Things that make you go hmmmm…..


My weekly column:

I am not Arsenio Hall. I do not drive from Cleveland to LA pondering things that make you go hmmm. (According to Wik E. Pedia, a frequent joke in Hall’s opening monologue was that he still lived in Cleveland and drove to Los Angeles every day to host his (now defunct) show, and on these alleged long drives he pondered life and came up with “things that make you go hmm,….”) His running gag also inspired a 1991 song by the same title which climbed to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. This trivia is brought to your attention today as a way of introducing a few of the things that make me go hmmm…..:

1. In the Books & Writers section of the National Post on Saturday, Maryak Siddiqi did a book review of “The Tastemakers: Why We Are Crazy for Cupcakes But Fed Up With Fondue” by David Sax. I am going to read this book for one reason, and one reason only, and it is this quote from Sax, which makes me go hmmm… Siddiqi says that Sax “crafts an excellent and extremely fun takedown of health trends. It’s a giant paragraph-long rant that begins, ‘Eat more fibre, but be sure to eat less carbs. Drink three glasses of milk a day, so long as you avoid lactose and dairy. Beef is filled with much-needed iron and protein, but you should steer clear of red meat entirely….’. Now does this not make you go hmmmm? No wonder we are so confused as to what to put into our mouths—one day coffee is bad for you, the next day it is the best thing since sliced bread—and don’t get me started on sliced bread which is now at the top of many people’s don’t ever eat list.

2. A certain brand of barbeque sauce which I favour but never buy unless it is on sale is on sale this week at one of the grocery stores. It is usually about $4 a bottle but is on for a buck a bottle for a few short days. So I picked up three. Two are called Original Bold and the other is Chicken and Rib Renegade . Curious as to what the content difference between the two is, I read the ingredient label, thinking that something that was Bold would be much different than something touted for chicken and ribs (which come to think of it is another thing that makes me go hmmmm… as chicken is fairly delicate in flavour and ribs are, dare I say it…much bolder). So here is the ingredient list for the Bold Original flavour: sugar, water, tomato paste, cooking molasses, vinegar, salt, modified corn starch, natural hickory smoke flavour, mustard, dried onions, spices and garlic with a note in bold letters that says Contains Mustard.

The other barbeque sauce for renegade (not complacent) chicken and ribs is made up of—wait for it, wait for it: sugar, water, tomato paste, cooking molasses, vinegar, salt, modified corn starch, natural hickory smoke flavour, dried onions, mustard, spices and dried garlic. It also has the warning in bold letters Contains Mustard.

Now just in case you did not notice the difference, the Bold Original has mustard listed before the dried onions. That is it. That is the only difference—which may mean that the Bold has a little more mustard than the Chicken and Rib Renegade and fewer dried onions. This makes me seriously go hmmm…

And the bold letters seeming to warn us that there is mustard in both concoctions has me slightly concerned. Is there a subgroup of people made up of the mustard police out there? Is mustard really that significant that it must be pointed out so audaciously? This mustard thing makes me go hmmm…. with some trepidation. Why is the mustard being pointed out here? Should we be worried? Hmmmm…..

3. Cupcakes. Why are they so popular? Sure they are cute and made of cake and sometimes decorated beautifully. But I do not get it. Most are too big to bite into without ending up with an icing moustache, and who enjoys having to wipe off their mouth after every bite? I understand kids loving cupcakes—the messier the better. But someone who suffers from TMJ does not have a prayer of eating a cupcake neatly unless employing a fork, which seems to cancel out the whole raison d’etre for consuming a cupcake. This one may not make you go hmmm…but it does me. So I give it a personal Hmmm………….

Life is full of things that make us go hmmm…..these are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg (one of those big guys that are melting, causing us angst, and making us go hmmm…with some alarm.)

What makes you go hmmmm…..?


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25 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I agree with you, LouAnn on all points, especially about cupcakes. I really don’t get cupcakes either. They’re messy and maybe cute. Here’s another thing that makes me go hmmm. I realize that I may be stepping on a lot of toes here because I know of many people who love the stuff, but I. Just. Do. Not. Get. Rhubarb.

    Maybe it’s because I grew up in the south (Georgia) where I had never heard of it until my twenties, but it’s sour, needs a lot of sugar and is always (or maybe always) mixed with some other fruit like strawberries. I LOVE strawberries, but why ruin them with rhubarb?

    • I understand- I cannot eat rhubarb–it upsets my stomach though when I was younger I would eat it raw

      • Is it really sour raw?

      • yes, but when I was a kid I loved sour–now, not so much

    • I applaud your astute opinion of ruhbarb. I had tons of it my new. yard. I dug it all out… Gasp. Deep giant roots and all.

      • High five!

      • Grin!

  2. I don’t get cupcakes either- they’re fine for a child’s birthday, but it seems a little weird for adults to be so obsessed with them. I’m proud to say I’ve never bought a gourmet cupcake in my life. But what really makes me go hmmm is the idea of a frosting shot… no cupcake, just the frosting.
    And the gluten-free fad is mystifying to me, although I typically avoid saying anything because nearly everyone I know is gluten-free.

    • I know what you mean–such a fad–hope it ends soon–not that many people can be affected by wheat and I have never bought a gourmet cupcake either–we stand together on that–and icing shots–yuck!

  3. It hasn’t got a price on it ~ hmmmm.

    The politicians need more power and laws, but make the disempowered responsible. ~ hmmmm.

    Low fat, low salt, no artificial additives, no artificial flavourings .. .. ( but a shed load of sugar) ~ hmmmm.

    Trying to pull the wool over our eyes. Well I suppose it has a kind of logic, if they think we are all sheep ~ hmmmm.

    ♫ Hmmmm.

  4. Hmmm…..These are all so spot-on – I especially relate to the BBQ sauce. It’s applicable to so many other things – a person with ‘dark blonde hair’ also has ‘light brown hair’ – and there is no difference (perhaps one highlight?). It’s off topic, but the premise is the same…loved this post!

    • I know–we live in a world that just tries to confuse us….

      • So true – and honestly? It doesn’t take much to confuse me, so I wish the world would just knock this off. 😉

      • me too

  5. It’s the Cupcakes that share the hmmmmmmm with me. Not only are they awkward, etc, but they are CRAZY expensive as they are being sold, today. $4 for a single cupcake? That’s a “hmmmmm” with several “!!!!!!!!!”

  6. Wow, where would I even start? Life seems to be chock full of hmmm’s lately. I am a logical person, and it seems like nothing is logical anymore. I totally agree with you about cupcakes. I mean, assuming it’s a chocolate cupcake, and me being a chocoholic, wiping my mouth after each bite would be wasting an awful lot of that precious chocolate icing :). That’s just not right!

  7. Hmmm! I also don’t get cupcakes. Give me a good slice of cheesecake or chocolate mousse cake, any day. 🙂

  8. Love your take on hmmm factor. I don’t get men and wood. Let me explain. Men love wood in decor and never want you to paint, even if it makes things look dark and dreary. Hmmm? Btw, can’t say that I’ve ever turned down a cupcake but I am a sugarholic so maybe I’m not the best one to judge.

  9. Why is a size 16 not always a size 16. Why does it make a difference who makes the garment.. Maybe the tag should say ‘maybe a size 16 because we measure a bit differently that other manufacturers’…. Silly me I know. The tag would be humongous ! Diane

  10. I just had two slices of bread and a cup of coffee. I think my body knows when something is bad for it and when something isn’t, thank you very much. The mustard thing made me laugh and really, why point it out unless there’s something we should be concerned about? Some of the warning labels on things make me go hmm. Like sharp objects having labels of “Do not poke into skin.” Um, duh? But then, I’ve heard that the reason labels like that exist are because people have done things to warrant them. Which then makes me go hmmmm about humanity in general.

  11. Oh, you’ve only scratched the surface of things that could make you go hmmm….you could dedicate a whole blog to this topic! I agree with the cupcake verdicts…but I must say, rhubarb is a yummy base for desserts like crisps and pies. I have a plant in my little front garden and I love harvesting the stuff. My favorite pairing is with orange…use the zest of an orange with rhubarb to make a fantastic dish. Brown sugar, butter, diced rhubarb, orange zest, top with an oatmeal crumb topping, bake till lightly browned, serve with ice cream. Perfect way to get over saying hmmm….! ~ Sheila

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