Chef

Chef: (n) professional cook

“Vanity, vanity, kitchen is thy name.”

You may note that I have altered the adage.

It does not matter if it’s a man or woman–if you start talking about cooking, the reaction falls into two categories:

  1. “I don’t cook, I will never cook, I will not touch a pan. Serve me.”
  2. “I’m such a good cook, people think I should start my own restaurant.”

Folks get very nasty about their ability to stir sugar in with spice to make something nice. They’re convinced they have the best recipe for any delicacy.

This is confirmed by dozens of shows on television, with chefs competing with one another for the honor of being chief cook and bottle washer.

What is it about the human race that causes us to believe that we have a passable ability to serve a meal instead of the overwrought notion that our platter of “pleasables” should be offered to wine and dine kings?

Do you really have the best barbecue sauce in the country?

Is the secret to a great turkey to deep fry it?

Are green beans better with almonds?

Does the extra thirty seconds of whipping the egg whites truly make a better meringue?

Is hot sauce the universal elixir for “delish?”

Even if we can convince all the brothers and sisters of Earth that we are alike, equal and that no one is better than anyone else, after that meeting is over, there will be someone who will insist they should cook the victory meal–because they’re a better chef.

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Boiling

Boiling: (v) to bring a liquid to the temperature at which it bubblesDictionary B

It’s not that we forget old sayings, nor that they’re proven to be untrue, but rather, that their validity annoys us so much that we punish them and cast them into obscurity.

“A watched pot never boils.”

This is an adage.

I would venture to say that the average person under the age of thirty would not only be unfamiliar with this premise, but also baffled as to the logic of its meaning.

Why, you may ask?

Because we have convinced ourselves that waiting for things to happen–becoming impatient with the length of time involved and finally frustrated–is normal human behavior.

I don’t know why we can’t take the truths discovered by one generation and carry them into the next, while dispelling the superstition and silliness–but apparently if someone over the age of forty thought it, we just throw it in the trash.

Human beings suck at waiting.

If we’re told there will be a ten minute delay, after forty-two seconds, we are convinced we have been waiting a half-hour.

The only way to wait for anything is not to wait for it.

So if you put a pot of water on the stove to boil, it knows its job. Leave the room and let it boil.

The happiest you will ever be is when you realize that you’re not as capable as you think you are.

Then you can work with your frailty toward a realistic solution instead of insisting that the damn pot is taking longer this time.

 

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Anomymous

dictionary with letter A

Anonymous: (adj) a person not identified by name; unknown name.

Sometimes I stumble across an adage or poem that is particularly clever, insightful or even artistic, and at the bottom is the word “anonymous.”

Obviously, it’s not.

  • Somebody wrote it.
  • Somebody thought it.
  • Somebody did it.

Yet over the years, a strange transition has occurred.

Here’s my opinion on that process: some person without an agent or an ego came up with an idea which he or she shared freely among friends.

One of those people realizes how obscure their companion is and feels compelled, on a journey to a far-away city, to share the inspiration. They are surprised at how responsive everyone is to the piece, and initially give credit to the friend who spoke it.

But then they think to themselves that since this buddy is never going to actually be in this far-away city, what would be the harm in taking bows for the composition?

Likewise, someone else in the room, who travels even further, decides to repeat the same process, stealing the thunder from the thief.

After a while, at a huge party somewhere far away, three or four people hear these words, and attribute it to several different individuals, generating an atmosphere of confusion.

Since no one is certain any longer who actually came up with the idea, it is determined to call it a draw and attribute it to Mr. or Mrs. Anonymous.

It also occurs in our everyday life in America. We have a nation of laws, regulations and general compliance within the citizenry, and believe that this temperate climate is achieved by human effort, never giving any credit to the spiritual training and the moral grounding that has been infused over generations.

We choose instead to attribute to religion or politics, and everything good is a by-product of our thinking or the latest craze.

In case you didn’t know, loving your neighbor as yourself is not anonymous.

If you weren’t aware, telling the truth did not spring from nothing.

Sometimes it’s a good idea to trace back great notions to their source, and therefore sit at the feet of wisdom instead of crinkling your brow … and pretending that the power that makes life work springs from magical four-leaf clovers.

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Adage

Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Adage: (n) a proverb or short statement expressing a general truth: e.g. the old adage is “out of sight, out of mind.

Perhaps a better adage would be, “If you’re out of your mind, we’d like you to be out of sight.

Of course, that’s not really an adage, is it? Just a piece of wisdom.

When I think of adage, I always think of “the boy who cried wolf.”

I remember hearing the story as a young fellow and it put a chill down my spine. I’m not sure why–maybe because it combined a boy, a wolf, and due to the boy’s lies and deceit, he ends up being chomped by the creature.

But today I am wondering if the adage ever prevented me from deceiving. It certainly didn’t stop me from embellishing. And God knows, it did nothing to inhibit my spoofing.

I guess I just think that if an adage doesn’t scare some sense into you, it’s just a story that no one would make into a movie because … you couldn’t get the funding.

Don’t get me wrong–I like adages. I wish that parables and cautionary tales still had the impact they once did. Or maybe they never did, but we all needed some tiny piece of ourselves to pass along, so we told these little fables to create connection. I’m not sure.

But the essence of “the boy who cried wolf” was that if you continue to try to get attention by lying to people about the seriousness of your condition, when your peril does arrive, people will be less likely to believe you and come to your aid.

Obviously, this particular adage has not yet landed in the spectrum of the thinking of the average politician. Newscasters would never be able to put together thirty minutes of copy if they weren’t trying to alarm us into believing that the wolf is at the door.

And what preacher would be able to hold the attention of a congregation without the flames of some hellfire and the sniff of some brimstone?

But human beings are a pretty intelligent lot. We are more intrigued with taking things to the limit than we are with limiting how we take things. So I think we can continue to tell “adages,” but whether they will be applied into everyday life is rather doubtful.

It’s not that we insist on suffering the slings and arrows of our own stupidity, it’s just that often stupidity seems very intelligent to us, and we fail to notice that the slings and arrows … are already shot in our direction.