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Sunday, September 18, 2005

Take this, Eric Schlosser.

I have a chicken mcnuggets poster on my wall. This poster means a lot to me, and as I'm looking at it, I'm trying to figure out why. Maybe because it's probably the biggest thing I've ever stolen, (the second biggest being a king size Twix from my mom's closet) but seeing as I took it from a Mcdonald's dumpster, I don't think that really counts. About fifty years from now, if they still exist and I'm not completely blind, I'll see my senior pictures and wonder why my personality picture features these cancer-causing turds. In any case, there will remain a warm, soft place in my weak heart for those tasty mcnuggets. Probably near the left ventricle.

Have you guys seen those pseudo-satirical commercials that are all like, "Where are the nuggets on a chicken?"? I know you have. I admit that I chuckled a bit when I first saw that commercial. Well, I don't really chuckle, but as my face remained in permagrimace, I thought to myself that this was a pretty original idea for a commercial. But now that I think about it, the commercial is just stupid and painfully un-thoughtout. I mean, what if competitors used that same strategy for other types of products. Like, "hmmmm, I can't seem to find where the quarter pounder is on this cow. It must be an overprocessed piece of filth." Of course, it probably is an overprocessed piece of filth, but that's beside the point. Under their logic, all food must be presented to the consumer as much in its original form as to allow an immediate recognition of the actual expression the meal had on its face when it died. I don't want to know anything about the pain the animal went through for me to eat, I just want to enjoy my meal. And I don't think I'm the only one.

I say that as long as a food has a recognizeable shape, then it is acceptable. And the chicken mcnugget is no exception. Generally, there are two types of chicken mcnugget. There's the lumpy oval, and of course the boot. The boot is advantageous in a few ways. One of which is that the toe of the boot allows for a minimum-sized handle as you dip the nugget into the river of sweet and sour. The heel of the nugget is also acceptable for this but there are some disadvantages. Another advantage of the boot shape is when there is only a tiny amount of sauce left in the corner of the package. You just stick the toe of the nugget in there and it can usually wipe it clean. Of course, both of these techniques cannot be employed at the same time. But that's the beauty of it all. A ten-nugget order allows for at least 1024 different combinations, and that's just boot-shapers. Don't get me started on the oval ones or the not uncommon "mutant nuggets."

The permutations are practically endless.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Better than a slice of bread.

Sandwiches are probably the most stable food of today's society. Really, has anyone ever had a really bad sandwich? I've had some mediocre sandwiches in my lifetime, but never a really bad one. If there were stock in sandwiches, I'd be in on that in a second. There's just no risk. Sure, it may not be exceptionally delicious, but at worst you're just going to break even. Then you can just make another sandwich, and chances are it will be even better than the first.

I love the feeling I get when I make a sandwich for myself. I feel so capable. I don't do my own laundry, I have no real job, no woman, and my social skills are lacking at best. But whenever I finish making a ham sandwich, I can't help but think to myself, "I'm going to make it. I can take care of myself." Then, of course, I ask my mom to come cut the sandwich and to make it look like a butterfly the way I like it.

It has been said on the art of sandwich-making that "it takes a minute to learn, and a lifetime to master." The actual design of a standard sandwich is quite simple. Bread, condiments, meat, cheese, vegetables, more condiments, bread. But these elements of the sandwich have so many subcategories that the possibilities are endless. And then there are the new contemporary ideas beginning to sprout. Among these are the double and triple deckers. I haven't quite mastered these yet. I am always thwarted by the pieces of bread that fall in the middle of the sandwich. Next to impossible it is to spread mayonnaise on both sides of that piece. A zero-gravity environment would be ideal for this sort of project. I'm in correspondence with NASA at this time developing a plan to make this concept a reality.

I've often been accused when I order a sandwich at a restaurant that my choice in extras has been found wanting. I am usually open to change and the radical thinking of the "cultured" person. But, you know, sometimes you just need to relax and not get bogged down with the details. I am a simple man. And at times I enjoy a simple sandwich. C'mon, bread, meat, cheese, lettuce. How can you go wrong with that?

I hope we don't ruin the sandwich like we have so many things before my children can enjoy it. It's just such a great thing, but great things are very apt to being tainted and corrupted once released to the general population. I mean, look at popular music, t.v, and, ironically, the internet. It's a shame that this has happened. But we can prevent this from happening to the sandwich if we all do our part. If you come across a sandwich obviously sloppily stacked without care, walk away. If you see a sandwich with questionable ingredients, just say "no way" and walk away. Do not linger near an obviously mass-produced corporate sandwich. A sandwich with an expiration date sticker is no sandwich at all. Walk away. It's just not worth it.

It's our responsibility to maintain this world. Some may say that I'm overreacting, but I feel that the sandwich is in grave danger. I have written several letters to congress on the matter which have strongly stated that the sandwich should immediately be put on the Endangered Delectables List. Anyone willingly to be a cosignatory on a letter to the President of the United States addressing the sandwich problem would be greatly appreciated.

This is a serious problem, and serious problems require serious solutions.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Count the arms, legs, and heads, and then divide by 5.

I really dislike statistics. Not the practice of statistics, but just the class. It's just so boring and stupid. All we've done so far is add up ridiculous amounts of numbers and figured out stuff about them. And when I say we've figured out stuff about them, I mean we've just made box-and-whisker plots of them. I'm not learning anything. I mean, I already know to do all that crap, and I already know how to get pissed off about it.

I think a lot of why I don't like the class is the teacher. Miss Sweetwood is one of those teachers that is strict about stupid stuff by which only a neurotic and paranoid person would be irritated. One time the class was put in pairs to do some work. My partner was Marshall and we decided it would be a good idea to go in the hall to work away from all the noise of the classroom. We walked outside and finished the work earlier than everyone else and walked back in and sat down. Immediately Sweetwood called us up to her desk and told us that she had specifically told the class not to go in the hall. The problem was that she told the class this after we were already in the hall. I told her that sound is not very apt to going through thick walls but she was still mad. She's retarded.

For the first two weeks I had eaten my lunch in statistics. It's right before lunchtime and I think I might be mildly diabetic so I need food during that period to concentrate. But the last time I had statistics, I pulled out a sandwich and began to carefully, quietly, and neatly eat it. I wasn't disturbing anyone or anything. Sweetwood was near my desk, getting mad at Marshall for taking her stapler to his desk to staple his assignment. I scolded Marshall for his unforgiveable transgression.

"Geeth, Mahsull, why yu haf oo ake 'ings sho har' for 'er?" I said with a mouthful of sandwich.

Sweetwood heard this and spun around in my direction to see me holding my half-eaten sandwich.

"Does this room look like a cafeteria?" she asked. I hate it when people ask questions like that.

"Wan' a bite?" I asked with a still pretty full mouth.

"Put it away."

I quickly took 3 or 4 more bites and put the sandwich in my backpack. By the time I was able to get it out again, it was warm and mushy. I couldn't waste it but when I offered it to people, no one would accept it. I eventually had to throw it away. I still feel bad about that.

Anyway, Sweetwood is a terrible teacher and in no way can be compared to Danner, the best math teacher at phs.

And if Sweetwood is reading this, here's a statistic for you: 300% of your class sucks while -200% is okay (With a margin of error of 200%). I'd draw a box-and-whisker plot or a histogram of this information for you if they didn't irritate me so much because of your bad teaching. Which they do.

Stupidness, thy name is Sweetwood.