Sunday, November 27, 2005

A Simon and Ivan Thanksgiving

The proper Simon and Ivan Thanksgiving begins, as all good things do, with Wegmans. In fact, it is with Wegmans that this post is principally concerned. Where else can you have a five-course meal starting with poached Etruscan salmon, just by strategically hitting up free sample booths? Okay, maybe Harrods. But where else can you wash down your kingly feast with Magic Hat #9? Only Wegmans. Thus, the traditional celebration starts with a midafternoon drive to Wegmans, which is always always always held up by the traditional Slow/Drunk/Extremely Aged Driver whose Tercel we generally follow all the way from the blinking red light on 251. Thanksgiving just wouldn't be the same without this person. It would be a lot better.

This year, both of us being persons of independent means (or practically), we allowed ourselves to be seduced by the case of glazed fruit tarts and tartlets, custards, eclairs, napoleons, and mousses. They have names like "Dôme Chocolat" and "Napolean Vanille" because this is the "Parisian-inspired desserts" case. Evidently the butter is French and the vanilla is from Madagascar. I don't care if the butter comes from native Iowa cows, there's nothing like a glistening fruit tart in a fancy box that would have cost £6.50 at Betty's.

So that took care of the Faux Parisian Dessert food group. We still had the Nacho Cheesier food group and the Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hand food group, which holes in our nutritional pyramid we filled with a swift trip down the snack aisle. And then we decided that was enough because even during the holidays, you don't want to overindulge.

A Simon and Ivan Thanksgiving is not complete without a ritual viewing of Anne of Avonlea, during which one struggles with the following issues:

(1) Do you or do you not feel sorry for Morgan Harris when Anne rejects his proposal? (Ultimately it was decided that Morgan Harris might be dashing, but Gilbert Blythe has better handwriting.)

(2) Do the charms of turn-of-the-century fashion (i.e. gloves, the vest/skirt ensemble, the dramatic poofy hair) outweigh the glaring horrors of period headgear (i.e. giant hairbows and things that were clearly walking around saying cluck cluck or tweet tweet or hee haw before they were shot and made into hats)? Still undecided.

(3) Do Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island have anything to do with Idaho? Yes, but we can't say why.

If there was a Simon and Ivan Thanksgiving Blessing, it would go like this: Dear Bob, thank you for Wegmans and Kevin Sullivan Productions and old friends. And thanks also for mint M&Ms. Better late than never.

Friday, November 18, 2005

I'd Like to Issue a Statement

Last night I did some laundry.

I realize now that this was very irresponsible of me and I would like to apologize to the families of those people who will surely suffer as a result. Sorry, Cheneys. Sorry, Blairs. Sorry, Other World Leaders, namely U2 and Oprah.

There is reason to believe my socks are planning a world takeover, and I know for certain that they will not be defeated by the discovery that this planet is 70% covered in water. They know. And they're not allergic to soap, either.

Their ringleader is a certain sock of mine whose identity cannot be ascertained. Whenever questioned, my socks pull a Spartacus on me and tell me they are all called Joe Boxer. (This is the name of their gang, which is tattooed in their soles.) We will call this sock Agent One. Agent One is a Ringspun Cotton Double-Cushion Reinforced-Heel-and-Toe Quarter-Cut Women's Shoe Size 5-9 Sock, but don't let his nancy-boy description fool you. This is a heavy, durable, almost bulletproof sock. A sock you wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley.

Agent One has made several escape attempts already. It falls on the floor between the washer and dryer whenever it can. It hides in the dryer every single week, waiting for its chance. It jumps out of the laundry basket regularly and has been intercepted during escape several times by my mother, ever the foiler of evil plots perpetrated by laundry, or the worlds of mathematics and science. Agent One is motivated entirely by either

the desire to become the Pre-eminent Sock Emperor of the Millennium (the fact that it spent a year in Europe in and is still going strong is evidence that it is working on technology that will someday render it immortal) or


It will stop at nothing to achieve these sinister aims.

This brings me to last night. Last night, whilst doing my laundry, I made the terrible discovery that Agent One, too high-profile to do it himself, sent out another sock as a scout. Right now, the suspect, which we shall call Agent Two, is roaming free. It is a thin, slightly dressy Gold Toe sock, which is why I never suspected it. It made its escape at approximately 8:27 EST and hasn't been seen since, but is known to be in communcation with Agent One and the Joes Boxer. I suspect they are planning further atrocities.

It is on the strength of this evidence that I suggest that in order to prevent the assassinations and widespread barefootedness that will occur if Agent Two is not quickly apprehended, we should raise the Terror Alert Level to Orange and go about our daily activities with extreme caution. The sock is on the march.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Obviously written during a lunch break.

First I want to say that this is the season of apples. Apples should be everwhere, they should be fresh, and they should be crisp. Yet what I find is that the apple I have before me, sitting innocently on my desk, is of abominable quality. It is misshapen, first of all. Its color is lacking: beneath the pleasant red-green blush lurks a foundation of brown. But these are merely cosmetic flaws. The real problem is that it is irreversibly bruised. Not the kind of bruises where your mom tells you about all the starving people in the world and makes you eat it anyway. No. Not that kind. The kind where, if it was a person, they'd amputate. The kind where eating it is like nipping through a minefield. For the taste of rotten apple flesh is the taste of DEATH. These bruises are terminal. We must learn to treat apples with care, as we would treat, for example, a hemophiliac. If you know an apple farmer, or a supermarket manager, please tell them to stop holding impromptu baseball games with their produce before selling them to the unsuspecting public. This is abuse and it must be stopped.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


"The TRUTH?! ... The truth only sets you free and that's not even true."