Thursday, January 16, 2014

What World Am I Living In?

The most popular produce in the grocery store is undoubtedly bananas.

Can't stand 'em.

The bestseller lists are riddled with diet books, cookbooks, and video game manuals (really?)

Never bought any...never will.

Every week there's some new Internet craze for me to be completely ignorant about for months. No idea how everyone knows about these things. No idea how I don't.

I tell you, I live in some alternate world.

Bananas. I really hate them: they're easily in my top five list of Foods To Avoid. The other four, in case you're wondering, are olives (which is number one with a bullet: I can't even swallow one); burnt toast, which I define as 'toast any part of which has gone beyond brown into black'; anything, and I do mean anything spicy; and black coffee. There are other foods I do not like, but I'll eat to be polite. These five (well, the 'spicy' is a whole class of so-called "food") are on the Shit List.

You spice lovers insulted my my denigration of your choice of foodstuff: is it food when you drink gasoline and then strike a match? Do waiters carry flamethrowers to serve as amuse-bouches? I rest my case. There's heat, and then there's flavour, which is the reason people eat food, and the two simply can not co-exist. (Yes, I find black pepper too hot for my palate. Eva can sneak some into a dish if she grinds it well and uses a host of other spices to partially mask the effect, but on its own--blech.)

I have a good friend who has tried to set me straight on this. She is a woman who would cheerfully ingest a bottle of gasoline with a match chaser, so long as the gasoline bottle had "Nando's" printed prominently on it somewhere. After long talks about the deliciousness of gasoline and the invigorating qualities of filling up your tank, each of us has concluded the other's an alien. (Love you, Nicole, even if you hail from the planet Mercury.)

Diet books. Did the last one you bought work? Probably not, which is why you're buying this one. Little secret: there is only one way to reliably lose weight, and that is to burn more calories than you consume. That's really all there is to it, but it makes a hell of a short book and I doubt anybody'd buy it. Instead we get all the diet fads from Atkins to the Zone, every one of them contradicting every other one. I think of this phenomenon as the Apocolypse-Whoops effect. You know how every few years there's a widespread conviction that the world's about to end? And how every few years the world stubbornly persists in existing? Nobody ever seems to think "gee, the last umpty predictions turned out to be bunk, so this one will too". No, we're always told "this time it's for real, folks, pack your bags, we're going away."  Yeah. Diet books are like that, except instead of the world ending, it's your paunch. Don't waste your money, it's all hokum.

Cookbooks. I get that there's a whole universe out there full of food, and I even understand that my utilitarian attitude towards food is very odd. But seriously, how many different cookbooks does there need to be? How many muffin recipes does a person need in their life? And if you're any kind of a chef, don't you pretty much ignore recipes anyway? Brainlock.

Video game manuals. Good God Almighty, does anyone play video games any more? That verb, "play". It means "the opposite of work". My work doesn't even have four hundred page manuals, I'm sure as hell not cracking one open in my spare time, you know, for "fun".


And yet.

Tim Horton's is the most popular fast food chain in this country, by 1.6 country kilometers. Online, nobody can account for this: the coffee is variously described as 'diarrhea in a cup", "ash-water", and (my favourite), "coughee". When you mention that Timmies serves far and away more coffee than any other place in this land, you're snootily informed that "popular' and "good" are opposites. Well, yeah, I can sorta understand the concept, hating bananas and cookbooks and diet books and video game/operating systems the way I do. But you Tim's haters can French-kiss your French presses, as far as I'm concerned (you probably do, anyway). Tim Horton's coffee is ambrosial. I have never had a cup to equal it.

Ditto Pizza Pizza. I have just learned that Pizza Nova will be the new official pizza of the Toronto Blue Jays (because, you know, every baseball team needs an official pizza!) Now, I have never had Pizza Nova. I can tell you their telephone jingle beats the hell out of that of Pizza Pizza. Pizza Pizza, which I just wrote again so the line would read "Pizza Pizza Pizza Pizza", has a jingle that goes 'nine six seven, eleven, eleven, call Pizza Pizza, hey hey hey!" (In other cities, the first three digits of the phone number are different, but the third is always a seven, and the last four are always 1111...) Pizza Nova, by contrast, has THIS, loosely set to 'Funiculi Funicula', a truly awesome jingle.)
Pizza Pizza is not the best pizza I've ever had. That title belongs to a local chain called Pepi's...order double cheese on a Pepi's pizza and you can't find the rest of the toppings; the bacon is slabs of bacon, and so om nom nom...But Pepi's is (justifiably) expensive, whereas Pizza Pizza is not. For the money, Pizza Pizza is pretty good pizza pizza.

Just not online.

You'll go far and wide to find anyone on the Internet claiming to like Pizza Pizza's pizza, probably because so many people offline seem to love the stuff, judging as how, one again, it's the most popular pizza in Canada.

Buncha hipsters.

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