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Why Not Make a Nice Reduction?

October 29, 2009


The office elevator has one of those video displays above the floor numbers, a screen that scrolls through the latest news bulletins, sports scores and stock exchange results. We all crane our necks and stare at it, ignoring the other passengers and waiting for the ding that announces our storey.

Mixed in with the truncated headlines (serious announcements reduced to so few words they become meaningless, mangled or irreverent) are quirky tips and teachings: a vocabulary builder that presents a Word of The Day and then uses it in a sentence; suggestions for developing a healthier lifestyle; recipes and kitchen pointers for adding more fibre or eliminating pesky “bad fat”. I suspect we emerge a little stupider and worse off than before we boarded the elevator, having been encouraged to use polysyllabic and outmoded words in inappropriate contexts, and assured that chugging three glasses of skim milk per day is the highway to optimal bone density.

The most cringe-evoking feature is the recipe section, and with Halloween approaching, the tips have played to the working-mom sector, suggesting quick dinners to lay before impatient trick-or-treaters and sneaky ways to slip vitamins into as many meals as possible before the 31st. Today’s feature is especially horrifying:

“Don’t want all that candy hanging around for weeks after Halloween? Visit this website for a great cookie recipe that uses up more than 20 mini chocolate bars!”

Oh my gosh! That’s a fucking terrible idea! Tired of your kids eating a slow and sustained dose of little wee candy bars throughout the month of November? Here’s a great way to get that candy out of sight, out of mind! Why not melt them down with a few extra cups of white sugar, throw in some butter, roll it all together with white flour and condense those Mars bars into a more efficient delivery system! Your family can cram that candy in ten times faster, without the annoying rationing and begging for just one more Snickers before breakfast.

While you’re at it, why not boil the toffees and lollipops into a nice reduction and pour it over ice cream like a hard sauce? I bet you can use up, like, a hundred lemon suckers in just one batch!

This! This is why the general state of affairs is so dismal when it comes to the standard North American diet. I mean, I like a little candy now and then, and when I was small, I rooted through my Halloween pumpkin like it contained magic treasure, but come on! Teach your kids some restraint, feed them some broccoli, and if they act like rotten little bastards who want to live on KitKats and refuse to eat dinner unless they’re rewarded with treats for clearing their plates, send them to their rooms and chuck the candy leftovers in the trash. Or, teach them the word “no”, and make sure they understand it has weight and meaning. Now there’s a word to feature on the elevator vocabulary builder!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Doug permalink
    October 29, 2009 2:18 pm

    Nice one, welltailored. Couldn’t agree more. I hate those elevator screens – like you’re not fed enough irrelevant information throughout the rest of the day. They’ve even started sticking screens over urinals in mens washrooms – I have nowhere else to look! (except down, but I’ve seen that too many times already). All this superfluous information is probably pushing out the really useful stuff in my brain, like where I left my keys.
    Not crazy about the implication that butter is bad, (butter is good!), but the rest is bang on.
    Keep it up!

    • welltailored permalink*
      October 29, 2009 2:25 pm

      I absolutely agree that butter is good stuff, both taste- and health-wise. But, using it to glom together a bucket of candy, along with refined flour and whatnot (not to mention the ratio of fat in baked goods is staggering)…not really ideal. But don’t get me wrong, man, butter is king!

  2. Melissa permalink
    October 30, 2009 8:28 am

    I just cleaned up dishes from M’s pre-school birthday party where the kids gobbled up all their cupcakes and asked for seconds….not only was there no sugar (or fake sugar), white flour or (although I, too, have nothing against it) butter in the cupcakes or the icing but *gasp!* there was zucchini in them! Funny…there were also no wild, screaming, having-a-melt-down kids after snack time either…

    • welltailored permalink*
      November 2, 2009 7:09 pm

      Amazing! My nephew just had his first birthday and his first cupcake, and he was mystified by the whole concoction. Mostly, he was happiest driving over the frosting with a toy truck. Meanwhile, the next weekend, he ate some peaches I preserved and loved them so much he invented a special dance to do in his chair while eating them.

      : )

  3. Gus permalink
    November 2, 2009 5:21 pm

    Miss – I think I remember that tasty recipe… please post/email it! -B

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