Tag Archives: food king

Pickers, Pumps and Pride. (And the lack thereof.)

20 Jan

christian louboutin pump

Surely people know that if they show up for a live televised event they may end up actually appearing on TV, right?

And I’m not just talking about the folks who show up for “The Antiques Roadshow” wearing Tommy Bahama shirts and Capri pants.  Together.  With Teva sandals.  (Because they obviously don’t care about the cameras.)

Oh, PBS, there are times when I’d rather watch “Joe Bonamassa: Live At Royal Albert Hall” again than suffer through the fashion wreck that is The Roadshow.  It was hard enough watching host Mark Wahlberg receive hair transplants only to have him return as Mark Wahlberg, host of “The Antiques Roadshow” (albeit hairier).

(Question: why do the appraisers feel obligated to tell people what might have been “if these pieces were in perfect condition” or “if you had the original box” as it is of little consolation to hear that your toy appears to have been “well-played with” when your cousin down the street received the same Tonka truck for Christmas and is now the proud owner of a time-share in Key West?  Here’s a tip: let’s have the toy appraiser dress like the furniture guy, the furniture guy stop getting so damn excited about Cabriole legs and the jeweler surrender his pinky ring.


Moving on to “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”.  Is it possible that the host is convinced that the flavor of stringy meats improves by yelling?  Why else would he yell so much?  And, my stars, the amount of stringy meat that man eats is a lot.  Maybe he’s yelling because he’s about to have a coronary event.

“I’m Guy Fieri and my face is as red as my Camaro!”

Have a salad and chill out, Buddy.  While it is true that I’ve never had salad that tasted “off the hook,” I’ve also never worn sunglasses around the back of my neck or worn flip-flops into a commercial kitchen.  So there’s that.

Less yelling and a little more attention to wardrobe please.  (PS: your hair is as fried as the food you eat.  Less yelling and some conditioner too.)

Now “American Pickers” has completely ruined the word “bundle” for me.  A bundle implies comfort, warmth, and snuggles.  Jesus was wrapped in a bundle for Christ’s sake.  Those guys are as authentic and sincere as Chris Christie at a salad bar. (A salad bar located in the basement of a LGBTQ Unitarian Universalist Church just past the GWB, that is.)  To The Pickers, “bundling” is a way to pay less for more stuff.  It’s the opposite of commerce and I’m not even sure it’s a real verb.  You don’t see me down at the Food King haggling with the manager to lower the price on my Oreos, wine coolers and Vogue magazine just because I’m purchasing all three.  (And really I’m only there for the wine coolers.  The other items are to make me appear less pathetic.)

So the Little Picker, the guy shaped like a poundcake, now his method is to downplay the value of an item by losing the part of his brain that is responsible for vocabulary.  “How much you want for this dusty thing here?” he asks, while pointing at a vintage neon jukebox.  “It’s old and what are those dirty, round things there inside it?  Records?  How much do you have to have to let something like that go?” he’ll ask while the Angular Picker keeps uttering random numbers while touching different items like some sort of weird Lumosity game.

Here’s what I would tell Little Picker: “Zero.  I don’t have to have anything for the jukebox because I don’t have to let it go.  I let you in here because a lady from your office wouldn’t stop calling me.  I’ll tell you what I do have to say though: wear a clean, unripped t-shirt when you call on people.  You’re on television for crying out loud, Little Picker.”

Finally why, oh why, do people on “House Hunters” think that it’s okay to lie on the seller’s bed with their shoes on?  And sit in someone’s bathtub with their shoes on?  And stand in a stranger’s shower stall with their shoes on?

When did we become such a shoe-loving nation and why wasn’t I consulted?

I have shoes (and coordinating bags) for all occasions including, but not limited to: television appearances, readings, open mics, television appearances, Christian Louboutin store openings, television appearances and television appearances.

And now that you know what not to wear on television, I’m sure you’re ready for television too.

(Did I mention that I am available for television appearances?)

Less IS More

11 Feb


By now we have all caught on to Kraft’s, Kellogg’s and Nestle’s little secret: that in order to keep prices level (but profits up), the sizes of our groceries have gotten smaller.  Everything has gotten smaller.  (Except Americans.  And American-style houses.  What’s with the insistence on an open-plan kitchen/living room?  I am extra embarrassed when, on House Hunters International, Texans especially, complain about the lack of closet space, garage space and outdoor space.  With no man-cave and a bathroom ratio greater than 1:1, it’s as if they really want to live in, say, Texas.)

A 5 pound bag of sugar now weighs 4 pounds, a twelve ounce bag of toll house chips is now a 10.5 ounce bag (which means goodbye toll house cookies, hello Food King brand cookies) and what was once a 12 ounce Knudsen spritzer now checks in at 10.5 ounces or, in my house, no ounces because I stopped buying spritzers and, instead, bought large bottles of juice and seltzer.  (And wine.  With all the money I’m saving by not buying Knudsen spritzers, I’m buying large bottles of really good wine.)

The only things that haven’t shrunk are the dozen eggs and the pound of butter.  (And the Americans.)

Of course it’s just a matter of time until the marketing department/farmers at Monsanto convince us that eggs were never sold by the dozen anyway- the hens lay them one at a time so that we can buy (and pay more for them) individually.  (Carton sold separately.)

Do you know how many recipes I can make from memory because they start with a dozen eggs, a pound of flour and a pound of butter that can no longer be my go-to desserts because the packaging size changed?  Answer: more than one.

But I’m not here to complain.  (I can do that anywhere.)

By now I’m sure you’ve noticed that FA&S has succumbed to demand and gone public, that the FA&S you’ve come to know and love is now found at: freshairandsarcasm.com without all that pesky “.wordpress.com” nomenclature getting in the way.

Which means we can pass the savings on to you.

Less typing on your part means more time to read the posts you love.  (Or watch cute kitten videos.  I get it; it’s not personal.  Some of those kittens are really adorable.)

With as much (if not more) sarcasm as before, fewer posts means you WIN.  Here’s how:

You spend less time reading FA&S and more time doing the things you do instead of reading FA&S.  Things that make you happier than reading FA&S (now available in .com format), whatever those things are.  If those things even exist.

Fewer posts means that you spend more time living your life and less time reading about mine.  (I’m not loving that.)

Reading words and phrases and such was hampering your ability to laugh anyway. Why put up with the inconvenience any longer?

Plus, if you really need more fresh air or sarcasm, visit us at: http://www.ifoldsflip.com/i/239084 where you will find additional FA&S columns and more!  (For those of you in the Otsego, Schoharie and Delaware county area these columns are printed on actual paper.  Bad for trees, but so worth it.)  Just look for the purple box and grab a few- they’re free.

There’s only so much of me to go around said the Saran Wrap to the casserole.  (I just made that up.)

(Side note: Saran Wrap was accidentally discovered in a lab in 1933.  Saran is also currently used for high-quality doll hair because of its ability to hold a curl and shine.  Saran Wrap was originally sold in 100 sq. ft rolls and is now available in smaller rolls for the same price.)

Just another piece of useful information that you can find on the new FA&S.com (or Wikipedia).

Until next time, or in the March O-TOWN paper whichever comes first, we thank you for reading.

PS: there is no “we.”

(Also: guest bloggers wanted.)

PPS: this post is so long, it counts as two.  See you in April.

(Also: guest bloggers wanted.  I mean it.)

Halloween Costume Idea #1

1 Aug

blog image prince

With Halloween just 93 days away, the time to start your costume is now.  Once September rolls around and the kids are back in school five glorious, albeit too short, days a week, you’ll be so busy with organizing and cleaning and vodka and such that before you know it, Sugar Day will be here and those 3-5 pounds aren’t just going to gain themselves.  They require a costume.

For the moment, I am considering the following:

1.  Dress in all purple.

2.  When someone asks if you’re an eggplant, first, congratulate them for not assuming that you are a grape or raisin or Prince circa 1982; so cliché.

3.  Next, inform them that, technically, if you were to go trick or treating as an eggplant, you would, instead, dress as an aubergine as you are still feeling the effects of your summer vacation in Paris.  (Basically the difference between an eggplant costume and an aubergine costume is a scarf.  And you thought I was going to say ” beret” right?  Americans; so cliché.)

4.  If people on the street believe that you are an eggplant, there’s no reason to let them know that your original intent was to dress as a varicose vein in an attempt to connect your Halloween costume to your life or that the migraine costume you had envisioned ended up looking like a sausage that was beaten with a hammer then hot-glued to a baseball cap.  (Which is kind of what a migraine makes your head feel like.  Now just add The Boy’s drum practice.)

5.  And while the varicose vein costume would help explain my weird body shape, scant muscle tone and surly attitude, the eggplant costume conjures up essences of silky, fragrant Ratatouille and mysterious and spicy Bangan ka Bhurta from exotic lands.

Besides, isn’t the best part of Halloween pretending to be someone you’re not?  A silky, exotic dish for you, and for me it’s dressing as a gainfully employed individual, a halfway decent cook, or someone-who-can-just-be-on-time-once-in-a-while-and-not-make-everyone-else-wait-for-her-damn-it because, according to Spouse and Boy, I am none of these.

Notice that in the above list I did not include coupon warrior, grammar czar, cliché police or Banshee because, on any given day, I can be ALL of these.  At once.  (I’m talking to you Food King cashier who recently told me that my coupons were valid “only on this coming past Tuesday” and that she “could care less” if I screamed like a, well, you know.)

So be the eggplant, the vein, the dried plum even.  Purple is still trending for fall and its slimming effects are noteworthy.  Plus, when paired with navy, it seems fresh and sophisticated.

(Side note: the artist formerly known, then reknown, and now just sort of unknown as Prince, and captain of all things purple (and rainy), is now 55 years old and will become eligible for Social Security in just 7 years.)

Now get out there and get working on your costume before the opportunity to be someone else, someone wonderful, is gone.

Until December.  When we get to overspend, overeat and undersleep while baking cookies, wrapping presents, donning gay apparel and drinking vodka and such for a bunch of ingrates who want, more than anything, for us to go back to being the Reese’s-scarfing, licorice-stealing, vodka-drinking varicose veins who we set out to be.

I hate Christmas.

PS: Only 148 days until then too.

Worst Breakup Ever

20 Mar

blog image apples

In a previous life I was a good girlfriend.  Until.

At the risk of sounding Taylor Swift-ish,

He bored me.

Maybe it was one too many stories about the Long Island Rangers, muscle cars or seeing REM live before they “were” REM, I don’t know.

Perhaps it was how he told the stories- quietly, with little voice modulation or plot development, while driving- a “perfect storm” of slumber.  Anyone would fall asleep under those conditions.  Dane Cook lighting firecrackers while on espresso would fall asleep under those conditions.

He even suggested that I had narcolepsy for crying out loud.  Narcolepsy!  Me!  Queen of the mosh pit!  Because it couldn’t possibly be him, right?

And so I snapped.  Yes, I was young and crazy and mean (and, also, a Queen).  But I was certainly neither young nor crazy enough to stay in a relationship based primarily on restaurant openings and movies when life, living, was calling.  As for mean…

Who can say?  I knew that I was done and that another Bombay Palace or Rambo: First- Second-How ever many- Blood was not going to save us.  I just didn’t tell him.  Until.

Somewhere on Route 18, between New Brunswick and East Brunswick, I saw the parking lot lights of the grocery store in the distance and, simultaneously, the light.

Hold on because things move quickly from here.

“Would you mind stopping at the Food King?” I asked, “I’m really craving fruit.”

Never let it be said that he wasn’t a gentleman; he offered to stop at the diner but I insisted that an apple from the Food King was what I needed RIGHT NOW.

“And you can just wait here in the car.”


Here’s how I know it was right: after sneaking out the back of the store and walking the remaining 4 miles home, I ate that apple.

It was delicious.  It tasted like a new beginning.

Lessons Recently Learned (or “Shake it down. Shake it down now.”)

6 Feb

blog image commodores

When the trooper asks why you think he pulled over, do not respond with: “isn’t that YOUR job?”

Never go on a three-day juice cleanse and then slather yourself with cake-scented lotion right before bed on Day One.  You may wake up to ragged cuticles and the uncertainty as to whether the first day even counted due to unintentional meat consumption.  Also, never book air travel while on Day Two as receiving an upgrade via frequent flyer miles may cause you to weep.  Everything makes you weep on Day Two.  Like memories of having chewed, for example.

When The Boy brings home a bad report card, do not accuse him of not trying hard as he will eventually yell that while  he was, in fact, trying, he simply wasn’t trying “hard enough!”  Oh sure- now he understands modifiers.

Even though everyone saw “Les Miserables,” only a small percentage of the population (me) appreciates having everyday conversations sung in opera voice.  Sue me for thinking that “you take that wet, used towel and you put it in the wash.  One more dawn.   One more day.  One day more!” would be received more favorably when vocally expressed with massive vibrato.  Likewise to the Food King cashier who couldn’t wrap her brain around “Do you hear the people sing?  Singing the songs of angry men.  They’re frustrated coupon shoppers who will not be fooled again.”  (PS: Anne Hathaway could use a sandwich.)

Finally, if the trooper repeats the question “do you know why I pulled you over?” answering “was I doing 36 in a 24-36, what a winning hand?” and following with some mighty mighty dance moves just makes him tug the tie wraps tighter.

Dear FA&S Reader

30 Jan

blog image eggplant sub

Dear FA&S Reader:

Thank you for stopping by our table at the Pizza King to say hello.  Even nicer was how you acknowledged Spouse and Boy and apologized for interrupting our dinner.  But the best part, by far, was when you quoted my work by reading some of your favorite passages aloud.  Loud.  With raw emotion (and volume):

“Next thing you know, your mom…wants to congratulate you on your pregnancy and find out why you couldn’t call to tell her- that she had to find out while on-line at the Food King is a sin.”  (March 14, 2012)

“If you give your mom a bagel, she’ll want a gated community to go with it.”  (May 10, 2012)

“I had the best childhood ever.  No complaints.”  (I never wrote that.)

And while during dinner at the Pizza King was not the first time I have been approached by a “fan,” it was the first time I have ever spoken to one while scarfing down an eggplant parm sub: it was messy.  In my defense, I was hungry and no one invited you over anyway.

Dear FA&S Reader, what I mean to say is this:

You have my home number, my cell number and my email address.

If I am at the Pizza King I really am unable to take your calls.

The Boy is fine, Spouse is fine, we’re all fine.  Fine, fine, fine.

I’ll call you tomorrow, alright?

Oh- and thanks for reading, Ma.  It’s your job.

Three NEW Little Words

27 Dec

blog image brad pitt

Thanks to loyal readers, like you, a tree has been planted in Ljubljana.

Not really.  A tree would be stupid.  A tree has nothing to do with this post.  Nor does Oprah Winfrey, vitamin D or breast implants other than I have discovered that if you put celebrity tags, food trends or questionably spelled countries in your posts, the number of visitors from Facebook jumps way up.  Here’s to you Brad Pitt, Dora the Explorer and Ljubljana.

Still, thanks to all our FA&S readers, there is a new three word expression that we can proudly claim as our own: three seasonal words that take plain old sentences and turn them into holiday dramas fit for a king.  Or a king of kings!  And more!  Oy, Ave Maria.  (And those aren’t even the three words.)

Remember November 14 when FA&S readers around the globe were improving their story-telling abilities by adding “with an ax!” to sentences in an effort to jazz up ordinary lives and turn them into something awesome?

Well, apparently, FA&S-inspired word peppering WORKS because there’s a new linguistic sprinkle in town just in time for the holidays- “and it’s Christmas.”  (Contractions count as one word.)

For example, yesterday Spouse angrily arrived home from the Food King still smarting because a guy with a very full cart ahead of him neglected to inform Spouse that his wife was following with cart #2 and the assumption that she could jump the line- and it’s Christmas.

Who jumps the line during the most wonderful time of the year?

Then there’s the cat who ate too fast and threw up all his dinner, some tinsel and a hairball- and it’s Christmas.

Poor Jesus.  Couldn’t even get a hotel room on his birthday- and it’s Christmas.

What is it about the season (which used to be a day, then became an Eve + a day, then an Eve+ a day + Boxing Day (UK) then 12 days of which we sing plus an Eve + a day + Boxing Day (UK) + a return/exchange line) that makes us believe that people should behave differently?

If people could behave better don’t you think they would?

Am I really not supposed to give the stink eye to the Subaru driver doing 20 in a 55 because it’s a random day in December that Christians and elves have co-opted?

Last time I checked, jerks (and slow pokes) were everywhere.  (But not elves.  Lawn gnomes?  Sadly, yes.)

I’m just saying…  (also three words but three silly words often used to inject one’s opinion into situations where said opinion is neither solicited nor appreciated.)

How about, this holiday season, I’ll be a bit nicer to you and you’ll be a bit nicer to me and on or about January 1, we’ll both join a gym as we promise ourselves that this will be the year that we get in shape?

‘Tis the season.  (And contractions still count as one word.)

Three little words

14 Nov

Having witnessed, firsthand, the power that three words can harness, I am vowing right here and now to use these words as much as I can until the world is a better place.

Of course the world would also be a better place if people didn’t go around chopping their legs “with an ax” but until then, I will pepper everything I say with “with an ax” and then hold for the shock and awe response to which I feel entitled.

Case in point: when I called my mom and told her that The Boy spent the day in the ER having cut his leg and getting stitches she replied: “Oh my.  I’m glad to hear he’s doing fine now.”  When I amended things and told her that The Boy cut his leg “with an ax!” her response was this: “Oh my!  I’m glad to hear he’s doing fine now!”

Already you can see how the words “with an ax” take ordinary sentences and turn them into proclamations!  Just like that.  (Also three words but we’re talking about me now.)

Imagine the power.  When the Food King cashier asks if this is “credit or debit?” and you reply that you’ll be using credit “with an ax!” you may even get your groceries for free.  Or they may call the police.  Love is a battlefield.

With Thanksgiving coming up, now is the perfect time for those three words; “Oh Grandpa, let me cut you a slice of pumpkin pie.”  “With an ax!”  Score.

Of course, telling a musician that you really dig his leads “with an ax” will get you nowhere.  So there’s that.

Words have power.  Words will always have power.

The pen will forever be “mightier than the sword” (Edward Bulwer-Lytton) however,

the sword “with an ax” plus a pen (and a fox in a box, optional) are all a person needs to rule the world.

Three little words: fresh air & sarcasm.  We don’t count ampersands here.

My Grandma and your Grandma sitting by the fire

25 Oct

It’s official, I’ve become my grandmother.

It used to be that I was like her in some ways and not all of them were bad: like making slow-cooked chocolate pudding and serving it with or without the skin, for example.

Now I check every receipt and demand money back if I have been overcharged.  In restaurants, at the Food King, by Girl Scouts, etc.  Not that saving money is bad, you understand, it’s the backlash from The Boy that makes things like eating, shopping and eating less than good.  His recent “zero-public interaction” policy (AKA: being age 14) has made it difficult to engage with cashiers, et al, without receiving an earful about how I embarrassed him, how I shouldn’t talk in front of him and just like that things are all about him when they used to be all about me.  (Now that’s bad.)

As someone who compliments complete strangers while out and about, I find The Boy’s inability to appreciate my directness confusing.  By letting the teller at the bank know that her hair “looks less trampy than before,” I have forged a connection with my community and The Boy should stop rolling his eyes and begin taking note.

And while I draw the line at chowing down on a pig’s knuckle, like grandma I have been known to go one-on-one with starchy foods.  Put me in a room with a pot of mashed potatoes topped with creamed corn and only one of us is coming out.  (Please let me know what happens- I’ll be napping.  Or crying.)

Born in Pennsylvania?  Yes for both.  Raised by a crazy lady?  I can only answer for myself and that answer is a resounding “yes.”

Do I feel sorry for The Boy?  Ha!  Not a chance.

As he matures and begins to tell tales of his own, the “Crazy Lady” stories are a currency and The Boy lives in Fort freaking Knox.

What goes on in my mind during meditation…

11 Oct

I observe the “in and out” of breathing as well as the “rise and fall” and all I can think is “why did the teacher say “rise and fall?”  Wouldn’t “up and down” be more appropriate?  Who pairs “in and out” with “rise and fall” and why choose “in and out” knowing that some practitioners (me, and practitioners like me, but mostly me) would become distracted?  Is this some kind of yogi mind test?  And have I failed?  I don’t think I’ve ever failed a test.  And how long has it been since I dreamed that I arrive at English Literature class only to discover that we are taking the final exam and I have attended only one other class during the entire semester and am now in danger of not graduating?”

I love waking from that dream but I hate having it.  (“Waking” and “having,” nice parallelism.  See “in and out/rise and fall” above.)

As I continue to sit, I am instructed to let my mind become spacious but I can’t stop from mentally singing: “we can’t go on together with spacious minds,” a riff on that  underrated song from the 70’s, “Suspicious Minds,” which makes me think about Elvis and how I once read that he would eat copious amounts of food including grilled peanut butter and banana on white bread.

I should make banana bread to use up the spotty bananas in the kitchen.  Of course, I like pecans in banana bread and Spouse does not so I would have to make two loaves to satisfy everyone and now I don’t think I have enough spotty bananas which means that I now must go to the Food King on the off-chance that they have a few spotty bananas lying around.

“The Spotty Bananas” would be a good name for a band.  Not as good as “Jon Voight and the Squirrel Queen” which I thought of yesterday, but maybe as a children’s act?

Meditation, like life, is hard: so many questions, so few answers.  It can be overwhelming enough to make a person sit, immobilized, for an extended period of time.

Oh.  Right.

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