Tag Archives: potato chips

Lame Adventure 299: Pointless Mysteries

Although I’m slightly less spiritual than a tube sock, as I was returning to my Upper West Side garret at Magic Hour after another productive day of clock watching on company time, I looked up at the sky and saw this holy card-style cloud formation.

Cloud porn.

It was the type of cloud-cluster that begs for a soprano singing choir soundtrack as a gigantic Supreme Being hand emerges with a pointed index finger.

This finger is pointing out what – the end is near, the end is far, the end has corporate sponsorship so now it’s negotiable and under contract?  Yet this being Manhattan, a more realistic soundtrack when those clouds part would be wailing sirens as that hand emerges, quickly upturns and flips the bird at the Jaded New Yorkers down below muttering in unison at the insult:

Jaded New Yorkers: Now I’ve seen everything!

After snapping my trademark crummy pictures of the mystical cloud formation, my thoughts drifted in the direction of my other recent encounters with life’s mysteries small and pointless.

Hand-free light shaft.

For example, every year, no matter what the holiday, my building has some pleasant reminder of the event.

Fragrant Easter lily.

This past Friday, I encountered my landlady in the subway station that’s three blocks south from my home base.  In a cheerful tone I declared:

Me:  That’s a lovely lily we have in the lobby!

She looked at me with an expression that translates as follows:

My Landlady:  Who the hell are you?

Then, she walked away.  I’ve been renting an apartment in her 18-unit brownstone for almost 30 years.  Possibly I’m being overly sensitive, but one would think there would be a glimmer of recognition that I’m her tenant by now.

My landlady’s inability to distinguish me from the Town Loon  aside, I’ve entered my annual spring funk.  My birthday is approaching soon and friends and family are frequently reminding me about it.  Over the weekend my father called and bleated enthusiastically:

My Father:  I can’t believe you’re gonna be (ickity) four!  How did that happen?

Me:  (Ickity) four happens next year!  Right now, this minute, I’m still (ickity) two!

[Insert awkward pause here.]

My Father:  At least you’ve never been fat.

That’s true but as my metabolism downshifts, I’m not feeling as svelte as I used to.  I’m developing a bit of a paunch and from certain angles in states of undress, I’m looking marsupial.  I know I need to exercise more and it would also behoove me to eat less crap and guzzle less beer.  Over the weekend, I wanted potato chips, but I decided to get the 40% reduced fat variety and limit myself to the recommended serving of just 20 chips, but who ever eats such a puny amount, much less buys the reduced fat version?

Bet you can't eat just 20.

To psyche myself into doing so, I reasoned that I must think as if I’m lost in the woods and I’m obligated to make these rations last to survive.

What 20 chips look like in a bowl with a sneaker.

What 20 chips look like in a bowl sans sneaker.

Then I thought:

Me (thinking):  Who am I kidding?  I’m in an apartment in the heart of Manhattan and I want to pound a high octane beer with these chips.

Yet, I practiced some restraint as I proceeded to inhale my 20 chips in one gulp like an anteater on steroids.  Thanks to my remarkable willpower combined with Mad Men being the only show worth watching on TV, I have yet to chow down the rest of the bag.

Last week at work, after finishing a 16-ounce tea chased with a 10-ounce cup of water, this flood of hydration nearly ruptured my bladder.

Chug a lug.

Fortunately, I could easily win Olympic gold if there was a competition for hightailing from my office to the bathroom in breaking the sound barrier time.  I switched on the light and saw an orchid, a gift to my boss, Elsbeth, soaking in the sink.

"Can a plant have some privacy around here?"

Tortured, I raced back to my office and announced to my superior:

Me:  Your orchid is soaking in the sink!

Elsbeth:  Oh!  I put it there!


Me (screaming inside my head):  Why are you doing this to me when I need to take a piss worthy of a herd of farm animals?

Me (speaking through gritted teeth):  I figured.

Remarkably, Elsbeth heard the earlier unasked question.  She moved the orchid quickly solving at least one more of my life’s pointless mysteries.  Now the orchid is sitting on the sink.

The bathroom orchid.

Lame Adventure 208: Losing Streak

This has not been one of my banner weeks.  Added to my bottomless pit of literary rejections, my screenplay failed to reach the finals in an important writing contest, Coco and I are in the doghouse with each other, and Rob Grill, the lead singer of the Grass Roots, a band that recorded a song I liked very much in my youth, Let’s Live for Today, that I recently downloaded on iTunes for 69 cents while feeling nostalgic, died from a head injury three days ago.  In a perverse way I feel responsible as if my funk is to blame for his demise.  Too bad my funk’s aim was off and it did not veer in the direction of Muammar el-Qaddafi, now that Osama bin Laden is swimming with the fishes.

As an illustration of my patriotism deficiency, I am not the type that’s inclined to eat voraciously when I’m depressed.  I did suffer an uncharacteristic craving for potato chips, a snack I seldom scarf, and I thought, “Hey, why not?”  When I made this impulse purchase I did not invest an iota of thought into the potato chip maker’s brand, Kettles.  As much as I like Kettles’ products, their user-unfriendly bags are designed to never open in a way that allows easy closure.  Their bags have a little notch in the lip at the top that I assume* the end-user is supposed to tear open the bag in this place.

*I make this assumption since Kettles does not include opening instructions with their potato chip bags; something I could sorely use.

Via the notch in the lip, I tore open my bag of Sea Salt flavor potato chips.  Pictured below is the end result, my inability to adequately open a potato chip bag.

Another blow to my self-worth.

It’s only a matter of time, possibly after three more apathetic hand dips, before the mutilated left corner of the bag commits suicide expediting the overall death of the freshness factor of the foil package.  One very American way to avoid quickening the descent into stale is to eat the chips within the bag in their entirety, possibly while kicking back a six pack and watching mindless crap on TV.  After that main course, for dessert, I could epically hate myself, fantasize about sticking my head in a noose, and then calculate if there is a way I can afford primal scream therapy on my scant wages.

As an alternative to increased self-loathing, and resisting the opportunity to grow a third butt-cheek in a single sitting, I’ve decided to travel the Plan B route in sustaining my chips’ freshness factor.

Chip and self-worth-preserving solution.

If anyone from Kettles should read this post, maybe you can reconsider how you seal your bags, unless this notch is an intentional ploy to motivate the consumer to eat your chips faster so we’ll be inclined to purchase more quicker.  Hmm.  I’m onto you Kettles and you don’t want to be infected with my current crummy karma.  Just ask Rob Grill.