Be Like the Crockpot

Think about the last meal you ate out of a crockpot.

If you’re having trouble, I’ll spoil the surprise for you: it was delicious.

It’s the most underrated kitchen appliance. No meal you associate with it can possibly turn out bad.

Pot roast?

Heaven.

Soup?

Makes Progresso look like an amateur.

Chili?

Doesn’t matter if it’s over nachos, rice, or straight into my hands, it’s amazing.

You could put the remnants of a compost heap in a slow cooker for eight hours and it probably wouldn’t even turn out bad. Throw it over some mashed potatoes, you’ve got an eco-friendly Sunday dinner.

And not only does it taste good, it creates multiple meals you can save up. If there’s ever an apocalypse, with only enough energy left over to fuel one thing in your house, you’d use the slow cooker. “Well, zombies may have overtaken the neighborhood, but at least I’ll have enough beef bouringnon to last the rest of this decade.”

Which brings me to the only drawback of the slow cooker…

It’s…umm…slow.

Every other cooking device is designed for speed. Not the crockpot. The crockpot is always going to take it’s sweet ass time. While the microwave is busting it’s ass trying to get you your leftovers heated up in record time, the crockpot’s picking it’s teeth saying, “Nah…you’ll wait.”

There’s a bigger lesson there. They say good things come to those who wait, and nowhere is that more prevalent than when you make a meal out of a crockpot.

Think about what you use the slow cooker for compared to what you use the other, quicker devices for:

Crockpot: glazed pork ribs with white beans.

Microwave: last night’s pizza.

Crockpot: a hearty beef and vegetable-based stew that tastes like Sunday dinners back home.

Microwave: Marie Callender’s ice-block beef stroganoff.

Crockpot: Korean barbeque, with a side of perfectly spiced cabbage and pickles.

Microwave: a Hot Pocket.

They’re like a food time capsule: they give you a glimpse into what you were hungry for 8 hours ago in the past, before you left for work. It’s the only appliance where you start your task looking one way and might be unrecognizable by the end. If I ever started a slow cooker recipe website, I’d include blog posts on it like “How to Trim the Long, White Beard You Grew While You Were Waiting for the Chorizo to Finish Up.” Or maybe, “Now That You’re Enjoying the Dinner You Started Cooking 15 Years Ago, Here’s How to Manage that Pesky Osteoperosis.”

And you better be DAMN SURE you want whatever it is you’re preparing to cook, because the entire house is going to smell like that for weeks. “Well, I BETTER like this pot roast, because every shirt I own is going to smell like one for the next two weeks.”

There’s no way around it, the slow cooker is an inconvenient device. But by delaying gratification, the crockpot forces you to wait for quality. That’s something all of us could apply in our every day lives.

The crockpot is cocky. It KNOWS it’s value, and it KNOWS it’s going to take you a long ass time to make whatever it is you’re using it to make. It doesn’t care. Forget freezer burned chicken nuggets that take less than two minutes to make. Commit to a plan, damn it! The fruits you bear on the other side of it when you start a meal in one century and finish it in the other are great.

That’s why if I have the choice, in all parts of my life, I’m trying to be like the crockpot.

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Whoever Verified the Stat that You Swallow 3-6 Spiders Per Year Was One Weird Ass Scientist

Remember when you were little, and somebody in school would repeat that weird statistic about swallowing spiders? “On average, people swallow between 3 and 6 spiders per year in their sleep.”

I don’t know if that’s true. I’m not sure if it’s an urban legend. Here’s what I do know.

If it IS true…that study was conducted by one weird ass scientist.

Think about it. First off, he had to have the idea that people swallow spiders. More than likely, he ate them himself. “I wonder how many other people swallow these things? Well I know I swallow so many, it probably averages out to about 3 to 6.”

Second, he had to conduct the study. That means waiting in people’s rooms and watching them sleep – ALL NIGHT – just to record how many spiders they swallow. “And that one makes 7. I’m hoping he gets to 10 before sunup. Moments like that are why I’m in the spider sleep swallow counting business.”

How’d he get funding for this? Was there an eccentric billionaire who needed his belief validated. “Doc, I never eat before bed and wake up full every night. I’m thinking it’s gotta be spiders. That’s what I need you to find out.”

I’d feel worse for his assistant. I’d love to hear how that interview went. “Not really worried about any other papers you’ve written. Basically I need to know are you good at A) counting and B) identifying a spider if you saw one.” Then he holds up a picture of a tarantula. “Tell me what this is and count to 30 if you don’t mind. Do both of those and you’ve pretty much got this.”

Speaking of counting spiders, I have a pretty unhealthy fear of spiders. Sign up for my email list to find out more.

The Condescending Pricks at Bumblebee Tuna Don’t Even Trust You to Have Your Own Silverware

Today I picked up a few packets of tuna at the grocery store. Why, you ask? 14 grams of protein, only 60 calories baby. Your boy is trying to eat healthier. Plus they found a way to make one of the world’s most convenient foods (a can of tuna) even more convenient. As a tuna fan, I’ve got to reward ingenuity like that. My can opener holds no real sentimental value to me, so using it less isn’t a giant loss.

I do have a problem with this, though, and it has nothing to do with the packet. It’s the fact that the packet comes with a tiny, plastic spoon.

Here is a numbered list of my issues with the good people at Bumblebee Tuna regarding said spoon:

1. What, you think I can’t afford my own spoon? I’ve got a DRAWER full of spoons, Chico. Years’ worth of spoons. Spoons I bought, spoons I stole from my Mom’s kitchen, I think one of them I even stole from my college dining hall. I’m not a man who lacks resourcefulness when it comes to acquiring spoons.

It almost made me want to go out, steal many spoons from a variety of establishments, and email a picture to packetdivision@bumbleebeetuna.com. Just to show ’em I don’t need ’em.

2. Who eats tuna with a spoon? Not once in my life have I used a spoon to consume tuna. It’s a fork food. Save your spoons for your Bumblebee Cereal, or Bumblebee Soup.

3. This isn’t really an issue with your spoon inclusion, but what’s up with that mascot? Based on the available information, I’m guessing it’s a bee chef/tuna boat captain. How the hell is a bee going to master both those trades? I can accept one, but not the other. No bee is working hard to get out of the hive, become a chef…only to go get on some fishing boat after all that. You know how pissed his parents would be? “Do you realize how much we paid for culinary school? You not making honey cost us literally THOUSANDS of dollars. Whatever. Enjoy being on the bee version of Deadliest Catch. I have no son.”

4. Coming back to the mascot, why doesn’t it look like a bee? It’s too cute and it only has two eyes. It looks more like if Mickey Mouse got caught in that machine from The Fly, only this time a bee was in it with him. Now you have this weird cartoon mouse/bee hybrid, angering God.

5. Last thing: why does the mascot look like he’s really pushing the spoon hard? Like he knows it’s a mistake? You get the feeling Bumblebee Tuna made a bad financing deal with a plastic spoon company, now this is their way of getting out of it. Next up they’re going to have cans of pink salmon that all come with a spork.

Work on your mascot and cutlery game, Bumbleebee Tuna. Until then, I’ll be getting all my vacuum pouched fish from Starkist.

For more packeted meat analysis, sign up for my email list.

Exit Signs Should Be Any Other Color Than Red

Why are exit signs bright red? Can’t you go with something a little more soothing? Something that says, “There’s a fire but no need to be a tight ass about it. Mosey on out near this real sign.”

Why pick something the same color as what you’re trying to get away from? “Hey you know that fire? File the color of that away when you’re looking for an out. Keep that in mind and look for words that look similar. Forget anything peaceful. Let the fiery relief of the red exit consume you.”

I thought about this at the movies a few months ago. Green, blue, anything else. Plus what if we don’t make it out? I know I for one would love to see a lovely pastel before succumbing to an inferno. I’d rather not think of more fire and think, “Huh. That light purple looks like an Easter egg I painted when I was a kid.”

I’ve been trying to blog every day for 2017 and I gotta tell you I think I may be finally out of ideas.

All the Perfectly Logical Reasons Why You’d Rob a Preschool

Read about two guys in my neighborhood who tried to rob a preschool. Predictably, they were unsuccessful. I’ve tried to come up with why they did it, and here are some possible explanations: They really wanted milk, cookies, and the petty cash of poorly paid preschool teachers.

* They’re master bank robbers who have robbed everything else you can possibly rob and they’re looking for a new challenge. “Steve, we’ve done banks, armored trucks, convenience stores….hear me out: preschools.”

“Do they even have safes?”

“Only one way to find out, brother.”

* One of them has a kid there, and due to a nasty custody battle this is the only way he can see him. Like Mrs. Doubtfire, but replacing a man dressing up like an old woman for robbing a store.

* They wanted to teach the kids there a valuable lesson about pursuing criminal enterprises. Nothing hammers home the point that crime doesn’t pay like awkwardly asking an art teacher for her pocket change while waiting on a bunch of cops to inevitably bust you.

* They want to be preschool teachers and they went to the school as a way to break I but robbing stuff is all they know. The second they got in there, they reverted to the life of crime.

* They thought they were in a bank. “Hey man….do you remember Bank of America having finger paintings on the wall?”

* They felt like the cops in the area had worked hard lately and needed a much easier crime to bust. And really, what’s easier than walking into a preschool and nabbing the two criminals? “I’m going to go out on a limb and guess it’s the two men in here taller than 3 feet.”

* Finally: it was a bit of viral marketing to promote their one act play about two guys who knock over a preschool-themed bank. No better way to show people how entertaining a preschool robbery would be than by actually doing it. After they realizzed it actually wasn’t that entertaining, they probably had a good laugh in jail about how they should cancel their show.

How to Improve This Country’s Public Bathroom Situation

I can’t believe no one’s thought of this yet.

To be clear – I’m of the opinion that I don’t care what bathroom a person uses. But I’ve got an idea that would appease both sides of this whole weird controversy.

It’s simple: lose gendered bathrooms. Lose common area bathrooms, period. Make all public bathrooms a series of unisex pod-like stalls in a row. The most important part of this innovation? No more urinals. All stalls, baby.

Here’s why this would work: what man in his right mind would complain about urinals ceasing to exist? Nobody’s going to bat for urinals. “Having stalls fixes a lot of problems, but possibly seeing a guy’s dick out of your peripherals is every man’s right!”

Urinals are one of mankind’s worst innovations. It’s like someone saw somebody else going to the bathroom and thought, “How do we turn this into a group activity?”

Not to mention it would eliminate the abomination known as the trough urinal. You ever use one of these, guys? It’s like competitive peeing. Every guy in the football stadium is teaming up to relieve themselves in a giant floor sink. Don’t think we’d have a problem with those going away either.

Too expensive, you say? I think we’d be find room in the budget for it. Remember, most politicians are old white guys. All you gotta do is say, “If we pass this new “All Stalls” bill, you won’t have to pee next to a guy while trying to simultaneously not look at his junk AND peak at his junk to make sure it isn’t bigger than yours.” That bill would be passed faster than something really fast. I don’t know, imagine some obscure fast guy Dennis Miller would reference doing something really quickly.

See, these are the types of ideas that make me think I should run for President one day.

My Mom and Her Pet Hawk

hawk.jpeg

Today is my Mom’s birthday. I’ve written here before about her penchant for helping animals. Today I’m going to tell you another one of those stories.

This past December I was visiting my folks around Christmas time. Mom and I are out on the back deck talking. They have a few dozen feet worth of forest on their property behind the house. As we’re talking we hear an ungodly loud squawk up above us. I look up, alarmed.

Mom, nonplussed, says, “Oh that’s just my pet hawk.”

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