Zen and the Art of Pancake Maintenance

"What's that, boy? A pancake needs my help?"

“What’s that, boy? A pancake needs my help?”

There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who can make pancakes, and those who fill the house with smoke and get raw batter on the ceiling. Guess which one I am? If you guessed B…you’re WRONG! Shame on you for doubting me. Actually, it’s Wife who can’t make pancakes to save her life (Can you imagine having to make pancakes to save your life? I’m picturing an aproned James Bond with a luger trained on him as he frantically whisks Bisquick in an evil villain’s stainless steel kitchen. Plot twist: the evil villain is Martha Stewart.) The funny thing is that Wife is great at making the batter, getting the pan ready, and ladling the perfect sized pancake. So what’s her achilles heel? The flip. Once she gets to the flip, all bets are off. It’s like watching a talented gymnast have a complete breakdown in the middle of a brilliant performance. Luckily, I am an expert when it comes to rehabilitating pancakes after they have suffered a botched flip. Sure, they may not look like a pancake now, but after hundreds of hours of physical therapy, psychological evaluations, and motivational speeches that are liberally sprinkled with promises of one day making it to the big show (IHOP), they get back on that spatula and do what they were born to do. Drown in syrup and get shoveled into my mouth.

 

Dairy Liaisons

Risky business.

I’m milking it. Just to be clear, I’m not referring to the massive* amount of exposure** this blog has been receiving lately, I’m referring to the gallon of milk I am currently playing a very dangerous game with. Perhaps some of you are familiar with this game. It has many different names, the mere utterance of which instill terror in the hearts and minds of some of the more superstitious peoples on this planet. But I refer to it only as “The Whiff of Death.” The rules of the game are simple: (1) Remove weeks old container of milk from refrigerator (2) Warily eye the expiration date (3) Remove cap (4) Pray to the spirits (5) Inhale (6) Check to see if your nose is still attached to your face (7) Congratulations, you lose. In the unlikely event that the milk is still good, give it about five minutes and play the game again. Don’t get me wrong, I love milk. What I don’t love is the Dance with the Devil Smell Test required whenever I crack open the carton a few days past purchase. I guess the only viable solution is to actually buy a cow. I realize the saying goes “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free,” but that’s hogwash. Who among us is receiving free milk without their own cow? Is this a service that the mafia provides? Unlimited free milk in exchange for certain…services? But of course that would mean that the free milk really isn’t free, suggesting that you probably should have just caved and bought the cow in the first place. Maybe the new saying should go “There’s no such thing as free milk, so you should probably suck-it-up and just buy the cow already.” I bet that would look really nice on a quilt. *moderate **spam

Universe material.

Everything is Delicious

Universe material.

I like everything. Well, not everything. But I do like everything bagels. My only gripe is that “everything bagel” is a bit of a misnomer. I mean, whoever named the everything bagel must have a very limited worldview. According to this unidentified bagel baron, the world, nay, the universe, is comprised entirely of bits of sesame, poppy, onion, garlic, salt, and dark matter-esque substance known as caraway, which tastes terrible and destroys everything it comes into contact with. Actually, that would be incredible. You could take a bite out of an armchair, or a spare tire, and receive a mouthful of delicious flavor. Just think of the possibilities: you could season your breakfast with topsoil, garnish your lunch with paper clips, and polish off your supper with a big steaming pile of USB cables. The point is, when everything in the known universe is made of the same stuff they put on everything bagels, you can eat everything. Which begs the question: if everything is edible, how do you keep people from tearing down museums and national monuments with nothing but their incisors? I guess you could cover the really important stuff with a thin layer of licorice, but then again who would want to visit the Library of Congress if it suddenly reeked of licorice? Well, licorice enthusiasts, that’s who. Then we’d be faced with the dilemma of all the world’s licorice enthusiasts spending all their time reading and getting smarter, and before you know it we’ve got a licorice-loving president. So, you know, that’s no good. Obviously.

Identity crisis.

The Muffin of Chance

Identity crisis.

I’m confused. Admittedly, this is not the first time this has happened. I was confused in 1999 and again for a few minutes in 2004. Eight years later, and it’s happening all over again, like some sort of horrible Déjà Vu Nightmare, which, incidentally, is the name of the jazz fusion band I tell strangers I am in because sometimes I tell weird lies for no reason but it’s fun to pretend so big deal, right? So why is my brain’s record streak of perfect unfaltering clarity now starting over at “Zero Days Without Confusion?” Exactly: muffins. For my money, nothing on this blue planet of ours is more paradoxically confounding than muffins. Forget atomic particles, or Bjork; muffins possess that maddening quality of being both breakfast and dessert at the exact same time. What’s worse, if you try to view the muffin’s location at a given point in time (e.g. 8:30 AM on a Tuesday), its subatomic particles change from blueberry to chocolate chip, depending on how hungry you are. This curious law of gastronomy is known as Heisenberry’s Uncertainty Principle, and can be observed at Molly’s Muffin’s on Newberg Street across from that laser tag emporium that was shut down after they found rats in the nacho cheese dispenser. Speaking of cheese, has anyone out there actually ever had a cheese danish? For years these poor pastries have been the butt of fat jokes (Best Pun Reception Speech: I’d like to thank the Academy, my friends and family, Gus, Mickey, Lisa, Francis my agent, uh…who else am I forgetting?). With the way I’ve been feeling about muffins lately, maybe I should make the switch. To cheese danishes, I mean.

False alarm.

The Big Snooze

False alarm.

I am lazy; hear me snore. My first order of business on this beautiful day is to invent time travel, build a time machine, and travel back in time to find the jerk who conjured up the Snooze Button and convince him to pursue a different line of work. That is, if I can manage to peel myself out of bed. So far, this morning, I have hit the Snooze Button on my alarm clock seven times, which means my alarm has been going off for more than an hour now. The funny thing is, Wife hasn’t so much as stirred throughout all the commotion – she’s the kind of sleeper who could take a nap in the engine room of the Titanic…while it is sinking. Meanwhile, I’m being jarred awake by my alarm, convincing myself I deserve nine more minutes of shut-eye, falling asleep and forgetting I ever woke up in the first place, and then being startled awake to repeat the process. It’s like I’m living in my own personal animated .GIF that lasts nine minutes and then loops back to the beginning. Why can’t I just wake up with the sound of the first alarm like every other normal person in a romantic comedy? These sassy young magazine editors and/or junior executives on the rise spring out of bed like jack-in-the-boxes as their nondescript digital alarms start blaring at six in the morning. They never even flirt with the thought of hitting the Snooze Button. They also always seem to live in areas of the world in which their bedrooms and bathrooms are flooded with afternoon sunlight at the crack of dawn. Meanwhile, us real people are waking up with freezing feet in the pitch dark. Jeez, I’m starting to sound like a real Scrooge. Or should I say…Snooze? I’ll stop now.