Archive for the ‘food glorious food’ Category

An apparently annual fall tradition that precedes the beginning of a new school year is the publication of the Mindset List by Beloit College. It may seem at first that the purpose of said list is to provide people with the opportunity to have heard of Beloit College, but the actual purpose of the list, according to the introductory paragraph you probably skipped, is to help keep professors from making dated references to the kids today. Because, despite having the internet constantly at their fingertips, they can’t be bothered to look up something they’ve not heard of before. Because that is totally not the point of higher education.

While I found the most shocking entry on the list to be that, while I was not paying attention, the light brown M&M was phased out in favor of blue (which: listen, M&Ms – no one chooses you because they want to taste the rainbow; have a little dignity and stop tarting yourself up in ridiculous colors), an item of probably greater cultural concern is that 25% of students entering college this year have already suffered significant hearing loss. The list does not go so far as to associate a cause with this loss, which I think might be contrary to the spirit of the list, as it could cause some poor addled professor to chastise their hard-of-hearing students for listening to the rock-n-roll music too loud on their HiFi’s, rather than rightly pinning the blame on the pernicious prevalence of headphone use.

My college graduation predates the creation of the Mindset List,  so it should come as no surprise that I don’t really make that much use of headphones. In fact, it makes me extremely uncomfortable not to be able to hear what’s going on around me. Not just for safety’s sake (although, imagine how many more cars would have hit me by now if I hadn’t been able to hear them coming? I’d be dead. That would be terrible. Especially for you, because you’d be starting at nothing right now, which would be weird and maybe not the best use of your time), but also for entertainment value. Being able to overhear other people’s conversation can be one of the greatest enjoyments in life. For example, on a recent trip to the grocery store I happened to pass two women waiting for the bus. Or, at least, they were standing at a bus stop. As I walked past them, I happened to catch this tantalizing bit of conversation:

“Now, if you’re gonna eat a chicken wing. . .”

Unfortunately, I am not sufficiently brassy to stop abruptly on the sidewalk so that I can listen in on a conversation that may not be, in part or in all, considered my business. And I say “unfortunately” because, as a person who has never eaten a chicken wing, I have no idea how that sentence ends. Is it like what happens if you give a moose a muffin? Because that rapidly becomes chaotic – that moose can not handle baked goods at all and completely flips its lid. Which I hope is a problem plaguing only that one particular moose and not representative of moosedom at large.

Additionally, I had no idea that there were alternate methods of eating chicken wings. Does the company in which you’re eating make a difference? If you’re gonna eat a chicken wing, should you always make sure to keep your pinky extended so that, if you’re invited to dine with Wills & Kate, you won’t embarrass America?

Mostly, though, I’m amazed at the presentation of eating a chicken wing as a hypothetical possibility; I’ve always looked at the world as a place where a person does or does not eat chicken wings, not as a place were the eating of chicken wings is a matter of some contemplation. Certainly not as a place where there is no fixed sequence of events that follows the eating, no possibility that it won’t end, as it began, in fiery discomfort.


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