Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Dining With the Enemy: URS, Meat Paste, and the Dutch

Gathering together with family is often a momentous and healing experience, and joining in the giving of collective thanks creates moments of revelation and empathy.  Unless you're in my family, where your Mother forgets which holiday we're celebrating and festoons the house in preparation for Passover.

Though the remembering of the Spirit of the Lord culling the first born is always a fun-filled family event, I tried to gently and tactfully reorient the festivities toward the correct holiday.  I'd nearly succeeded when someone asked (as someone is wont to do every year in a desperate attempt to think outside a non-existent box), "Why don't we try something other than turkey this year?"

I was initially pleased to be spared an Homeric dual of with my arch-aminonemesis, but when my Mother decided to take cues from the Dutch in preparing the alternative mode of celebration and prepared hutspot and pea soup served in clogs, I took one look at what had been placed before me and fainted face-first into my dish.


I'm beginning to fear the Dutch want me dead.  Their recipe for hutspot creates a goo with the perfect consistency to drown a man at a depth of 25.4mm.

The National Post captures the Dutch chanting, "Death to The Clog!"
For the time being, however, I am pleased to announce that I have survived all plots by the Dutch against my life ...and also against my palette.  To save the Thanksgiving feast, I fought fire with fire and, borrowing from both the Dutch technique of deep frying meat paste to create vaguely edible objects and Felt's advanced mold optimization strategies, I fashioned the hutspot into a turkey, deep-fried it to create the illusion of skin, and then baked it over a roaring clog-fueled fire.

The end result was an olfactory and gustatory obscenity ...but it was still better than hutspot.

Bidding goodbye to my family and returning to the other olfactory and gustatory obscenity, Toronto, I was affronted by headlines about Rob Ford dressing in drag to launch a tirade against cyclists eating the babies of poor harmless Scarborough drivers.  In search of more positive news, I turned to Herb Van Den Drool's blog and was enthralled to learn that the Urban Repair Squad has installed yet more infrastructure to guide and enable the cycling aspirants of Toronto for whom paying-attention-to-what-you're-doing is just too tedious.

Incapable of following basic traffic requirements?
That's OK.  Just go where you think is best.
Billed as another Toronto first, this unique piece of alternative infrastructure joins the pharrow as the second piece of Urban Repair Squad's program to provide alternatives geared to all riding skill levels ('incompetent boob' is a skill level in the Urban Repair Squad's manual) by alleviating Toronto cyclists of the responsibility to ride in any predictable direction.  Instead, the Urban Repair Squad encourages us, if we're incapable of riding sensibly, to go where ever we darn well feel like.

I'm pleased to see that the Urban Repair Squad is attending to the needs of all Toronto cyclists, and not just those of us with some sense and a will to remain alive.  The next time I'm riding downtown, I can look at the boob salmoning toward me in the bike lane and think "Thanks, Urban Repair Squad, for enabling this person to ride a bike."

When two imbecile cyclists collide head-on on this street, I hope I can be there to witness the coming together of misplaced entitlement and progressive infrastructure first hand.  If they're going fast enough, perhaps the world will be a better place afterwards.

No comments:

Post a Comment