|HUB-A-DUB-DUB: If I ran the shop, I'd use the slogan
'God is in the detailing.'
And you never know what's going to result.
Like what happened in the grocery store near my house, this very morning.
My daughter Ria was visiting, and she and I decided we should have some bacon and eggs. But there was a problem.
We had no eggs.
I said I'd go fetch some, but suggested to Ria that she start the bacon right away. If there's one thing I learned when I worked beside the Chatelaine magazine test kitchen all those years ago it's that no matter how much delicious food the lovely and generous food editors share with one throughout the course of one's workday, one should never arrive home in the evening to one's wife's freshly cooked supper and announce "I'm not hungry, I'm stuffed with test-kitchen food."
Oops. Wrong lesson.
What I meant was, Chatelaine's food editor Monda Rosenberg taught me that the most common way people screw up bacon is by trying to cook it too fast. Hence me suggesting Ria begin before I go.
Out the door I strode.
All I had to do to remedy our lack of eggs problem was jump on my motorbike, whip up to the nearest grocery store where I knew they would not only have eggs, they would have a broad selection of eggs, and they were all accessible to me! They would be affordable, fresh and delicious and this was on a Sunday morning for Pete's sakes. I could have as many as I wanted!
Just a few years back, big grocery stores weren't open on Sunday.
|PIZZA-FLAVOURED GOLDFISH! How'd we get by without it?
Not only are supermarkets open Sundays, so are banks and liquor stores. When I was younger, if you needed money, you had to get to a bank branch between 10:00 a.m and 3:00 p.m., which is what we called "bankers' hours." But now? There's money 24/7. I heard one guy say ATMs let us all work wankers' hours.
Thankfully, I was born into the most comfortable, richest, most convenient and colossally wealthiest time in all of history.
Not sure why I awaken every day with this "Gods Must Be Crazy" fascination for how much stuff we have. But I do.
Look at the grocery store's deodorant shelves. Or the array of tasty "goldfish". How many varieties can we handle?
But I digress.
Yet not really. For some reason, I never seem to forget how miraculously comfortable my life is. And it's not like I did anything to deserve it. Just lucky is all. To whit, before I left the house to go to the store for eggs, I had to choose from more than six different types of footwear. That's right!
I, Peter Carter, own more than 12 shoes, ranging from Birkenstock sandals to really comfortable cowboy boots. How many does a person need?
Yesterday--I hope you're sitting down--we had my wife Helena's VW Beetle (I can hardly believe I'm writing this) detailed. Three hours it took, and they even washed and polished the freaking tires! It has that new car smell again.
That reminds me. On a fairly regular basis, I get my teeth cleaned and polished. By a professional! In a comfortable office with pleasant music playing in the background. In the history of Carters starting one generation ago and going all the way back to the bogs of Ireland or wherever we came from, I am dead certain not one has had his or her teeth polished. Assuming they had teeth.
I got to the store, parked the bike, marched to the rear of the store where I knew the eggs were, carried them up to the counter and before I put them on the food tread mill or whatever you call it, the cashier said "Hi, how are you?"
So I told her.
"Well," I said, "I'm buying eggs because my daughter's over and we're going to have eggs and bacon and she's already cooking the bacon so when I get home, the bacon will be done so I can fry the eggs right in the bacon fat. I love'em like that."
The cashier laughed and said, "I know. I like them like that, too. But it's so fattening." (I need not tell you how slender she was.)
Me: "But it's healthy."
The cashier (with that maybe-I-shouldn't-have-engaged-this-strange-guy-in-conversation look that I've seen with increasing frequency over the years): "Healthy?"
Me: "Happy people live longer so if food makes you happy, it's good for you."
She hesitated. "I think," she said smiling, "there's some truth in that."
Another thing that comes with being the youngest of 10? I believe anything anybody tells me.
I believe she's right.