Reset from yesterday…
I ran into an HBO comedy called Crashing, which I turned out to enjoy and watched many consecutive episodes of, in my version of non-Internet “streaming.” (Unless it’s actual “streaming”, just not on the Internet.)
Crashing is about a rookie comedian painfully “learning the ropes”, of both Stand-Up” comedy and life. (“Learning the ropes.” Does that have a nautical derivation? “I be learnin’ the ropes, Matey. Arrrr!”)
What I particularly liked about Crashing was its unforced way of delivering its comedy and its unique manner of talking about it. For example, when the lead character “Pete” informs a veteran comedian he has procured a “Day Job” as the “Warm-Up” man for the Rachael Ray Show, the comedian snarkily shoots back,
“You are ‘opening’ for a Panini.”
Are you laughing at that? I did.
Me being me, watching comedy, with my buried dreams and background, the thought reflexively occurs to me, “Could I do that?” Overlooking the “ancillary circumstances” of being a comedian – the late nights performing in places where you are regularly heckled and approaching club-owning gangsters for your money, both of which… forget it – could I be the kind of comedian I admire, mining laugh-getting material from everyday life?
Having watched four episodes back-to-back, I “break” for dinner, which is on me to prepare, because I am alone.
I go down to the kitchen, my considered “Meal Plan” clearly in mind:
A turkey burger, brown rice (which I eat, though a nutritional expert’s informed me, “That’s so ‘80’s.’”), vegetable “To Come”, and a beverage.
I prepare the turkey burger on, like, this foot-square iron grate I place over the burner on the stove. I am not sure I get the concept of that contraption. The burger ends up with those seared streaks on both sides, like it was grilled. But in reality, it wasn’t. You just cooked in over the stove. Who exactly are we trying to fool with this “subterfuge”? The meat?
“We’ve been barbecued!”
No you haven’t.
Anyway… a third time – it’s like my “mantra” – I agreeably “play along.” “Barbecuing” my turkey burger.
Next up? The vegetable.
I pick the easiest one to prepare – raw – as opposed to “cooked”, so I would not have to do anything –
Easy-peasy. You just open the bag, and you pour out the carrots.
I prefer “Baby Carrots” – a confession I am somewhat embarrassed to reveal – because I am intimidated by big carrots. I pick one up, and it’s like,
“I’m eating this whole thing?”
So I restrict myself to the “pygmies.” Trying to mathematically compute,
“How many “Baby Carrots” are the equivalent of an ‘Adult’ carrot?” And I dole them out accordingly…. till I think, “That looks about right.” It comes down to, I figure, eleven “Baby Carrots.” Although I could be “off” a carrot or two. This is not an “Exact Science.”
“And the Nobel Prize for ‘Precise Carrot Equivalency’ goes to…”
It’s kind of an “eyeballing” operation. With no serious “down side” if you’re wrong. It’s not like you’ll wind up in the Emergency Room: “I ate too many carrots!” You turn orange a little, but it passes.
Okay. My turkey burger is “grilling.” And eleven miniature carrots sit there, “garnishing” my plate. It is now time to prepare the beverage.
It’s just water. But – because I’m “worth it” – I am going the “Extra Mile.” Beyond “You turn on the tap and it falls into your glass.”
Tonight, it will be “Homemade Carbonated Water.”
We have this machine that does that. It’s not easy. It involves seven individualized “Steps.” Proud to say: I have mastered that arduous technique. And now. Our water. Has bubbles.
Final item on the menu?
The – maligned in some circles – brown rice.
Minute “Ready to Serve!” Whole Grain Brown Rice.
“Microwavable” in 60 seconds.
Sounds easy. And it is.
The instructions on the packaging says,
“Pull or cut film to remove completely from cup.”
Here’s another confession:
Over the years, I have lost considerable “thumb strength.” As a result, I am unable to pull the protruding “tab” on the plastic film, covering the cup. My “Plan B” is to jab the covering plastic with a knife, then peel it back off the surface of the cup.
That took about twenty minutes. And still, hard as I tried, I had not removed the plastic covering “completely.”
This seriously troubles me.
What if I insert it into the microwave, and, because there are vestigial fragments of film on the top of the cup…
It blows up?
You can forget about “Liability Protection.”
“Did you remove the film completely from the top of the cup?”
“Answer the question, Mr. Pomerantz.”
“I think we have our answer, Your Honor.”
Who says cooking isn’t an adventure?
I assemble my repast – the “grilled” turkey burger, the eleven “Baby Carrots”, the unexploded brown rice, and my bubbly beverage – and I sit down to dinner.
Still wondering if I have what it takes.