ll have to make do with a couple of smaller ones.

Just Say Moe
Someone emailed me this and I just had to post it…
Billy Idol must have gotten the song wrong.  This way is better.

If at First You Don’t Secede… Please Reconsider
All the talk about people signing online petitions urging their states to secede is cracking me up.  Talk about Stooges…

While the phenomenon has been reported all over the country, it’s tending to be concentrated in the South.  (Go figure.)  All these bastions of Amurkan Exceptionalism and the glory of the old red, white and blue, want to turn tail as soon as they don’t get their way.  The portion of the country that crucified the Dixie Chicks for daring to speak ill of the (idiot) president now wants to disown the country the claimed to revere.  It’s no longer the Tea Party, it’s the I’m Taking My Ball and Going Home Party. 

I say, do it!  Go!  Secede now and good riddance.  This would be the easiest way to repair our gene pool, lower teenage pregnancy, raise literacy and raise America’s collective IQ.  Of course the Jerry Springer Show will lose 80% of its guests, but I can live with that.

But can we please keep Louisiana?  They’ve got Mardi Gras, jambalya, fan boats, drive-thru daiquiris, and I don’t want Jessica to have to get a passport just to visit Cassie again.  Because it will be surrounded by several other secessionist states, hence cut off from the rest of us, Louisiana can be our Alaska, only with gators instead of bears.

Maybe the unhappy conservatives won’t secede at all, they’ll just make good on their threats to leave the country.  I’ve got the perfect destination for them…

Fork Me
In my prior post, I wrote about how I needed to go out and buy an electric carving knife and a large serving fork.  (Trust me, it was fascinating, if not a bit disturbing.)

I was off yesterday, so I added that to the list of errands for the day.  I thought I had a nice, efficient trip planned, but it basically turned into a daylong clusterfuck.

CF #1: Getting gas.  This shouldn't have been any trouble, but the gas pump wouldn't take my credit card.  (It’s one of those Visas sponsored by the gas station, which gets me a rebate or .08 off per gallon.)  Anyway, it said I had to go see the cashier.

The problem with that was that I wanted to fill up, so I didn't know exactly how much to ask for.  I took a stab at $50 and hoped for the best.  But then when I went back out, it still wouldn't work.  So I go back in the station again.  By this time, there was another customer that was having the same problem on another pump.  The guy came out and basically kept pushing buttons and jiggling the handle like it was a toilet the charged by the gallon, until the pump sprang to life.

Unfortunately, it sprang to life at the non-discounted price.  I pointed it out to the cashier, who in his limited English, intimated that I’d pushed the wrong buttons on the keypad inside.  I hadn’t, but not wanting to spend the rest of my day arguing at a gas pump, I said “screw it,” and just paid the higher pump price.  (I mean, it would have come to a savings of $1.12 overall.)  Pissed me off though, because the $50 came up just short of filling the tank.  That meant I wouldn’t be able to calculate my mileage since my last fill-up, nor after my next.

CF #2: I had an appointment to get a new contact lens prescription at 1:00 and I had been hoping to stop in for some Wendy’s beforehand, but due to spending an extra 10 minutes trying to buy gas, I wouldn't be able to get there in time.  At my next destination, I wanted to get my eyes checked, pick up my electric knife and fork, and do some other shopping for Christmas presents and groceries.  You know where I can do all that?  Walmart, of course. 

Yes, I know, I should hate going to Wally’s, what with their being the kings of employee mistreatment and all, but hey, I want my one-stop shopping.

By the way, when Pinky learned I was going there for contacts, a knife and a fork, she naturally requested that I also pick up about 11,000 more things, hence the groceries.

The eye test went fine… It’s no secret that I really need bifocals now, and contacts just don’t work very well for both distance and close-up vision.  The doctor is trying a thing where my right eye is keyed for distance, and my left is for close-up.  I have to try this variation for a week before I order the lens stock.  It’s kind of weird because as I look around, everything to my left is blurry, like I need to get a new lens.  And I keep walking in circles to the right.  This explains a lot about old people.

CF #3: My next objective was to procure my new utensils, but this proved to be as elusive to me as clear vision.  I couldn't believe that in a place as big as Wally’s, they had neither an electric knife OR a big serving fork.  I mean, for Pete’s sake… they had an assortment of knives that would make Jack the Ripper envious.  I think that’s a “thing” now… especially for those that watch all the cooking shows.  They have to have enough knives to do a circus act.

And what’s with the forks?  They had rows and rows of spoons, ladles, tongs, strainers, and spatulas, but no goddamn forks??  I wondered if someone had put his eye out with a serving fork, so now it had become the culinary equivalent of the lawn dart.  I mean; there wasn’t even an empty hook where the forks used to be.

I circled the kitchen appliance aisles for 15 minutes and couldn’t find squat.  So all told, I went to pick up contact lenses and a knife and fork.  I left with $167 worth of groceries, no lenses, no knife, and no fork.  Fork’n A…

CF #4: Even checking out was an adventure.  I thought I’d hit the jackpot when I found a register that had one lady with half a cart of groceries already rung and bagged, with an other half to go.  There was one more guy with about 20 items, then me.

FIFTEEN MINUTES LATER, we hadn’t moved an inch.  The lady had 4 or 5 of these WIC checks, and there was apparently some kind of involved procedure necessary, where the casher looked at an item, examined the fine print on a WIC check, scanned the item and then discussed the situation with the customer.

I don’t blame the lady for using the WIC checks, but there has to be a more efficient way of conducting the transaction.  This was just mind-numbing.  I wanted to tell the guy that rolled up behind me, “Run!  Run for your life!  This is the Black Hole of Walmart, it’s Purgatory on Earth!” 

At least there weren’t any screaming kids in the vicinity.  (If there had been, it was fortunate that I couldn’t find my big fork.  I’da used it, real good.)

CF #5: Later, as I pondered my fate while eating a delicious Baconator burger at Wendy’s, I realized that I should probably try my luck at Target, which happened to be right nearby.  But when I got there, I had the same problem… rows and rows of every utensil, but no forks.  And no electric knives.  But WAIT!  There it is!  I found a single steel serving fork, down at the end of the row of hooks.  The trip wouldn't be a total loss.  (And I wouldn't have to turn in the “back-scratching fork” from my nightstand.)

I eventually spotted a Target worker and asked about the electric knives.  I hope he wasn’t too startled by the big, loud, wild-eyed guy, stomping around his department, waving a giant metal fork.  He couldn’t find the electric knives either, but he called around.  The word came back that they were in with the crock pots.

Really?  What the hell is up with that?  All kitchen things with a plug get lumped in together?  Made no sense to me.  And I’d been through that aisle too, without finding anything.  But armed with the knowledge that they were supposed to be there, I found a couple boxes jammed in between two rows of crock pots. 

Victory is mine!

And the kicker is… the electric knife comes with a big metal fork.

Now I just have to wait for Pinky to make something that needs carving.  I’ll probably treat it the way a kid treats a new toy… The first month I’ll use it at every opportunity… on ham, roasts, pizza, sandwiches, pickles, egg salad…  By the end of the next month, it will either be broken or I won’t know where it is.  (But I’ll be sure to check the nightstand before I blame Pinky.)


Facie said...

Bwah-ha-ha (to the fork-knife combo). Ah, men and their tool-toys. Please post pictures of your next cutting adventure. I would love a video of you using it on a pizza or chocolate bar.

I am going to the seventh circle of hell myself tomorrow, where, as my dad says, you go to buy a $100 loaf of bread. Here's hoping my trip does not turn into a post. I much prefer it uneventful (and quick).

bluzdude said...

That's not a bad idea... I'm sure I can manage to cut something off while I film it for YouTube.

I'm always happy to mine my life's foibles for blog material. Always look on the Bright Side of Life, right?

Cassie said...

It would be SO WEIRD if the country divided.

It always cracks me up when people say that they're going to Canada. Do they not realize that it's even more liberal there? Psh. Some people.

Azalea said...

I love it when americans say they're going to move to Australia because of such and such...or like that girl on Twitter who said she's moving here because our white christian male president means what he says. Our Prime Minister is a cohabitating, unmarried, atheist woman.

Also, I look forward to the electric knife video. ;)

Unapologetically Mundane said...

That Iran graphic is amazing! Kiiiiinda want to send it to my dad. Kiiiiinda want to carry on the complete political decency we showed during Thanksgiving, though. I'll keep it in my back pocket for sure, though.

If only there was a way we could see the liberals-only U.S. play out, mock-U.N.-style. I'm a little verklempt at the idea of such a world.

Anonymous said...

I heart my electric carving knife. For an item that only comes out of its drawer once or twice a year, it is always dependable and there for me.

Only one state has the financial and natural resources to survive independently. Texas. So, when can we start deporting Texans? Can we build a wall? Can we? Can we? Can we?

bluzdude said...

Yeah, really… that’s where the Liberals go when the country falls to the conservatives. But the funny thing is, it’s really tough to get yourself set up there. You just show up there and get a job. You either have to bring a quality or expertise that can’t be provided by a native Canadian, or marry a Canadian.

Here’s why I know this… I’ve worked with friends that met Canadians here, then followed them back to Canada. They were SOL on the job market until they got married. And shacking up doesn’t count. Our company had to pull some strings with HR to arrange a job with the company that required the American’s expertise.

What I find most telling is that graphic about Iran… Look at how many similarities there are between what conservatives want, and how Iran does things. The only difference is Christianity vs Islam. That’s why the Religious Right scares the shit out of me.

bluzdude said...


Yeah, call it the Grass is Always Greener Syndrome. Everyplace looks better than where you are, until you do a little digging.

Maybe the Twitterer thinks your PM is Crocodile Dundee…

bluzdude said...

Just keep it in your back pocket, like you said, to maintain a positive atmosphere. But if he drops the first bomb, you have ammunition to return fire.

The Liberal States of America probably wouldn’t work, because all the major businesses would relocate to Texas and Oklahoma, where they could operate tax and regulation-free. We’d have to import oil from Texas and the Gulf states, and gas would cost $8 per gallon. We’d all be driving electric cars, but then the power plants would relocate too, raising electricity rates. I wonder if you can drive a Volt on wind power...

On the bright side, any residual blue laws would be abolished, opening up bars and liquor stores on Sunday. Marijuana would be legal too. School text books would return to teaching actual science. Super PACs would be abolished and voting would be done via Twitter, throughout the entire month of November. Birth control would be free upon demand and minimum wage would be $15 an hour (if there are any employers left).

bluzdude said...

Stevie Ray Vaughan is dead, Johnny Winter is almost there, and ZZ Top hasn’t made a decent album in years. Both AFC and NFC lose one team. All the Texas football teams could just play each other, round robin-style. I can live with that.

Texas would have to subsidize the rest of the secessionists. Texas would build their own wall to keep Oklahoma out, and we could hire Mexicans to complete the rest of the fence.

Anonymous said...

I agree, let them secede! Or secdee, whatever they prefer. Not sure what they'll do when they realize they have no money for anything, let alone a military

bluzdude said...

You have to love it when protest slogans turn into the Daily Jumble.

Jessica R. said...

I think all the Austinites would bail if that happened, and that makes me sad.

Jessica R. said...

When all this seceding business started popping up, I told Cassie that she may finally get her wish for me to to move to Pittsburgh. I would hate to abandon the fun parts of Southern culture though. Why do a few loudmouths have to ruin it for all of us?

bluzdude said...

I would be all for an Austin exception... Like an outpost in hostile territory.

bluzdude said...

You can always take the fun parts with you... Ada wait till see the Fun Parts of Pittsburgh... TE ones Cassie hasn't shown you yet.

Valerie said...

I'm actually not allowed to play with our electric knife. I'm not really sure why. It MAY have to do with that time Eddie walked in the kitchen to find me standing on the kitchen table wielding the electric knife over my head as I called upon the power of the Thundercats... HOOOOOOOOOO!!!

So, you may not want to do that. Because, apparently, your privileges may be revoked.



bluzdude said...

That's probably for the best. Otherwise, I can see you with more than just a mannequin arm lying around.