Sunday, January 08, 2006

Open Letter to Fat Guy at Albertsons

Dear Fat Man:

You were on your knees in the pasta aisle. Since you were talking loudly to yourself, I discovered that you were looking for a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. I'm not sure what you were expecting me to say when you looked up at me victoriously, having tracked down the cleverly hidden wall of blue and white boxes.

Were you having difficulty locating the mac n' cheese? I realize that most of the boxes were low to the ground, well-below your beltline, but since there was about 6 feet of shelf space dedicated to that one product, I thought maybe it's detection might merit less effort.

Cheers to you, though, fat man for finally finding dinner. Considering your girth, I was surprised one box was enough.

Now, about your singing...

I understand that sometimes you can strike gold with the grocery store Muzac playlist. You're shopping along, hunting for Mac n' cheese, when out of nowhere you hear a soothing instrumental cover of your favorite song. In this case, your favorite song appears to be Jungle Love by Steve Miller Band.

That's nice, but you don't always have to sing along. Yes, you thought you were alone, and you were rocking out with Steve and the boys in front of the flavored pastas-in-a-box. When you noticed me standing right behind you, you did stop singing. I'll give you credit. However, after adjusting to my presence, you went back to singing while you scanned intently for your food.

Now, most people might be a little embarrassed. They might pretend that they were never singing in the first place. But not you, Meatloaf. You cranked it right back up.

Was it because you're just too fat to care any more? Did all sense of self-dignity fly out the door with your tight-fitting sized-56 trousers? I'm sorry, fat man. I'm sorry about your lack of basic shopping skills. I'm sorry that you have no respect for yourself. I'm sorry about the certainty that you never have, and never will, touch a naked woman.

You might be a Joker. You could be a smoker. You may even be a midnight toker, but really, the singing has to stop.



  1. You sure that wasn't Jungle Love by Morris Day and the Time????

  2. I have been asked to cook "American Food" in Vietnam as a part of the Tet, or New Year meal at the end of the month. They know hamburgers and fried chicken. Thank You McDonalds. And the Colonel continues his Macarthuristic march toward domination of Asia. But they want me to bring something to the table that is new and American.

    We went to a steak house called “Brazil” last time. The Vietnamese do not eat a lot of meat. There was a warning on the menu that translated to: “Caution, people not accustomed to eating large quantities of meat may experience discomfort if glutinous.” They were not impressed with men walking around holding skewers of beef, pork and lamb. They preferred the salad bar. They will happily chew the nut sack off of a pig and suck the blood from a live snake . But a roast leg of lamb repulses them. Maybe next time if we let the lamb rot in the sun for a week, and if it got rank enough, it may well become a new national dish.

    But what can I cook in Vietnam to give them a taste of Americana?

    No baking, they have no oven. I do not recognize most of the items in their kitchen. There is a ceramic cylinder on the back porch that is charcoal fired. They use it for boiling water, cooking soups and stews, coffee. It has a small, oddly shaped grill attachment. Almost no dairy. Little milk. I never saw cheese. I did find butter for sale, but it was very expensive at 15,000 Dong / Kg. But it is there.

    Bananas they have, but they are small Pony Bananas, along with Dragon Fruit, Snake Fruit, Kiwi Fruit and a fruit named after almost every other animal. Pears yes, but the pears are not like ours. They have oranges, but they do not eat them. Not like we do. For vegetables I know the onion, garlic, some “holy shit” hot peppers. Then there is a selection of greens that rival a rain forest, mainly because they came from a rain forest. I cannot use their Capsela parts to make my Lego X-Wing fighter.

    I cannot travel with produce, meat or dairy products. I do not even want to try. Smuggling is not anything I am interested in on any level. There is no “Welcome to Vietnam” sign at customs and immigration. It is the only country where on arrival, I thought to myself, “they might not let me in here…” My white puffy American Dollar laden ass has no appeal to the party loyalist that man the immigration and customs desks. There is a long list of things that they happily explain are punished by execution. It is on a big sign where the "Welcome to The United States" sign might be were I arriving back home. But nothing remotely like “Welcome To Vietnam.” Ho Chi Mhin’s profile is not smiling at me.

    So what can I take? What is American? What is something that is different and new? What will not get me detained in a bamboo cage floating in the river for 3 years?

    It is the blue box. The Kraft blue box. Mac & Cheese.

    I figure that with Carroll Shelby's Chili Mix and I am set.

    I will not add a tag line about my singing pretending to insert myself into Brian’s physical life. But you have to respect the blue box for what it is. Denny’s on the shelf. True Americana. it is the entrée for the jello desert meal.

  3. amanda8:50 AM

    My cousin, who lives outside of Paris, decided that we should go to a combination tiki bar/mongolian flat grill restaurant while we were in Florida this past December. As we walked into the restaurant we were greeted by the Grease soundtrack. As my cousin will tell anyone she meets, she was Sandy in a Paris community theatre production of Grease (French dialogue, English singing). As the restaurant was not crowded--only a few families scattered about--she felt it was acceptable to sing along to the background noise. Her very French husband merely looked stoic throughout. I was slightly horrified until I'd finished my second Corona. When the music changed to an ultra smooth lounge version of "I Melt With You," I had no problem jumping in and harmonizing. Public singing should carry the fine of flogging. I'm so ashamed.

  4. Might I suggest you take the Velveeta shells and cheese? Not quite the icon of Ole Blue, but the cheese packet comes premixed, so you wouldn't have to hunt down the elusive milk and butter. Along with a jar of Miracle Whip, a loaf of Wonder bread and a can of Spam, and you've got a full course meal. What can I say, I was raised by parents born and raised in the midwest. When I was five, we were driving across the plans in the 72 Chevy Malibu (no air conditioning, natch) and momma fed me the afore mentioned Spam, Miarcle Whip, Wonder bread combo. I promptly puked all over the car, her, the road, you name it. To this day, she thinks it's hysterical to give me a can of Spam for Christmas. So, just sayin', ya might want to be prepared for the "end result" of feeding folks true Americana.

  5. Fat Guy from Albertson's12:23 PM

    Bite me, Brian. Introduce yourself next time you see me. I'll beat you out of those gay boat shoes you wear and sing the whole time I'm doin it.

    As for the rest of you, sing more - comment less.

  6. amanda4:32 PM

    I say, sing less. Comment more. How many of us have driven by the developmentally disabled dude kung fu dancing and singing along to his old-school '80s walkman and stifled a chuckle? Public displays of singing are made to be mocked.

  7. Hey Brian, I had fat man's wife at Trader Joe's doing the exact same thing. I think it was Linda Rondtadt's "It's So Easy," and she didn't skip a beat when she saw me turn the corner. AND she was one of those who had completely and thoroughly given up all attempts at exercise and succumbed to the George Costanza handicapped scooter. To be completely un-PC here, we call those folks "fatty-caps."

  8. Brian Smith10:32 PM

    I still eat Mac and cheese on a regular basis. Usually while humming a Led Zeppelin song.


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