Rick's List — I Can't be Bothered Edition
I live vicariously through the Food Network, the Cooking Channel and sundry culinary shows that air on CPTV. Admittedly, the process of preparing and eating a meal is a sensorial — even sensual process (and by the latter I don't mean Stormy Daniels handing President Trump a Quarter-Pounder). And, by virtue of the fact that I can't touch, smell, taste or otherwise savor these televised offerings, and have zero interest in replicating the meals in our own kitchen, my passive fascination seems beyond sad and sort of pitiable.
On and on I watch, sunk into the couch like a misshapen carbuncle on an old potato, as the harsh dawn sun climbs high into the sky and afternoon shadows creep like a wheezing spy until the blue-purple gloaming descends like Death's cloak and then wretched night is upon us and another day rolls over the precipice into the past like a corpse being kicked into a shallow grave and the weary world trudges on like a homeless dog with thorns in its paws crossing a frozen and weed-choked field — and I watch some more.
And all along, as Ming Tsai conjures Foie Gras Shumai and the Pioneer Woman crafts peach pancakes and the Barefoot Contessa makes a pair of shoes out of Prosciutto Deviled Eggs and Bobby Flay snaps off a wedge of Anne Burrell's styrofoamy hair and Trisha Yearwood observes that the watermelon she's carving is shaped like husband Garth Brooks' head and the Carnival Eats dude swallows one more deep-fried cinnamon roll and his fat-shellacked heart cracks in half like an oyster shell, I dutifully and quietly watch.
The thing is, I used to enjoy cooking. I'm not particularly good or adventurous at it — I can do a nice gumbo or chili — but, any more, I can't be bothered.
I use that particular phrase — "I can't be bothered" — because I read it years ago in the diaries of the Danish philosopher Kierkegaard. He was weary, Søren was. He'd had a frenetic lifetime of birthing great and globe-shattering thoughts and was simultaneously broken by a fiery, unresolved passion for his one-time fiancé Regine Olsen. He'd EARNED the right to say "I can't be bothered."
Me? I've done nothing to warrant my stasis. Must. Do. Something.
1. Order leaf bag full of extra-buttery caramel corn
2. Put eight sleeves of Chips Ahoy in freezer
3. Clear refrigerator shelf to accommodate tonight's extra-large pizza box
4. Use welding torch — gift from well-intentioned but clueless father-in-law — to melt Butterfingers so the goo drips onto a cookie sheet scattered with Honey Nut Cheerios
5. Call butcher to see if he'll deliver a buffalo's worth of jerky
6. Scurry back to couch. "Battlefield Gourmet" is starting.
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You learn things in life, like the scent of your mother or the smell of braciole stewing in tomato sauce on a Sunday morning.