My Intentions With This Ladle Are Pure and Wholesome


I got a new ladle at Ikea this past weekend, and I’m psyched out of my mind to use it tonight. Like, really really excited. I’ve been searching for the right soup recipe all day to break in this beautiful ladle. Maybe a shrimp bisque, or a watermelon gazpacho. I don’t know. Maybe I won’t make a soup at all. Maybe I’ll do a chili!

I’m giddy with the prospects.

Yep. Really excited about that ladle.

Is that sad? I can tell you think it’s sad. On the one hand, it’s just a big ass spoon. I shouldn’t get too worked up over something that simply transfers soup from a pot to a bowl. A soup transferring device, if you will. It’s not like we’re talking about a new puppy.

But it’s so shiny. And really solid. There are some kitchen utensils that are so heavy and sturdy, you just know you’ll be able to count on them for years to come. That’s how solid this ladle is. It’s heavy…like a weapon. If an intruder tries to break into our house, I could use this ladle to defend my family. That’s how solid it is.

But be honest with me, you think I’m pathetic, don’t you?

It’s not like I’m having dreams about the ladle. We’re not in a relationship. That would be silly. It’s a spoon and I’m a man. How would that even work?

And yet, I can sense you judging me as I write this. Maybe if you knew how flimsy my previous ladle was, you’d understand my enthusiasm. Listen, this thing could barely hold a half cup of chowder. And forget about a hearty stew—it couldn’t support the girth of meat and potatoes. Stupid, flimsy ladle.

And did you ever think that maybe I’ve reached some sort of weird “stay at home” Zen state of being, where I can finally appreciate the simple pleasures in life, like a big ass shiny spoon, or 10 minutes of not talking? Maybe my ladle infatuation is a sign that I’ve reached a higher level of spiritual awareness, and everyone else is pathetic.

Chew on that, Judgy McJudgerson.

No, you’re right, it’s sad. I need a hobby. In the meantime, hit me up with good soup recipes.



Frank and Beans


Something I never thought I’d have say to another person: “Dude, put your pants on. You’re gonna burn your penis.”

Because most nights, my son wants to help me cook dinner. But some nights, he doesn’t want to wear clothes. As if trying to keep all of his fingers off of the hot stove wasn’t enough, now I’ve got another appendage to worry about. I’m not sure why the kid likes to be naked, but from what I can tell from informal surveys, it’s a universal issue with preschool boys. I mean, I get it. Penises are fun, why wouldn’t you want to just hang out with it? But I’m getting a little tired of looking out the window, and seeing my kid with his pants down in the front yard…peeing on the fence…waving at the neighbors.

Sure, he’s young enough now for the little old ladies walking their dogs by our house to laugh it off. But the kid’s getting older. It’ll go from awkwardly cute to awkwardly illegal pretty damn quick.

I blame my wife, who insists that his predilection for nudity is perfectly normal for a boy his age. Maybe. But I’m skeptical; she wasn’t raised with the sexual hang-ups and body guilt that have made the fully-functioning adult that I am today. I had the benefit of being raised in both a traditional Southern household and a Catholic household. In my mind, anything you do naked is a mortal sin. Even taking a shower requires three Hail Mary’s. We thought the Jesus statue at our church was a little risqué. I mean, why can’t he wear a t-shirt?

So I’m doing my best to negate my wife’s well-adjusted approach to innocent nudity and instill the same hang-ups in my children that I enjoyed. I may permanently fuck them up emotionally and psychologically, but at least I’ll avoid having to explain a second-degree burn to my son’s Frank and Beans to the suspicious ER doctor…and subsequent Social Services advocate.

The Dirty Bird; what that rotisserie chicken says about you

The $4.50 rotisserie chicken. In my grocery store, it’s right up front next to the check out lanes. Up there with the impulse purchases like giant lollipops and knock off Matchbox cars. It’s an enticing item. An entire bird (minus the head) for under $5. Never mind the fact that it’s been sitting beneath the warming lights for 12 hours, that bird could feed a whole family of four. But make no mistake, buying a grocery store rotisserie chicken says more about you than, “I’m hungry, and I like chicken.” It says I’m too tired to cook, but too cheap to spring for a bucket of KFC. It’s like wearing Crocs in public–it signals to the world that you’ve given up.

Scoreboard: Life 1, You 0.

I’m ashamed to say I rely on the rotisserie chicken more often than I should. In the lean post-college years, the dirty bird and I were close friends. Five nights a week, my dinner was a rotisserie chicken, bag of salad, and sixer on Natty Light (cue nostalgic music). Now, about once every couple of weeks the kids will wear me down to the point where jumping off of our 30-foot-high deck is more appealing than dragging the pots out to cook dinner, so I’ll break down and buy the bird.

Warning: If you find yourself in the same situation, never contemplate the economics of that bird. How do they get a chicken on to your table for under $5? (It’s people. You’re eating people!) How non-organic is this chicken that they can raise it, feed it, kill it, ship it, cook it, and package it for for the same price as a two-piece dinner at Bojangles? If two-pieces of Bojangles chicken costs $5, then where did these fine rotisserie birds come from? Maybe they’re not chicken at all. Maybe they’re pigeon.

And don’t be fooled by the fact that there are three new flavors of chicken to choose from: lemon pepper, barbecue, and Cajun. They all taste the same: a carefully blended mix of room temperature bacteria and defeat.