Monday, July 14, 2008

Oh bother...

Why do Mormons have such a hard time grasping basic principles of not looking like complete psychos? Honestly. Try to tone down the crazy, brothers and sisters... at least in public.

To wit: this bit of silliness. Is that honestly worth the trouble? Who comes off looking wild-eyed snake-dancing control-freak crazy? (Hint: it isn't the guy who made the calendar.) Obviously they didn't like the image of the church being sexed up, and that's okay (although, I think that it probably had a positive effect on missionary work... just sayin'), but if you're going to carry out disciplinary procedures because of "image" reasons, you ought to make sure that you aren't jumping out of the frying pan and into the sister-wives-and-kissin'-cousins fire. Honestly, President Davie, next time do you just want to call up the Associated Press and chant "Blood Atonement, Blood Atonement, Blood Atonement," into the phone? It would save the high council the trouble, and the "I'm-out-of-my-mind" PR message would be about the same.

It's the same thing with this. Yes, let's differentiate, but let's not look like we're stomping on the little guy (albeit the little guy with about 4 or 5 extra chromosomes as a result of freaky inbreeding). I mean, they do fall under the "Mormon" umbrella, so let's find an accurate way of distinguishing nomenclature. (Oh, and can we try not to say things like "[Real Mormons w]ear regular modern clothing and have contemporary hairstyles." That just sounds a wee bit "pot and kettle": "Oh sure, we believe in a Mother Goddess and that God dwells on a planet near a star called Kolob, and, yeah, we do think that if a ghost won't shake your hand, it's probably okay to listen to him and do what he says, and I shun diet coke like it's black tar herion, but we're not weird like those polygamous people." Besides, the hooker-hump hair thing that you see all over BYU campus may be contemporary, but it's gosh-awful. Girls could we stop that? It lengthens your face to the point that every time you open your mouth, I expect to hear Mr Ed neighing. Not attractive.)

Anyhow, that's enough for now. Just take it down a few notches, folks. We sound crazy enough without any help!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here

Hello, muffins, to one and all,

I thought I would say a few words about my new job: awful, dreadful, satanic.

Well, perhaps a few more than that. It is a DELIGHT (a not-very-subtle homage to Will Farrel as James Lipton). Today, I was working on a line which was purported to make "meatloaf." This is characteristic of the kind of creativity and nod-and-a-wink marketing that goes on here (remember, there is only one thing more deeply felt at Nestlé than their sense of the bottom line: their sense of irony) because today's product could neither be legitimately called either "meat" or "loaves."

The shape was something a bit lozenge-like, and about the size of two Reeses cups. Meat-like pods, really. Although, I have to admit that, given their dimensions, I can foresee a future scholarly study of Freudian themes in the commercial food world, because they were not-altogether-unpleasantly gonadal in appearance.

Now the actual ingredients that seem to have gone into making these––erm––doodads, were not immediately apparent; I wasn't looking at a recipe, you see. However, rest assured, my culinary acumen has neither faltered nor become tarnished with disuse, so I can now confidently say that the main ingredient used in this "product" (for want of a more accurate moniker) was basically the minced anal passages of rats and other unlucky members of the family Rodentia in the last throes of bloody-frothy-mawed hydrophobia, who had fed on the (surprisingly nutritious) remains of choleric Sudanese infants (made ever-so-luckily available for the purpose by Nestlé's marketing of infant formulas in various third world nations––see Google for all the sordid details).

Let me make it clear that the chefs at Nestlé have really outdone themselves. The aroma was incredible. Possessing a bouquet of lovingly-herb-flavored meatiness so intense, and fruity rectal top-notes so exquisite that within minutes tears and various other mucosal secretions were streaming down my face, and by the end of the day Ebola-magnitude bleeding had commenced from orifices various and sundry, it must simply be smelled to be believed. Indeed, that may not even be enough. Let's say rather that a sample of the proteinous slurry must be personally introduced by massive blunt force trauma into your olfactory glands using a steel ramrod propelled by a blasting cap to be believed.

In any case, once this singular sphincter chutney has been flavored to... (shall we say "perfection"? Not quite the right word) the total destruction of all mankind's hope in the afterlife or any kind of loving deity, indeed, flavored to the the convincing of Jew and Gentile that the only god there could be in such a universe is Cthulhu and that HE DEMANDS SACRIFICE!, they add a little garlic, which rounds the whole thing out nicely I think. Then they put the mix through machinery which was found to fall almost, but not quite entirely, totally short of the safety and sanitation requirements for the automotive manufacturing industry (thus they were able to buy it at a discount). The "product" passes through a kind of scrotal press (I imagine), where it is extruded [1, see footnote] into it's characteristic shape. From there it goes into the ovens, where, with various members of minority groups, it is readied to be taken to the production line.

My job, for the first half of the day, was to take a rolling rack loaded with approximately 27 fifty-pound trays full of "product" from the still-zyklon-B-scented oven room to the line, where various other members of that most-unfortunate of minority groups (that is, Stouffer's employees) would place meat-pods, six at a time, into plastic trays that zipped along a conveyor belt at about one-and-one-half times the speed of what might be considered reasonable for a factory employing slaves paid (on a per-diem basis) only by the possibility of continued life, toward, at some purely hypothetical future date, a purely hypothetical customer, who is (purely hypothetically, mind) interested in purchasing a tray of what must seem to be six imitation bear testes.

During the second half of the day, I was––in part––making sure the fifty-pound trays got to all the required employees, and––in part––being one of the required employees to whom the trays got. Actually, that's not entirely accurate. I was not, myself, putting the knobs of protein into the plastic trays; I had masseuse duty. It is an odd fact that at Stouffer's the management requires all food to be massaged before it goes into cryogenic storage to await the creation of a market desperate and hungry enough to actually purchase said product. (Some of us suppose that mass suicides will become the norm before then, but there is no way of knowing whether some Stouffer's product may actually be the cheapest and most reliable form of suicide available––owing to the fact that cyanide poisoning and self inflicted gunshot wounds have a failure rate of 0.001% and 2% respectively, so cold storage seems prudent for the time being.) In any case, food massage is the order of the day. I have soothed lasagna noodles into baths of marinara and cheese for hours at a time, so I imagined the task today would not be too difficult. How wrong I was. And how wrong wrong wrong this task was. It was not so much a process of massage as it was of smashing into submission. As it turned out, possession of a Y chromosome totally disqualifies an employee from being an effective nugget masher. (I will let you draw your own conclusions about the subconscious psychology at play here. Let me just say that I was led to muse that some of these women might have been hired for this responsibility after simply judging the state of their husbands: if he seemed sufficiently cowed and servile, they could obviously do the job with an effective level of verve. I feel that the Lord has made His will clear about this, even in extenuating circumstances; See Deut. 25:11-12.) In any case, they had to be smashed flat into the tray so later on down the line they could be squirted with gravy or spermicidal mint jelly or something-or-other.

So that's my job. Awful, dreadful, satanic. Perhaps I should have just left it at that.

[1] Note: It is a testament to the rather poetic brand of Sartrian philosophy behind the production here at Stouffer's that tissues, used in nature as extruders of feces, should be used in a culinary setting as extrusions of something far worse.

[2] Personally, I quite like the way this post turned out. Indeed, I think "fruity rectal top-notes" may be the finest three words I have ever committed to HTML.