It Was My Idea

I started writing something the other night and it ended up being about something else–something I frankly liked, but it didn’t belong there.  I started reflecting on what it’s like to be in the food business.  So catching myself on a tangent I cut what I had written and meant to paste it into another post–this post perhaps.  But then one thing led to another and I lost it before I got it copied.

Then I picked up a copy of Anthony Bourdain’s “Medium Raw” and read the chapter that I had just begun to write!  Go figure.  It seems like every time I get a good idea, someone else had it first.

Once while teaching in San Francisco, and developing curriculum for my European Cuisine class, I had the notion that somewhere there should be a book that covered every culture of the world–their culture, their geography, their history, the basics of their cuisine, and a few recipes of national dishes and such.  I thought that I should write that book!

I am a loyal student of the idea that across the globe and throughout history cuisines developed out of necessity and availability.  People ate what they had, where they were, and when they were there.  Therefore, the idea came to me that people eat what they are, not the other way around.  So the title of the book should be “You Eat What You Are”.

Here’s that book.  I didn’t write it.  I found it on the shelf a week later at A Clean Well-Lighted Place For Books in Opera Plaza at the corner of Van Ness and Turk.  It had been on the market just a number of weeks.

I bought it.  Great book!

On to Randy’s next great fucking idea…

I’m still waiting on someone to develop seedless lemons and stemless parsley, but I’m not smart enough to come up with those little feats of science and nature.  I doubt I’ll get the credit for coming up with them either.

How about batteries that don’t burn out.  I spent the day changing batteries in paper towel dispensers and thermometers.  Seems that I spend many days just doing that.

I’ve been having some dental work done lately.  One of the things that happened when I moved to Arkansas is that my teeth started breaking and falling out.  It happens here!  So I’m having them replaced $5,000 at a time.  Oh there’s nothing quite like dental work!  I don’t know why people can’t have teeth like sharks, that replace themselves when they become obsolete or broken.  Would be a good idea!

Today, not unlike many other days, I left work early and unfinished, drove to the dentist, and sat back in a comfortable chair (which quickly becomes uncomfortable with the simple push of a button).  They strap a bib on me to catch the drool that oozes out of my mouth when they turn me into a slobbering idiot.  And they put it on with a string of metal beads that invariably catch the hairs on the back of my neck and pull them out one at a time.

Next comes a 30,000 watt flashlight in the eye, and while I’m bibbed, blinded, uncomfortable, and in an impossibly submissive position they start jabbing needles into the roof of my fucking mouth, and then they walk out and leave me to suffer the Country Music Network on the little TV whose remote I can’t reach!

Fifteen minutes later it’s impression time.  They stick a plastic mouth-shaped tray about twice the size of my mouth in there and fill it with some type of gel that feels like mud and blows up like expanding foam insulation from a can.  It won’t stop growing.  There’s too much of it.  I gag on it and go into a panic attack thinking this is about the last thing I’m ever going to feel just as everything starts getting blurry and the lights grow dim.

After what seems like an eternity, the dentist pries out the now set mold, and it feels like my remaining teeth are coming with it.  I don’t even get to see all this stuff.

When it’s all over they take $2,000 from me, and I’m walking out exactly the way I came in, except I can’t talk, I can’t feel my face, and water drizzles out of my mouth as fast as it went in because I can’t hold my lips together to keep it in.

So now I’m home feeling violated and confused.  I just sit quietly, smoke cigarettes out of the one side of my mouth that I can feel, and reflect upon all of the things I should have done today–all of the ways my life could have gone.

I’m considering how it is that I got into the food business to begin with…

Insurance I guess.