Sunday, June 13, 2010

Slopping: A Consideration

Backhanded compliments from strangers have always ranked high on my list of hidden pleasures in life. Don't ask me why, because I honestly couldn't explain... I reckon I'm just a sucker for flattery, even in unintentional form.

Example: Whilst perusing the pulp spinner at a local used book store yesterday, I was approached by a dumpling-shaped cad in yellow denim. "You got a good look goin' on there, buddy," he snorted at me. "Sorta like some kinda BLUES CLUB thing, if ya know what I mean." There was something vaguely threatening about the way he paired those words... a hint of accusation, some formless offense taken at my peculiar pairing of shirt and pants... But any implications of violence whizzed right over my head, as I was already busily recording this moment for future reference. This was hardly my FAVORITE compliment of the year (that dubious honor goes to the frat boy who barked into my face over the Jackpot tapwell: "What, is it fuckin' BEATNIK NIGHT down here or something?"), but it was cause enough to celebrate.

So I snatched up my daughter and fled to the nearest pizza buffet to drown my good cheer in marinara and shame. Curvacia and I long ago nicknamed this place THE PIZZA TROUGH (imagine the tagline: COME SLOP YOURSELF... AT THE TROUGH!!!), and for good reason: the place is literally SQUIRMING with mewling piglets, stuffing their gaping maws with fistfuls of greasy carbohydrates. Just the thing I needed to boost my ego after having my good looks sullied.

What sets PIZZA TROUGH apart from its competitors is its willingness to experiment with the form-- at THE TROUGH, pizza is no mere vehicle for cheese to enter your bloodstream. It is a mode of self expression, bound only by the whimsy of its creator's hands. Case in point: MACARONI AND CHEESE PIZZA. Mounted on a pedestal, bathed in a celestial, warming glow. Whether I was conscious of it or not, I had always dreamed of a moment like this. My daughter and I were frozen to the spot in awe... The on-duty manager, as if anticipating this reaction (indeed, having possibly lived through this VERY SITUATION no less than a hundred times that same afternoon) dutifully shoveled a slice onto each of our plates, then sent us away with a knowing wink.

Long ago I devised a plan: open a restaurant catering to discriminate white-trash tastes, a midwestern FUSION CUISINE if you will. I have a list somewhere of all the menu items, which ranged from heartburning (ONION RING NACHOS) to ingenious (BISCUITS & GRAVY SWIRL BREAD) to the downright befuddling (BURGER-RITOS, the spiritual opposite of a TACO BURGER)... Never once did the concept of MACARONI AND CHEESE PIZZA enter into my mind. So it was with no small amount of professional envy (and hesitation, as well-- Hands or fork? Hands or fork? From-the-hip decision making has never been my strong suit) that I leaned forward and took that first, lingering bite.

EPILOGUE: Explosive diarrhea, my friends. Perhaps we were never meant to tamper with forces greater than ourselves.


  1. Damnit, I want a burger-rito RIGHT NOW!

  2. Glad that you too are a sucker for the abnormal food combinations. I've been a victim of the mac'n'chizza every time it's come within reaching distance of me. The consequences of consuming such fine cuisine are always lingering in my mind, but I am always blinded by my love of all things trashy.

  3. 1. I still think it would be easy to steal the macnchizza ... in fact, you could probably find someone to sponsor the pasta, so you could call it POKEMON CHIZZA or some such. In fact, you could even have a special theme night wherein these Midwestern favorites are converted into delightful PIZZAS. (Taco Tuesdays? Taters and gravy tacos?)

    2. "Vehicle For Cheese" is literally my most favorite phrase (or conceptual phrase) in all of the english language. Suck it, Cellar Door.

    3. If I was a kiddo (likely post-softball game, rawr) at PIZZA TROUGH and I saw a guy like you there ... well, lets just say I would have quit softball sooner.

  4. I own a copy of "The White Trash Cookbook." No, you can't have it. I swear to God, the photo on the cover of the frizzle-haired woman, soft dumpling-fat arms smooshed to the side of the print rayon skirt she's pulled up over her obviously bra-less, dingy cotton-clad, pendulous breasts (apron? fashion statement? the world may never know)---well, I think that woman's my aunt. I've never met her, mind you, but down where I come from, we're ALL related.

  5. mitzibel, i have that too...and i mostly bought it for the cover girl!!!

  6. That mac and cheese abominations could be the most revolting food photo I've ever seen. I'm going to print it and carry it around with me so I can look at it when I get a craving for pizza.

  7. My mum is the Queen of Backhanded Compliments, I'll introduce you the next chance we got so we can see what delight she serves up for you.

    I like's me a Burger Salad. Beef, bacon, tomato and cheese mixed with lettuce, hold the tortilla.
    Or the awesome egg salad/bacon sammich.