This was never in question, but a dinner party will finally validate what you've been thinking all this time. Before your guests come over be sure to memorize the following sentences, "Oh this? It didn't even take that long to make...I get 92% of my news from the New Yorker...I think the best way to help raise people out of poverty is though a grassroots effort...I only eat fair trade products...It's my contention that Wes Anderson is the only filmmaker really exploring the banal side of the human experience." They'll have no choice but to acknowledge how perfect you really are.
Your home will be cleaner than it has ever been. Sure there will be papers shoved in drawers and closets, but that's a small price to pay for the chance to trick people into thinking you're perfect. If you weren't feeding people it would look like you are a serial killer trying to cover up the fact that you have bodies stored in your secret basement (which now has tons of papers in it). Who's hungry?
Haven't had a fight with your significant other in a while? Now's your chance! Obviously you'll be making a salad with kale. Iceberg? What are we, plebeians? But which type of kale? It's tough decision that can only be made after an argument in the produce aisle of the grocery store that ends with someone yelling, "Yeah? Well that's why we go see my family for the holidays!" Don't worry the salad is going to be great!
You'll have a kale fight and feelings will be hurt, but if you're in a long term relationship a dinner party is great because it will fill an entire week of time and conversation. The preparation alone will fill three days and after your guests leave you can rehash all of the things you talked about during the party for another four days. A long term relationship inevitably has ebbs and flows of conversation. Having dinner guests over will inject life into your conversation. "Can you believe how loud he chewed?" is six hours of new conversation! Events like this will help fill the void of time as you and your significant other inch closer and closer to your inevitable deaths and give your relationship a serious boost in the meantime!
Getting drunk at home is the best place to get drunk! Drink while you prepare the food and by the time your guests arrive you'll be at the peak of your personality. You can't get funnier or more charming. This is your time to shine! Find a recipe for a weird cocktail on the internet. Preferably something with zest. Tell your guests that you love testing your "mixology skills". Little do they know that this is the only place you're testing them out. Who cares you're drunk! Drink as much as you want; you're steps from your bedroom so the only consequence is having a great time. Who knows how your guests are getting home? Not your problem! SHOTS! SHOTS! SHOTS! SHOTS!
You could take the day off work to create a playlist, but why not get paid to create one instead? It's kind of like shitting at work. Why would you even bother doing it at home? I guess emergencies happen, but you get the point. Your playlist is crucial to executing number one on this list. It should be filled with a mixture of indie rock and Motown allowing you to spew out your knowledge of both interesting aspects of current music and black culture. "Bon Iver inspired me to move to the woods and just get away from it all. Just unplug and find myself. You know? What's that? Well no I haven't done it yet, but I'm planning on it. It's only a matter of time." Motown let's your guests know that you understand music history and different cultural aspects of American life. There's no black people at your party? That's perfect; you just became the resident expert of black culture and there is no one there to question your bullshit.
Bring up a little pet peeve you have with your significant other. This will make your friends comfortable with sharing their own problems. Don't volunteer any additional information about your own relationship. Just ask followup questions and let the floodgates open!
You get to post pictures on social media! Why stop at impressing just your guests? A dinner party isn't about having a pleasant evening with friends. It's about proving to the entire world that you're an awesome host, chef, mixologist, and all around tasteful person! Many of your friends will comment about how great everything looks and how awesome you are while also wondering, "Why didn't I get invited?" Be sure to tag your guests in the post so they get notifications about comments from people they don't know. People love that and it will remind them that your dinner party was a huge success!
Pour over instant stuffing is the latest pretentious rage! Brighter and cleaner than classic French press stuffing, pour over stuffing evenly extracts the flavor without the bitterness that accompanies traditional stuffing preparation methods. Use the pour over method for your next dinner party and listen to your guests cheer with excitement! "Motherfucker is that pour over stuffing? Aw hell no! This party just got turnt!"
1. Good and Plenty
They haven't changed since 1893. How impressed could anyone be at this point? If you've got a lot of Good and Plenty in your bag at the end of the night it means the majority of the people in your neighborhood are probably about to die.
2. Mary Jane
With a birth year of 1914, Mary Jane is fresh as hell compared to Good and Plenty! Unfortunately they still suck. I wouldn't be surprised if these make a comeback since they're gluten free.
3. Communist Propaganda
A common tradition in the U.S.S.R. but in the United States it's frowned upon and will disappoint even the smallest of comrades.
4. Necco Wafers
"Dude, did you just give me tums for kids?"
Ahhhh a Halloween classic! Despite the logistical nightmare of cutting open a candy wrapper, inserting a razor blade into a fun size piece of candy, sealing the wrapper back up, and giving them out to hundreds of kids, people cannot stop handing out this classic. This is a terrible treat for kids. If you're just handing out razor blades that aren't covered in chocolate then you're not doing right!
6. Airline Peanuts
I had neighbors growing up who handed out airline peanuts every year. They worked for an airline and got all the peanuts they could pass out! If you're handing out anything from your job just turn your lights out and call it a night.
There are people that actually give out pennies for Halloween. Pennies! This is a serious shitty treats made pretentious move. As a kid you think, "Yeah! Money! They're just giving out money!" Little do you know that pennies are even more worthless than candy. "I had these in a jar in my basement. You deal with them now kids."
8. Your Old Porn
I don't care if David Duchovny looks like he's having a great time. Geraldo wouldn't hand this out to trick or treaters and neither should you.
9. Crack Cocaine
Often confused for rock candy, crack cocaine is actually worse. It'll potentially ruin sleep and eating habits which will have terrible effects on growing children.
10. Jars of Toenail Clippings
I know you've been waiting for a special occasion, but Halloween is not it. Save 'em for Christmas.
The bodies of reportedly "happy" boyfriends lie bloody and motionless after the tragedy
WARRENTON, VIRGINIA - Last Saturday the sleepy town of Warrenton, Virginia saw one of the bloodiest tragedies in it's long history when seventeen boyfriends, committed a mass suicide in a pumpkin patch. Julie Miller started her day believing that pumpkin picking would bring her boyfriend Brian and her closer together, "I'm in shock. The day was going so amazing. It felt like something out of an LL Bean catalog," Miller said as she fought back tears, "We had only been here seven hours. The fun was just getting started." One of the victims could be heard yelling, "I WANT MY SATURDAY BACK!" before stabbing himself with a carving knife. As girlfriends screamed in horror other boyfriends in the pumpkin patch also followed suit. Greg McDaniels was heard yelling, "No! No! I'm not picking apples too! I can't do it. I can't!" before wrapping a pumpkin vine around his throat.
Trish Woodvine thought this might be the day that her boyfriend of three years would finally propose, "I imagined us posing for engagement photos right here in the field. Instead he calmly said, Why do we have to spend a whole afternoon and $100 on $10 worth of groceries?" Tragically, Woodvine could not provide a logical answer and he started smashing his head repeatedly with multiple pumpkins.
As with any tragedy of this nature the survivors are left with more questions than answers. Miller had this to say, "I just don't understand. My girlfriends were coming to town next weekend. We had made plans to go outlet shopping and Brian said he would drive us. He seemed so excited about it. This came out of nowhere."
Two of the happy couples before tragedy struck on Saturday.
It's 6am. I'm on vacation. It's my birthday. In thirty minutes I'm going huckleberry picking with my girlfriend's family. We've been dating for two years and I'm not entirely sure our relationship is ready for this. Any type of fruit picking is a serious commitment; your self-worth as a human being sits in the bottom of a large Tupperware bowl at the conclusion of picking. I'm being a good sport about it though. After all I could stay in bed. The idea of trudging through dew covered brush and picking berries for three hours doesn't seem like an appealing vacation activity, but I don't want my girlfriend's parents to think I'm not a fun person. I'm not a fun person, but that doesn't mean I don't want to trick people into thinking otherwise. Imagine the questions, "He doesn't want to go huckleberry picking? We don't understand. Why? Is he sick? Who wouldn't want to go huckleberry picking?" At the same time, they're asking me to do manual labor on my birthday...for the fun of it. That's why migrant workers do it right; for fun? For the unadulterated excitement that comes with picking small fruit? There is no cash reward for these berries. Best case scenario I get some jam out of this.
This is hard for me and I try not to go into this with a negative attitude. I woke up a half hour early just to practice saying things like, "WOW! Can you believe how many berries there are?" and "You can't get berries like these at the grocery store!" and "Come over here! I found the mother lode!" Eight large Tupperware bowls have been packed into the car and it's clear that we are expected to pick until they are filled with a couple overflow buckets just in case we really go for it. "Who could possibly eat this many huckleberries?" I think to myself, as the four of us pile into a Toyota Four Runner, "We're just giving ourselves diarrhea, right?"
I'm told that we are driving an hour to a location that is, "Prime for huckleberry picking." Just to be clear, I'm not talking about a farm that grows huckleberries, these are, "Wild huckleberries. The good stuff." The way they describe it to me, you'd think pure cocaine was growing on the Idaho mountainside. I have to admit that I've never even seen a huckleberry in person. A huckleberry looks like a reddish-purple blueberry. Please contain your excitement. I discovered that while the people of Idaho are primarily known for their potatoes, they've actually been living off of huckleberries. It's in everything up here - jam, muffins, pancakes, syrup, pie, cake, ice cream, drinks, you name it, they put huckleberries in it.
We wind our way across bumpy fire roads and up the side of a remote mountain scanning the terrain for wildlife at every switchback. At this point I'm in too deep; my only hope is that I spot a Grizzly bear hungry enough to eat me. I wouldn't even resist the mauling. I small price to pay for saving me from the three hours of labor that lie ahead. No such luck. We arrive at the family's, "Secret spot," a location that I imagine has been handed down from one generation of pickers to the next, and commence picking. Ten minutes into it and I have the hang of it. There isn't a ton of skill involved, however technique is crucial for maximizing productivity. I develop a very good system in which I pull entire sections of a huckleberry bush over my bowl and pluck off the berries letting gravity do most of the work. I realize that my initial reluctance to pick berries has been replaced with excitement. I find that I don't just want to pick berries, I want to win! I don't care about picking more berries than the rest of the group, but instead discover a deep satisfaction in stripping every single berry from each shrub wiping it clean. I want to win against nature. I have always considered myself an environmentalist, but for the first time in my life I feel a dominance over nature. I'm filling my Tupperware at an extraordinary rate while decimating the countryside. I have every intent of clearing this hillside of it's berries. Later today birds, bears, and deer will come by looking for a tasty snack and will find nothing!
Our three hours are up before I know it and I've picked about seven gallons of huckleberries. My girlfriend's family is calling me to come back to the car, but I want to continue. I'm not finished. There are still more berries, but I finally succumb to their wishes. With purple fingertips I emerge from the brush a new person. I finally comprehend the need to conquer. I understand the early pioneers' desire to triumph over the land. The loggers who clear entire hillsides of every last tree make sense to me now. Huckleberry picking is my Manifest Destiny!
Dear Strawberry Growers Sirs (and maybe Mams),
I just wanted to take a quick sec and write to you about your strawberries. I picked up a clam shell of some this weekend and they were the size of my palm! I turned to my wife Louise and said, "Louise. Hey Louise. Would ya look at the size of these strawberries! Whoa, they as big as my palm! These are some big honkin' strawberries!" And you know, she said what she always says, "Harold, stop yelling. We're in the Costco for goodness sake. Would ya calm down? My goodness, we didn't drive an hour here to get kicked out of the Costco for yelling about fruit. I've never seen a grown man so excited about fruit." Well so what if I'm excited about fruit? At my age there isn't all that much to get excited about and fruit excites me. She can't take that away from me.
So I wanted to write to y'all and just say what a thrill it was to purchase yer strawberries this past weekend. I also wanted to ask a favor. Is there any way y'all could make them bigger? I mean I know yer probably thinkin "Oh c'mon bud, strawberries the size of yer palm weren't big enough huh?". Like I said, I was thrilled by these strawberries, but ya know what? I have a dream where one day I could pick up a strawberry the size of an apple and eat it like a gosh darn apple. I know you guys (and maybe gals) got to feel the same way! I also know you guys (and maybe gals) are probably gettin a lot of guff about genetically modifyin yer strawberries. Well I want to tell you big strawberries is what the public wants! We're lookin to eat the biggest strawberries possible! I don't care what you got to inject them with. It's what America wants and it's what America needs. If we can't count on our president, we at least got to be able to count on our strawberries. Now I don't travel outside of my native state of Mississippi all too often. Why would you need to go anywhere else? Mississippi pretty much has it all. Every once in a while maybe I'll drive over to Louisiana to see Ole Miss beat them Tigers from LSU, but even that's a rare occasion. But if I was to ever travel to Europe and they was servin me strawberries. I'd want to be able to say to them, "Ha you call these strawberries?! Look at these little things. They more like smallberries!" Hahaha I'd get em good for ya guys (and maybe gals)!
Now I don't mean for y'all to get carried away like those watermelon folk, I gotta be able to lift a strawberry by myself. Louise has a bad back so I don't want no two-person strawberry, but go big or go home. That's what I always say. Come to think of it I think a lot of people say "Go big or go home". It's a pretty common phrase actually, but I think it can be applied to strawberries as well! Thank you kindly for listening to my ideas and propositions for yer strawberries. Like I said, it has been a great thrill.
It's been a long time since I last posted, but I bought salad dressing recently and apparently nothing fires me up more than salad dressing! I was in a rush at the grocery store and I have to admit with great disappointment that I fell for my own Shitty Food Made Pretentious tricks! With a snap judgement I choose a bottle of Brianna's salad dressing not realizing that what I chose to buy was garbage.
Let's find out where I was deceived. With an elegant label and a giant picture of a strawberry that looked like it was illustrated for the Wall Street Journal, I automatically assumed the dressing was both high quality and contained strawberries. AND I LOVE STRAWBERRIES! After closer examination it turns out that Brianna was only demonstrating that the dressing (a blush wine vinaigrette) is, "Delicious on fresh strawberries." Thanks Brianna, but I don't think you get credit for making fresh strawberries delicious. I have a funny feeling your dressing is also delicious on both fresh funnel cake and fresh vagine. If you want to impress me tell about how your dressing makes 7-11 taquitos delicious. Then again it might be tougher to trick people into buying your dressing once there is a big picture of taquitos on your label. Finally notice the paper seal on the top of the cap. It gives the bottle a handcrafted touch- like it was given out as a wedding favor!
"Now as you all know the bride and groom are passionate about salads. So if you all look on your tables there are personalized bottles of salad dressing for each of you! This is a recipe that Tanner and Stacey handcrafted using ingredients from Stacey's father's garden and it goes great with fresh strawberries and slitting your wrists."
Like I said, I was fooled. Brianna also has a seal on the bottle that at first glance looks like an award of sorts. Look closer, it's just a testament that they've been family owned and operated for 32 years. "Thank you!" Uh you're welcome? Now I know, "Only the finest ingredients" are in the bottle, but just in case Brianna is full of shit let's take a closer look. The number one ingredient is sugar. WELL GOSH I DON'T KNOW HOW YOU DID IT BRI-BRI! Is it the family ownership? The dedication to quality? Your unwavering desire to create a superior salad dressing? OR MAYBE YOU'VE TAKEN A PAGE OUT OF THE MCDONALD'S PLAYBOOK AND ADDED AN UNHEALTHY AMOUNT OF SUGAR! Just when I thought Bri couldn't outdo herself she plastered every pretentious buzzword to the label, "NO HFCS, NO GLUTEN, NO MSG, VEGAN". What a classic Shitty Food Made Pretentious move! If you're product is shitty simply distract people from the truth and use words that make the salad dressing seem healthy. Thanks a lot Brianna. You're the reason there are fat vegans.
Dear Beef Makers of America,
I just wanted to take a minute to thank y'all for yer beef. I probably eat beef about three nights a week. If given the opportunity I'd eat it just about every night of the week, but Louise does the cooking around here and she likes to throw in some other meats a few nights a week. "We can't just eat beef all the time," she tells me. Now I don't know that that's true. I once saw this documentary about a guy that ate McDonald's for an entire month; he didn't seem all too pleased about doing so, but along his travels he met a man that only ate Big Macs! Big Macs for lunch and dinner everyday! Can you imagine someone doing such a thing?! If you can't, you should probably watch this documentary. Now some people might call a man like that crazy, but he was actually really healthy. They had a doctor test his cholesterol and everything! I gotta admit he seemed like a bit of a weirdo and if you told me that he had bodies hidden in a closet somewhere or that he dressed up like a dang mascot when he had sex, then I'd say there's no way yer lying! But then I said to myself, "Now wait just a minute Harold. You gotta look at the positives here. This man has been eating beef sandwiches for the past thirty-some years for both lunch and dinner and is healthy as can be. There's gotta be something to that." So I had Louise start fixing me beef based meals - hamburgers, hamburger and rice, steak sandwich, meatloaf, and of course good old fashioned steak. You name the meal we were eating and it had beef in it. Louise has cut it down our beef meals to a maximum of four beef based dinners a week, but sometimes I sneak a little more beef when she ain't looking. I got some of my friends on the all beef diet too! I tell Louise, "I'm going to play poker with the boys tonight," but we never play poker; we just hang out and eat beef together. Sometimes we just drink beef consume. It's so fantastic. Y'all should come by sometime. It'd be great to have some more beef enthusiasts in the room!
What I really wanted to thank you for is the way you make your beef. Louise and I were down in Biloxi a little while back shopping for antiques. Now I'm not one to really get into antiquities; I think it's kind for old ladies, but it seems to make Louise happy so we go sometimes. That show American Pickers at least made it a little more manly to like old stuff. We don't just have to enjoy fine China anymore! Now I can say to man now, "Hey check out my old gas pump!" and they can openly enjoy my gas pump without the whole world thinking we're gay.
At any rate, when I'm with Louise I still need a break from time to time. So I told her I'm going to go to the diner and get a burger and read the paper and you know what? They had an article in the Biloxi Post about how y'all were injecting your cows with steroids and growth hormones. People seemed to be pretty upset about it. Now I can't speak for the younger folks, but when I read that y'all were putting steroids in your beef, I couldn't help but be thrilled! I wanted to eat more beef than ever. My best days are behind me and my body ain't what it used to be, so when I heard y'all were just putting free steroids in my beef I couldn't help but be thankful! Everyone says steroids has side effects, I heard men start to get breasts, their balls stop working properly and ya get a bad heart. But I'm like, "I got all those things wrong with me anyhow." I ain't had a peck on my chest in about twenty five years. My doctor already told me I got a bad ticker (which is one reason I started eating all this beef) and my balls...don't even get me started about my balls. I don't need them anymore. You can have 'em back! Louise certainly don't need 'em either if ya catch my drift. They're more of a burden to me than anything else in my life. You try finding a pair of underwear that holds all that properly in one place comfortably. What I can find is beef!
At my age I just do not see the downside of eating some steroids in my beef. For me there are no downsides. I'm excited to have bigger muscles than ever. What's the worst that could happen? I start hitting home runs? I been on my beef based diet for about two years now and have been putting on weight at a rate that is unprecedented in my life. I must've gained me about 85 pounds, but I know it's only a matter of time before the steroids kick in and all that extra weight turns into muscle. I can't wait. Keep up the good work and thank y'all from the bottom of my heart.
Sometimes things get lost in translation and all you really want is a taco.
Dear TGI Fridays,
I just wanted to take a quick sec and write to you about your restaurant. I should say I am not writing to you about your restaurant exactly, but your new restaurant on wheels! Whoa buddy, what will you guys (and gals) at TGI Fridays think up next? Friday's food that I can cook at home?! Naw, I'm just kidding. I mean, that'd just be silly. There's no way I could recreate the magic of TGI Friday's food at home. Y'all hear me? NO WAY. But that makes me wonder how the heck you're going to recreate that magic in a truck.
Now when I first heard that Fridays was getting into food trucks I thought, "That's the dumbest thing I ever heard. Why would an amazing restaurant like Fridays downsize to a truck?" So I went to your website and was navigating around and let me just say, I am sorry. This food truck endeavor of yours is terrific! Y'all had me at, "To all the makers of things and appreciators of makers of things." I mean heck THAT IS ME to a "T"! I made a table once in my tool shed. My wife Louise said, "Harold, you're never gonna finish that table." I mean how hard is it to nail together four legs and a table top? I'll tell you what, it's harder than it looks! It's been three years and that goddamn table is still in the tool shed, but it sure has given me an appreciation for handcraftedness! When I saw that y'all were spending the summer, "Celebrating the craft of handcrafting" I thought, "Finally a food truck for the people!" You see them white collar folks just don't get food sometimes; blue collar folks like myself are able to appreciate the handcrafting. It's exactly like y'all said on your website. Us blue collar folk, "Devour food and drink in the name of craft." I saw y'all even got "handcrafted menus;" I was tickled to see a restaurant that makes their menus by hand rather than using a paper cutting machine. It's the paper cutting machines that are taking all the American jobs and sending them over to China. Well the Mexicans too, but hell if y'all got Mexicans that's OK with me. I love Mexico! I can't think of a group of people that celebrates the craft of handcrafting more than Mexicans.
I love that y'all are doing this during the summer too! I usually only get to eat out of a truck during football season. Anytime The Rebels play them bastards from LSU me and the fellas will drive up to Ole Miss and tailgate all day in a field. It's wonderful! Just the boys, getting drunk, cheering on the Rebels and eating some good down home, handcrafted cooking. I don't actually cook nothing, but the night before the big game I'll ask Louise to whip up some of her famous potato salad and burger patties. I'll say something like, "Hey Louise!...Louise!...Louise?!...Well I'm already sitting down!...If you can hear me why don't you just answer? I'm sorry sweetheart. It's just that I'm really excited for the big game tomorrow and I was thinking it sure would be nice if you could make some them burger patties for us and maybe some of your world famous potato salad for me in the fellas." Now Louise don't know the first thing about football, but she sure can cook. Woowee I'm lucky to have her!
The one thing I don't understand about your handcrafted food truck is that it's going to be travelling with "Storytellers". What the hell kind of profession is that? A storyteller? My goodness, your food is good enough. Y'all don't need some modern day snake oil salesman weaving tall tales so I eat it. The guys on your website look like children. Who the hell wants to listen to some twenty-five year old say anything? What stories do they have to tell? "I couldn't get a job in the foreign literature industry after college so now I get paid in appetizers?" Hahaha y'all sure are silly sometimes. I love desserts; all I want is one of them handcrafted Oreo Madness desserts; instead I have to babysit some kid that didn't get enough attention as a child? What is that? If I wanted to hear someone talk for the sake of talking I'd just stay home with Louise. Having a "storyteller" is just gonna attract a bunch of lonely people. Now who wants to spend their summer hanging out with people like that? Aside from the storytellers I think y'all are wonderful. Keep on making great Fridays food. Thanks for listening.