Why Not Make a Nice Reduction?
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!