Friday, May 12, 2017

The Great Bagel-Cutting Myth Returns - With Avacados This Time!


Emergency rooms across America are being flooded with people with avocado-related injuries!  Or maybe not....

About 20 years ago, a story - an urban legend - was spread on the news (yes, that great source of truth!) that emergency rooms were being "flooded" with people who were so stupid they didn't know how to properly slice a bagel!  These stories turned out not to be true, of course


Well, it is a click-bait story, to be sure.  And the same motivations are behind both stories.  In the 1990's, wily New Yorkers spread this bagel story to run-down non-New Yorkers.  Bagels, once an ethnic food, started going mainstream in the 1980's and 1990's (we didn't have "cultural appropriation" back then!).   Seriously, when I was a kid living in white-bread suburbia, you couldn't find a bagel at the local supermarket, bakery, or diner.  Today, we have them at McDonald's.

And as more traditional bagel consumers saw this trend happen, well, they comforted themselves with stories like these - that those clueless suburban goyim don't know how to even slice a bagel!  It is a way, perhaps, of re-asserting cultural identity when it has been "appropriated" from you - like complaining about improperly made Vietnamese sandwiches in the school cafeteria.   Good thing they didn't make "Mexican Hat!"*

The Avocado thing is harder to parse.  What demographic is this story serving?  Avocados are becoming more popular than in the past, and prices are going through the roof.   So maybe people who think they "discovered" avocados before the unwashed masses did are using these stories to make fun of the "newbies" as they perceive them.

Hey, I was eating avocados before it became ironic, right?   That is the name of the game.  It is status-seeking, plain and simple.   People want to be unique and different and will look down their noses at people perceived as latecomers or followers or wanna-bes.

The story is from "SFGate" which borders on a parody site or fake news site.   Or maybe it is - it is so hard to tell, anymore.  With stories like this, I have to say "poorly researched news" at best.

Are emergency rooms being flooded with "avocado hand" injuries?  I doubt it - any more than they are being flooded by bagel injuries.  As I noted the other day, Mark burned his hand on a pan of bacon coming from the oven.   Obviously this was part of the great trend of bacon becoming wildly popular (and it has - and that would go good with avocado, wouldn't it?) and he was one of those clueless late adopters, right?

Just silliness, is all it is.  And this is what we call "news".

* * *

* Recipe for "Mexican Hat" from Mark's middle school, circa 1973:

1.  Fry one large slice of baloney on griddle until edges curl up.

2.  Plate fried baloney slice in center of plate.

3.  Put one small ice cream scoop of mashed potatoes (from mix, of course) in center of fried baloney slice.

4.  Serve.

5.   Since you can't spell "Sombrero" and kids in Maine don't know what that is anyway, call it "Mexican Hat."

Ah, the great school lunch classics from the 1960's!  Here's an idea:  Open a trendy restaurant in New York City that serves lunch-lady food from that era.  Comfort food and irony all in one neat trendy package.   You'll make a million!

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