Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wanted: Fruit Plaintiffs for Class-Action Lawsuit

I spent the last week and a half waiting for my papaya to ripen. Oh, sure, I filled in the gaps with a few other activities here and there, but mostly I waited. It takes time for a papaya to get moldy and dimpley and soft enough—right on the cusp of rotting, yet at its sweetest, most succulent peak. Those tricky effers are hard to gauge, making them high-risk investments. I spent almost $4 on mine. But what happens when you cut into a pricey piece of fruit that doesn’t pay off? Who should be held accountable—the store, the grower or the buyer? 

In my papaya-ripening experience, I have observed moldy + mushy = bright orange, luscious papaya on the inside. And while this papaya was moldy, it wasn't mushy yet. But I refused to put my knife on hold any longer with all that mold accruing, so I cut into it, only to find it lacking in the bright-orange, peak-lusciousness department. It was pale and still kind of firm in places. I tried timing it right, but maybe this was all my poor papaya was ever meant to be. Maybe it was merely the little papaya that couldn’t. 

Should I have felt compassion for this underachieving piece of fruit? Perhaps, but after plunking down $4, plus a week and a half of waiting, I was pissed. All that painstaking patience, and for what—a pallid, underperforming papaya. So I decided to sue Monsanto for damages. I don't care that it was a Mexican papaya—and Hawaiian papayas are the ones that are genetically modified. I've wanted to sue Monsanto for awhile, and now is as good a time as any. Think of it as bombing Iraq for 9/11. Saddam Monsanto had it coming. And I have the WMD.

If you, too, were traumatized by a Weapon of Mass Disappointment in the past 180 days, you can get in on the action.

Are you a fruit buyer who waited patiently, only to be the victim of a fruit-ripening malfunction? Did it refuse to ripen? Was it rotten? Or do you just want to sue a nefarious corporation? Let’s hold Monsanto accountable!  
If you bought a piece of fruit from a retailer in the last 180 days that underperformed, and you still have your toxic BPA-coated cash register receipt, you are eligible to sue Monsanto for a refund, plus pain and suffering for wasted time and heartbreak accrued during the ripening process. 
Don't let the terrorists win! 
Please send receipts to the law firm of Lentil Breakdown.  

Well, I better get going. There’s a green mango on my counter, and I've got lots of waiting to do.

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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Exclamation Points and Green Garbanzo Beans

I may not be the most punctual blogger, but I am the most punctuational. I can't stop myself from using commas. As de rigueur as it is these days to be a comma minimalist, I am old school and do what I was taught in my old school—place a comma between two independent clauses that are connected by a conjunction. I just can’t seem to shake it. Whenever I try, I see my teachers rolling over under their perfectly punctuated gravestones. But the same set-in-stone rule doesn’t apply to exclamation points. The only rule is discretion. Some loudmouths abuse this privilege by overexclamating; thereby, offending grammarians, librarians, and food-blogging authoritarians.

Why do some people use exclamation points when casually writing “hello,” while others save them for when their hair is on fire (which incidentally, is a little odd that they’re still typing while engulfed in flames)? Is the overexclamator a certain personality type? Do they naturally have more energy and joie de vivre, or is it merely an attempt at branding oneself as upbeat? Perhaps they are sincerely misguided in their inappropriate emoting, but I'm thinking there's a vast network of cokeheads in dank basements, and these exclamation points are cryptic cries for help. Betty Ford Center: take note. You could glean names for your mailing list by trolling punctuation marks.

Why all the hullabaloo over such a trivial point? An inappropriate exclamation point not only sets the reader up for disappointment by diluting its power when used again, it dumbs down the now. You might as well just dot your “i” with a daisy, make a paisley apostrophe, and call it a day. I’m not trying to be overly pedantic or semantic, but just as Gwyneth and Chris made a conscious uncoupling, I think people should practice conscious unexclamating. If you exclaim indiscriminately, it will ruin it for all the other exclamation points. 

Case in points from two Seinfeld characters:

Newman: Hell-oooo, Jerry.
Uncle Leo: Hell-oooo, Jerry!
Newman: Hell-oooo, Jerry!
Uncle Leo: Hell-oooo, Jerry!

See my points?

If you’re wondering what these grumblings have  to do with green garbanzos, I'll tell you. After spending 20 minutes at the store, meticulously picking out the freshest, firmest ones, I harrumphed myself home, only to embark on 40 more minutes of masochism, shelling the beans. Thank god for the tequila that miraculously appeared in my shot glass to lessen the pain. Note to garbanzos: I would like my hour back. You were fresh and lovely, but for the time spent, I could have given a TED talk, pontificating on the perils of overpromising through overexclamating. Instead, I got a cup of effing beans. Let me repunctuate. Instead, I got a cup of effing beans!


1 pot water
1 cup effing beans

Boil the effers for three minutes and enjoy (if you haven't already hung yourself).
Salt and eat like edamame, or do something else with them.

Maybe you could sautée the effers with broccoli, garlic, marjoram and pasta in olive oil. 

Wanna know more about green garbanzos? Be my guest. 

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