Thursday, December 20, 2007

Fusion Food Confusion

About a month ago, my office decided that our Christmas party would be a pot luck. We brainstormed the type of meal we wanted to share and everyone signed up with the chosen theme in mind. The theme: Baked Potatoes. Delicious, right? The long list was passed around the office and people signed up to bring every possible topping you could ever want for a baked potato. Some of the assigned toppings included Chili, Sour Cream, Olives, bacon bits, cheese, etc, etc, etc.

Apparently, some people didn't grasp the concept of bringing what they signed up for. Some people didn't understand that the theme had been set and when everyone brought their assigned item, a delicious feast would commence. Some people didn't understand that other people count on these specific items to garnish their baked potato!

Weeks passed and the day of the pot luck arrived. Everyone entered work with a song in their heart and a crock pot in their hands. Merry Christmases were wished and gifts were opened. With the spirit of the season, we all sat down to feast on our delicious loaded potatoes...but what is this?

The potatoes were bakes and warm, as promised. To go with them was butter. To top the butter was cheese and olives. But where was the chili? Where was the broccoli? Where were the other toppings? I looked around the room confused that no one else had noticed the missing necessities.

I looked in various crock pots to see what had been brought instead. I found beef stew and polenta. I found a large crock pot full of BBQ meatballs with Hogie rolls. I found another large crock pot full of sweet and sour meatballs with more Hogie Rolls. I found a jello salad and a chocolate cake that was so chocolaty, it was almost black. Don't get me wrong, all of the food was wonderful and delicious....but there was no fusion. The catastrophe was a fusion food confusion.

I sat down with my beef stew, polenta, BBQ meatballs and a jello salad. I didn't have a baked potato. I didn't want one anyway.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Taking one for the baby...

This time of year tends to inspire the exchanging of gifts, Christmas gatherings, and baby showers. Yes, thrown in with the fruitcake and the yule log was a baby shower for one of my co-workers. This co-worker is wonderful and therefore I was happy to attend a shower in her honor. I inquired about what she needed, printed off her Target gift registry, and proudly marched into Target to purchase the perfect gift for her bundle of joy.
I enter the store at about 6:30pm: Operation: Baby. I make for the baby crap...I mean, section and wander down the five aisles Target has sanctioned for babies. Apparently, all extravagance of infancy can be neatly nestled into five friggin' aisles. I beg to differ. I wandered those aisles at least four times and didn't find a single thing listed on the registry. I stopped a clerk to make sure the problem wasn't my own daftness..."oh," said the pubescent 16-year-old."I guess we're out of it." I understand stores run out of things, but the list in my hand was about fifty items long. I find it hard to believe they just happened to run out of all fifty items requested.
No. I was not about to give up. Target is supposed to be better than WalMart. They are supposed to have quality products for which you didn't mind paying the extra $1.25. I was on a mission. As I searched the five aisles for the fifth time I recognized a woman I had seen 15 minutes before. She looked tired and disheartened.
"Have you seen the EvenFlo breast pump?" she asked with a hiccup of hysteria in her throat.
"No," I replied. " I was looking for that myself. It seems as if everything people are looking for are mysteriously out of stock."
"That's what I figured," said the woman becoming more discouraged by the second. "Don't you love baby showers?"
"Nope. Sure don't."
We shrugged at each other and parted ways.
For the sixth time I circled the pointless shelves and BEHOLD! The magic diaper genie appeared seemingly out of nowhere! Without hesitation I greedily grabbed the "genie from heaven" and ran to the checkout.
As I drove home from my victorious find I realized that I had no gift bag, no tissue paper, and no card. Angry at my premature jubilation I settled for WalMart.
I entered the store around 9pm and saw an awkward character (as is a necessity of WalMart)...he was the Salvation Army bell ringer. The bell ringer (let's call him Steve) seemed oblivious to any and all passersby. Steve was preoccupied with his bells. He had one in each hand and was making them sing to each other. Imagine, if you will, a slightly inebriated Santa entertaining himself by assigning characters to his bells. Sad to say that Steve was the highlight of my evening.
I ran into the store, purchased the needed materials and wrapped the gift.

I found out the next day that the baby shower had been cancelled. Damn it.