The Potato Manifesto

If today you’re feeling down or maybe not so attractive, I suggest going to the grocery store.  I just came back from there and boy, do I feel like less of a huge fatass.

I’m going to be straight with you – if you’re in front of me in the checkout lane, then yes, I am looking at your cart and judging you based on its contents.  I compare your cart, which is full of boxes and packets and preservatives and that’s what’s giving you the diabeetus, to my cart, which is full of mostly whole ingredients that I can use to cook actual food, plus some beer and a box of those Keebler cookies that are just like Girl Scout Tagalongs but way cheaper.  I’m not a total asshole; I have considered the fact that maybe you’re on WIC, and even if you’re not, I am aware that Knorr’s artificially-flavored, sodium-loaded rice dishes are 10 for $10, which is far cheaper than the rice, chicken, and other ingredients it would require to make a Crockpot full of chicken rice (which will last you a week in the fridge, more if you freeze the leftovers).  And even if you don’t appear to be in dire financial straits – you’re staring at an iPhone, for example, or you picked up so many 12-packs of Dr. Pepper that the sale doesn’t really apply to you anymore – I’m still willing to give you the benefit of the poor person doubt.

But mostly?  I just think you’re a fatass.  I think you’re lazy.  I think your arteries are one of the Top 5 Most Disgusting Things a medical student will have to dissect in the future, and those people have to look at actual dead people assholes.  I think about how your grocery shopping choices have depressed me, because they make me realize why Michelle Obama doesn’t want kids to have candy anymore.  I mean, what is dinner at your house like?  A group of similarly lumpen, slovenly folk hunched over paper plates covered in barely recognizable mush in the glow of Dancing With the Stars?  And some member of your family who would probably have to pay for two airplane seats makes a crack about Kirstie Alley’s weight?  Way to live the American dream.  In your rush to get everything faster, cheaper, and more convenient, you’ve managed to poison your own body and teach your children (who should not have cankles, by the way) that nourishment and cooking don’t extend beyond pressing a button on a microwave.  Yeah, I’ve seen you sneer at the bunch of chives in my basket while you protectively clutch that supersize bottle of Mrs. Dash to your substantial chest.  Don’t worry, I’m just going to take my herbs and potions home and make them into magic spells that have nothing to do with you.  Burn the witch!

Lest you think this is me being angry at fat people, I’d like to remind you that I am not tiny.  I’m far below a size 16 (worn by the average American woman), but nobody’s going to put me in their (non-fetish) magazine.  This isn’t about being fat, it’s about making the worst possible choices considering your access to the best possible information.  You know you shouldn’t have a cart that is full – literally full! – of packages of meat, the only concession to a plant-based food being the tiny jar of strawberry jam rattling around in the bottom.  You know you aren’t allowed to complain about your weight when you’re shuttling a handle of generic whiskey, a 2-liter bottle of Pepsi Zero, and some margarine down the checkout line.  You know these things, so…what the fuck?  It’s the dumbness that bothers me.  The laziness.  The knowing better but not doing anything about it.

And you, Woman With The Refrigerated Box of Pre-Mashed Mashed Potatoes, you are the worst.  Seriously?  You can’t cook a fucking potato?  Illiterate drunk farmers without access to anything besides a pot and a fire could cook potatoes for hundreds of years.  Actual potatoes, I mean, like the whole, knobby things you dig out of the ground.  They may have been dirty and a little bit stupid, but they knew that it was a nutrition source and that, with some heat and some time, it could be transformed into something that tasted good enough to sustain an entire nation.  And here you are, tiptoeing around the store with a fucking box of fucking pre-mashed fucking potatoes like tossing a real one into boiling water is beyond your comprehension.  You are what’s wrong with America today.  You are why I get all smug at the grocery store.  You need to get slapped right across the face by Michelle Obama, because I’m sure she knows how to cook a fucking potato, too.

About erineph

I'm Erin. I have tattoos and more than one cat. I am an office drone, a music writer, and an erstwhile bartender. I am a cook in the bedroom and a whore in the kitchen. Things I enjoy include but are not limited to zombies, burritos, Cthulhu, Kurt Vonnegut, Keith Richards, accordions, perfumery, and wearing fat pants in the privacy of my own home.
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3 Responses to The Potato Manifesto

  1. Abbi says:

    So true.

    Two random related thoughts:

    Thing one: Worst time to go to the grocery store? Not Sunday after church, when people dressed in their best clog up the aisles with the whole family as they debate the merits of Cookie Crisp v. Cocoa Pebbles and dive to keep Madison and Mackenzie from filling the cart with Fruit Roll-Ups. Not even Shop ‘n Save on No Coupon Thursdays where everyone in the free world is pushing two overladen shopping carts groaning under the weight of all of the culinary delights you described above. No, the worst time to go to the grocery store is about 5 p.m. on a Sunday, because all of the above mentioned clear out the whole store in the time after church and nobody has come to restock yet. There is literally no bread on the shelves — not even the fibertastic grainy stuff I buy. You may have the whole place to yourself, but it’s you and a bag of flour.

    Thing two: I never feel so skinny in my whole life as when I go into a Hometown Buffet.

    That is all. Happy Saturday.

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