Archive for September, 2014

Episode: 109

Smells Like Pumpkin Spice Flavored Pumpkin Spice. Again.


Well, it’s nearly October, and you know what that means, right? Yes, halloween is coming, and yes, the leaves are turning beautiful colors, and yes, the days are growing shorter and yes, it’s really just the start of the christmas season…really. But what it actually, really means, is that it’s pumpkin spice season again! Already! And this year, Foodiness inc. and it’s evil cousins junk food inc. have been dipping their magic seasoning wands and fancy flavoring spoons deep into the cauldron of chemically synthesized pumpkin spice and drizzling their autumnal artificiality on just about everything! If you thought last year was the year of pumpkin spice…oh no, my friend, we’ve only just begun…to spice. This year may be the apogee, the apex, the pumpkin spice perigee, the breaking point. We may have hit peak pumpkin…spice that is. We’ll never hit peak pumpkin, because there’s rarely any pumpkin IN pumpkin spice, as we all know. No, what we’ve hit is the peak of Foodiness fakeout pumpkin spice “flavor”. All cloves and cinnamon and molasses flavoring, with a dash of dark orange color, and voila, pumpkin spice! Or pumpkin pie spice flavor…not actually pumpkin. Remember last year, right around this time? I did an episode on this very subject, and I thought I’d exhausted it, slain that dragon, milked that cow. But NO, this year, even more pumpkin spice flavored stuff has rained down upon us like a plague, like the swarm of locusts that wiped out the Ingalls’s wheat crop that one year in Minnesota. Pumpkin spice is upon us and there’s nowhere to run.

I really am starting to feel like Linus, sitting there all alone, in the pumpkin patch, waiting, quietly waiting for the Great Pumpkin. Not the Great Pumpkin Spice Latte, not the Great Pumpkin Spice Oreo, not the Great Pumpkin Spice Non-Fat Sugar-Free Yogurt Parfait (n a squeezy pouch)…just the effing Great Pumpkin.

Why, why? Why can’t we just accept things as they are? Why do we need to sweeten and flavor and falsify and foodiness-ize everything? Were we so traumatized by our winters on the prairie? Our collective diasporic history, fleeing oppression? We need to turn back the clock, return to our roots! Sarah Palin and her crowd have it all wrong, there’s no war on christmas, there’s a war on real. Real pumpkin to be specific. We need to put the pumpkin back in pumpkin spice, forget the Christ in Christmas, it’s too late for that and I couldn’t give a spiced crap about that one anyway. But putting the pumpkin back in pumpkin spice, that’s a campaign I can get fully behind.

So if you’re looking for me this October, I won’t be down here in the foodiness fallout shelter for the next few weeks, I’ll be out in the pumpkin patch. With Linus. Who I always had a little crush on anyway, I like the loner intellectual type…and we’ll definitely put that blanket to good use.

Episode: 108

Eggplant is The Teddy Roosevelt of Vegetables


Do you remember Mel, from way back in the poop episode? You know, from “And Mel says, that’s because you’re slow as poop!”? Yeah, that Mel. Well Mel makes another appearance this week on LGR, as I relay yet another sparkling nugget of verbal gold that tumbled from his mouth this summer and helped spark the idea for this episode.

And speaking of summer, which it technically still is, this is the season for late-summer vegetables! The best stuff like zucchini and peppers and tomatoes, and eggplant. Especially eggplant. I’ve been eating and therefore thinking about a lot of eggplant this past week, and I’ve come to some very important realizations about it, our history, our political past, and our culture. It all sounds very highbrow and PBS doesn’t it? Well it is, and all that plus even more pops up in this episode! Because where else but on LGR would you ever find a connection between Teddy Roosevelt, eggplant, and not paying for cable.

Episode: 107

Rage, rage against the dying of the fish


I was just in Florida for a few days so I’m talking about fish today, or rather the lack of fish in a place like Florida, or specifically in their “fish” restaurants…But I need to start with a few words about Joan Rivers. Having just spent four days locked in a gated senior community in South Florida, where I went to old lady aerobics with my mom and shopped at Publix and listened to poolside chatter about decrepit hips and crumbling backs and cancer and weakening hearts, I have to say one thing. And that is, that I, Erica Wides, for damn sure, will not go gentle into that good night. Like my recently departed idol, Joan Rivers, I plan to rage, rage against the dying of THAT light. Work up until the very end, like Joan did. Boy did I love her.

And that’s good, because retirement as we know is is about to become as extinct as tuna anyway, and my generation and all the post-boomers after me will never know the joy of spending one’s golden years in a gated condo fortress named for a Vatican Librarian…We’ll never be able to afford to stop working, anyway.

We won’t (can’t!) become extinct too soon, like the tuna and swordfish and marlin that show up, overcooked and paprika-sprinkled on so many middling restaurants. I don’t care how many baked potatoes and vegetables and salads come with it, life ends with the early-bird special, and I plan to stay up very late.

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