Don Bauder 4:30 p.m., Dec. 9
"Jerry Reed...WHY DIDN"T YOU JUST LEARN HOW TO COOK?" --Jerry Reed, from "She Got The Goldmine (I Got The Shaft!).
Back in the saddle, after a few days off...it's time for something lighter in nature...
There was, at one time, an ad campaign by Carl's Jr. They showed an obvious twenty-something slacker-dude in a grocery store's meat section...looking obviously clueless as to what cut to get. As he mopes away, a voice intones:
"CARL'S JR...BECAUSE WITHOUT US, SOME GUYS WOULD STARVE!"
I watched that commercial--and thought of new-and-creative ways to show the Karchers what I thought of that ad. It involved two pounds of Semtex, a timed detonator, black camo clothing, and a nocturnal surprise visit to the company headquarters.
That was then--this is now.
I realize that the aforementioned commercial was--and is-- a symptom of a greater problem. A lot of folks I know are what I call "Home-Ec Challenged." Instead of knowing how to plan, prepare, and cook their own meals, they rely on frozen dinners and trips to the local McGreasebomb for their daily rations.
I was fortunate in a way...I HAD to take Home Economics in high school. Not a course required for graduation, mind. It was required because of familial circumstances. Hear my tale, and you will know why.
Back in July of 1979, my grandparents brought me to Lemoore Naval Air Station to turn me over to my father. The year before, my father (a Navy Hospital Corpsman) had been assigned to Lemoore Naval Hospital as their new Command Master Chief. It was to be his "sunset assignment," since he would retire in 1983 after 24 years of service.
In 1976, Dad and Mom split the sheets. Mom won custody of my sister, while my grandparents took me in as my temporary guardians. Dad was headed off to Okinawa for his next assignment...and he wanted me safe in the States.
Now, my Dad could do amazing things with a barbecue grill. However, when it came to cooking non-grillable items--that's why I ended up in my first semester at Lemoore High School enrolled in a Home Economics course.
At that time at Lemoore State Prison--BELAY THAT!--Lemoore High School, boys were not encouraged to take Home Ec. In fact, if a guy enrolled, he was seen as either a member of the "Pink Panties Brigade," or was enrolling to meet girls.
Well, in for a penny, might as well make it a diollar. I not only enjoyed Home Economics, but also joined Future Homemakers of America-Home Economics Related Occupations. For a LHS lad--a BIG no-no!
So, the jocks decided to unleash hell. And, no, I did not like being teased, nor having my house TP'ed. However, my dad let me in on a secret about why taking Home Ec is an advantage for a growing lad like me:
"Never mind what those jock-itches tell you at school, Tiger. You'll be able to cook, clean, repair clothes, and be able to operate on your own. Your tormentors, on the other hand, will be consigned to a diet of Krap Mac-N-Cheese, bolonga sandwiches, and peanut butter for their rations; trying to wheedle free meals out of their mamas for longer than neccessary; or have to sucker some lovely young nubile into playing the "Ring Game" to get what they need! "Oh, did I also mention that being able to cook can make you very desireable as potential mate-material? A good home-cooked meal works wonders in romance!"
Boy Howdy, was he ever right! Being able to make a tasty dinner does work it's magic...but only after two-to-three dates before I offer my "secret weapon." Usually, it's Chili's or Applebees' to start, then take it from there!
Besides, when I have my Electrobachi going (as I do now), the smell of what being cooked not only gets my appetite going...but half the apartment complex as well. Aroma therapy, grilling style.
So, there are obvious advantages to a young lad learning to cook, via either his family, or a school's Home Ec program. And as Jerry Lee's plaintative wail tells us, it might keep your butt out of Divorce Court (after the NYL you married realizes that she's been had!) as well.