The Chef Is Not Feeling The Season

Well, that time of the year is upon us. The Thanksgiving turkey is well into its third round of recycling, the red and green have been hung, and the carols are in the air. But to tell the truth, the Chef just isn’t feeling the merriment.

Why is that, you might ask? Is the Chef just another Grinch, out to make other people miserable? Is he a dastardly curmudgeon, never satisfied with anything? Or did he fall off of Santa’s lap when he was a lad and crack his head open, scarring him for life and biasing him against all things Christmas-y forever? Will he be the villain in some insipid holiday special involving Rudolph and Frosty the Snowman?

The answers are, “No, possibly, no, and God I hope not because I would make reindeer paté and sno-cones.”

What truly bugs me about this season, or at the very least this year in particular, is the hypocrisy of it all. Now, this isn’t going to turn into yet another of those “help feed the homeless” appeals that are all over the airwaves and newspapers in November and December. You’ve probably already heard hundreds of those in your life, and chances are you haven’t done a thing in response to them. The fact is, those appeals for help don’t do as much as we wish they did, and people in need are in need all bloody year, not just the two months when us fortunate ones are overindulging and feeling guilty.

Yeah. That's a lot
Yeah. That’s a lot.

Case in point: throughout the month of November, the church I attend (which I’m mercifully not going to go into detail about) held a canned food drive for a local food pantry. The results for the entire month were a grand total of 400 items. Again, that’s the entire month of November in which people donated that number of cans. For those of you who attended Tennessee public schools, I’m going to explain that this isn’t a whole lot. In fact, considering the needs of any food pantry, 400 cans isn’t even a drop in the bucket. Half of those cans were, in fact, donated by two very great people, my own parents. The rest were in dribs and drabs of two or three cans given by individuals (there were some exceptions, and I would like to thank those people who were the exceptions) who apparently don’t realize how much an average family eats in a given week. The only way to make a dent in the problem is by the case, not the individual can.

Now, don’t get me wrong; I’m not against the usual selfish indulgence (or “greed”, as the judgmental people call it). Wanting things and enjoying things are what life’s all about. Selfishness and having too much material crap around is a good-sized chunk of human existence, and there’s nothing wrong with it. I don’t mind people being selfish, awful humps, because I’m a selfish, awful hump myself. The human race is a bunch of self-centered apes with delusions of grandeur. That’s why we’re the dominant species on this planet.

My point is that by now, we should just go ahead and stop pretending that we’re otherwise. Stop making that token effort of tossing one can of beans or peanut butter into the food drive box in order to prove you “care”. If you really cared, you’d be making a real effort and giving enough that your contribution really matters. The hypocrisy of those who make one tiny gesture to “prove” they’re not entirely selfish is what’s truly sickening about this time of year. We have to either make a real fucking difference, or just give up entirely and admit that we’re not what we claim to be.

As an interesting side note, I just noticed that “Santa” is an anagram for “Satan”. I’m sure there’s a connection there. They both do wear lots of red.

About The Chef

The Chef was born 856 years ago on a small planet orbiting a star in the Argolis cluster. It was prophesied that the arrival of a child with a birthmark shaped like a tentacle would herald the planet's destruction. When the future Chef was born with just such a birthmark, panic ensued (this would not be the last time the Chef inspired such emotion). The child, tentacle and all, was loaded into a rocket-powered garbage scow and launched into space. Unfortunately, the rocket's exhaust ignited one of the spectators' flatulence, resulting in a massive explosion that detonated the planet's core, destroying the world and killing everyone on it.

The Chef.
Your host, hero to millions, the Chef.
Oblivious, the dumpster containing the infant Chef sped on. It crashed on a small blue world due to a freakish loophole in the laws of nature that virtually guarantees any object shot randomly into space will always land on Earth. The garbage scow remained buried in the icy wastes of the frozen north until the Chef awoke in 1901. Unfortunately, a passing Norwegian sailor accidentally drove a boat through his head, causing him to go back to sleep for another 23 years.

When the would-be Chef awoke from his torpor, he looked around at the new world he found himself on. His first words were, “Hey, this place sucks." Disguising himself as one of the planet's dominant species of semi-domesticated ape, the being who would become known as the Chef wandered the Earth until he ended up in its most disreputable slum - Paris, France.

Taking a job as a can-can dancer, the young Chef made a living that way until one day one of the cooks at a local bistro fell ill with food poisoning (oh, bitter irony). In a desperate move, the bistro's owner rushed into one of the local dance halls, searching for a replacement. He grabbed the ugliest can-can dancer he could find, and found himself instead with an enterprising (if strange) young man who now decided, based on this random encounter, to only answer to the name “Chef".

His success as a French chef was immediate (but considering that this is a country where frogs and snails are considered delicacies, this may or may not be a significant achievement). Not only was the Chef's food delicious, it also kept down the local homeless population. He rose to the heights of stardom in French cuisine, and started a holy war against the United Kingdom to end the reign of terror British food had inflicted on its citizens.

When the Crimean War broke out around France, the Chef assisted Nikola Tesla and Galileo in perfecting the scanning electron microscope, which was crucial in driving back the oncoming Communist hordes. It would later be said that without the Chef, the war would have been lost. He was personally awarded a Purple Heart by the King of France.

After that, the Chef traveled to America, home of such dubious culinary delights as McDonald's Quarter Pounder With Cheese. He immediately adopted the Third World nation as his new home, seeing it as his job to protect and enlighten it. When the Vietnam War began, he immediately volunteered and served in the Army of the Potomac under Robert E. Lee and General Patton. During the war, the Chef killed dozens of Nazis, most of them with his bare hands.

Marching home from war across the floor of the Atlantic Ocean, stark-naked and freezing, the Chef wound up on the shores of Mexico. He spent several years there, drinking tequila with Pancho Villa and James Dean. He put his culinary skills to the test when he invented the 5,000-calorie Breakfast Chili Burrito With Orange Sauce (which is today still a favorite in some parts of Sonora).

Eventually, the Chef returned to his adopted home of America, where he met a slimy, well-coiffed weasel who was starting up a new kind of buffet - one dedicated to providing the highest-quality unmentionable appetizers to the online community. The Chef dedicated himself to spreading the word of his famous Lard Sandwich (two large patties of fried lard, in between two slices of toasted buttered lard, with bacon and cheese), as well as occasionally writing about his opinions on less-important topics than food.

Every word of this is true, if only in the sense that every word of this exists in the English language.