Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Cut, now finally pasted

Editors. Pffft.

Never mind that I’m one of them. As a lot, we’re way too anal-retentive. More often than is statistically possible, a great line is excised from a story because “it’s not our style,” or “it really isn’t consistent with what you’re saying,” or “there’s absolutely no proof that extraterrestrials exist.”

This installment is my revenge. Here are some of the lines they’ve refused to let me include, or that I’ve yanked myself in a fit of pre-emptive self-editing. If only I could remember the context for each.

“They could make the numbers dance like Chita Rivera.”

“He ate his first meal in an American restaurant on Dec. 8, 1970. His second was on Dec. 9; his third, Dec. 10. Some 3,412 meals (and 3,412 days) later, he’s still visiting the restaurant every day, sitting at the same table, often ordering the same thing.”

“Even Stevie Wonder could have seen it.”

“In trying to eat all five of my recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables, I’ve often counted popcorn and corn chips. But that damned doctor red-carded me.”

“They had shifted most of the functions in-house. But a key one remained out-house.”

“Some are born to cured meats. Mario Batali had it thrust upon him.”

“Sure signs the Apocalypse is upon us: My gym bag came with a 32-page User’s Manual. My grab-and-go breakfast now comes in a bag with handles. IBM no longer sells PCs, and McDonald’s execs have publicly stated that the chain may someday get out of the burger business.”

“You can now get ciabatta at Jack in the Box, espresso at Dunkin’ Donuts, a panini at Mobile gas stations, prime rib at Quiznos, fresh-baked bread at Wendy’s, organic pizza sauce at Shakey’s and even lattes at some McDonald’s outlets. Yet none of those seem as ambitious as Mimi’s offer of fresh asparagus as a seasonal offering. This, after all, is a family chain that once went waffle-to-waffle with Denny’s, Bob Evans and Friendly’s.”

“I was a little frightened by our editorial meeting today. A colleague was talking about molecular gastronomy and signs that the chemistry-in-the-kitchen craze has gone mainstream, a possible sign of ultimately cresting. ‘Of course, there’s still a lot going on with spherification,’ he noted offhandedly. Why not just tell us who’s buried in Grant’s Tomb.”


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