The Salt in our Blood

How halophobia killed the humble potato

What happened to french fries in America? Did I pass through some membrane into another dimension where salty foods are verboten?

If so, get me out of here!!!

In all sincerity, I haven’t truly enjoyed a french fry in quite some time due to the country’s growing halophobia. That’s correct, halophobia: the exaggerated fear of salt in one’s diet. Admittedly not a term currently found in dictionaries, but I can hope to introduce this word into the already bloated English lexicon. It is this fear of salt that threatens the nobility of the french fry as the crispy vehicle of ketchup.

I am obliged, insofar as I am able, to combat this lack of seasoning and see its proponents defeated. Who eats french fries with no salt? Who thought that was a good idea? That’s like ordering an iced tea without first saying ‘Long Island.’ Screw that noise. Pass the damn salt, please!

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My Obsession With Books

The best kind of addiction

Whosoever gifted me my first book, the humble seed from which my deep love and adoration for reading (and writing, for that matter) germinated, nowhere near enough expressions of gratitude could ever be bestowed upon thee.

For me, I enjoy the whole experience. It is pure ecstasy.

It begins with warm reminiscences. I recall my first books, greedily gobbled up by my young mind. The immovable hardcovers that housed crisp pages of imaginative delights, feeding each of my neurons. Every word and every picture nourished me. Changed me.

The weight of each book varies. Each cover has a different texture and a different thickness. Hardcovers, with their protective carapace, can have a raised texture with small patches of smooth lettering. Paperbacks, with their glossy and pliant coverings, are often smooth with few imperfections. No two books truly feel that same. And no electronic substitute could ever hope to replace such a wondrous tactile experience.

O, and the smell. I have smelled and always will smell each book I encounter. Age and the process by which the paper is manufactured plays a critical role here. In those tantalizing moments where my lungs draw breath and my nostrils analyze each passing molecule, bliss overtakes me. Older books typically appeal to me more than those freshly pressed. Nevertheless, I never deny myself the olfactory pleasure. And neither should anyone.

My hunger for books is insatiable. I cannot get enough of them. My idea of an enjoyable Saturday is one spent sifting through library book sales for literary gems. Being transported to new worlds and being exposed to new words will only cultivate the mind and enrich one’s life. I love books. Therefore, to me, bibliocide is blasphemy, cruel and unpardonable. Akin to the murder of kith and kin. And the barbarous act should be met with fierce execration and scorn.

I love books. All shapes. All sizes. All fonts. All smells.

When my Phone’s Battery Almost Died

It’s interesting how the impending death of one’s cell phone battery is treated with such exigence. People scramble to and fro looking for chargers, portable batteries, and outlets to plug in their devices.

I’m no different. 

Cloaca World

Free admission.

Before I begin, imagine what the dreadful amusement park Cloaca World would be like, let alone look like. Welcome to some of the thoughts that traipse across my neurons. You’re welcome.

Let’s begin!

I have accepted—as I hope we all have—my place in the animal kingdom, a member of an intelligent primate species that has gotten “out of the food chain,” as Louis C.K. so aptly put it. Our escape notwithstanding, we are still bound to the activities of our ancestors. Waste elimination is often a discreet and private affair, seldom discussed in public and often reserved for bright rooms filled with various forms of polished earthenware. Each home has at least one main room relegated to the task, a veritable Cloaca Maxima, where natural bodily functions are masked by aerosolized shame and guilt. Is anyone truly fooled when walking into a bathroom and is hit with the smell of pumpkin pie? Last I checked, such are not the goods baked there.

O, the bathroom: a sanitized place where faucets are needlessly turned on to shield the outside world from our mammalian sounds. This, incidentally, is a major psychotic hatred of mine. Demure individuals who waste perfectly good water to hide what comes naturally to all humans need to be given a swift kick in the taint.

What the reader should have undoubtedly concluded is that this post will pertain to a particular set of bodily functions. The funniest kinds.

Enter at your own risk.

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The Simple Pleasures

A dear friend of mine has spent—and continues to spend—a portion of his free time cultivating a vegetable garden. Nothing short of a private horticultural marvel, it has yielded large and delicious victuals that have resulted in tasty creations. Although impressive, perhaps I’m talking this humble garden up too much. When speaking about vegetation destined for consumption, especially when discussing food in general, it’s easy to regurgitate gobs of meretricious superlatives which more often than not appear so contrived that they would even confuse the diamond-encrusted gurus of the world. Speaking of superlatives, I also immediately think of Louis C.K. and his skit about us going for the “top-shelf” words. But I digress.

My friend derives quite a bit of pride and joy from this little plot of land, carefully tending to the various vegetables and herbs, and planning dishes based on the days harvest. All mortals that have never beheld the garden are promptly given a tour and are generously offered vegetables to take home. One could say that the garden gives material form to my friend’s kindness and generosity. These wonderful qualities are further exemplified in the meals prepared for friends and family utilizing the home-grown ingredients.

It’s quaint and endearing that my friend has found such a satisfying recreation and I can’t help but feel happiness and gratification. It is truly wonderful.

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Never Bring Too Little

As we enter the last third of summer, it seems as if everyone is in a mad scramble to enjoy the last bits of good sun, imbibe cold beer, and empty the vast larders of their local supermarket. Social events pepper the long summer months and one often panics trying to attend them all. I will impart one rule unto the reader that will ensure that one’s thirst remains quenched and one’s conversations interesting.

Never bring too little.

It is not meant to sound like a divine injunction; however, it would perhaps be more widely embraced if it had the tone of divine warrant. One ought never to arrive at a feast or gathering with inadequate quantities of drink, preferably of the alcoholic kind. This becomes substantially more important during family engagements or where the guest list includes undesirable company.

The rewards of abundance are manyfold. Firstly, a parched interlocutor makes for a challenging conversation. A dry mouth and gullet are a recipe for frequent throat-clearings that often interrupt the flow of a conversation. Staggering quantities of drink ensure that the windpipes are lubricated and viable for (hopefully) nourishing dialogue. Which brings us to the second reward, that of interesting conversations. As the inhibitions are lowered (in the vernacular: as less fucks are given), the philosophical and intellectual (sometimes the pseudo-intellectual) in one emerges. Staunch opinions become more overt and raunchier jokes are told. As a result we often learn more about the interlocutor than would otherwise be possible. Rapturous laughter and a great deal of mirth is often derived from speakers for whom one too many drinks are never enough.

Another reward: bringing excess drink ensures that one will never have to go on the dreaded “beer run”, which permits the merriment and frivolities to continue uninterrupted. Lastly, abundance compensates for the more penurious individuals.

No sin is more egregious than that of the empty-handed guest.

Personalization

In a world of mass media and mass email and group messages and group texts and group meetings, it is important to keep something in mind: the messages sent may be small electrical impulses and packets of data traveling through the interwebs; however, the recipients are not those things. Indeed, I assert that the recipients are for more. Individualized and personalized messages will serve your recipient better and it will have such a positive and profound impact, the effects of which are almost too good to squander.

Take the humble birthday. How often has the reader been the recipient of a birthday card, a birthday text, or a birthday post (whether on Facebook or Twitter), and the message was a generic, poorly-thought cluster of words. It’s as if the sender’s only intention was to save themselves from grief had the sender forgotten one’s birthday.

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