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…..?