"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.

--RKJ

Comments

CuddleFish Oct. 7, 2009 @ 7:02 p.m.

Ooooh, RobbieBear, I took Home Ec, and didn't learn much at all!! It's always nice to read about your cooking, sounds delicious! Interesting to hear about your father, too!

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Adam92102 Oct. 7, 2009 @ 8:06 p.m.

I was raised in a Navy family as well, living in places like Japan, Guam, etc. They divorced in the mid to late 80s and I stuck with my mother. Prior to the divorce, though, she taught me a lot about cooking. I'm terribly thankful for that. It has helped in the romance department before but most of all cooking your own meal, and a damn good meal, can be very rewarding. I am thankful to my mother for instilling that desire and self-responsibility. However, I still can't sew on a damn button for the life of me. She never taught me that.

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nan shartel Oct. 7, 2009 @ 8:38 p.m.

oh Robbiebear

every woman loves a man who can cook

knowing ur way around the kitchen is such a bonus

in high school i couldn't do any Home Ec things...and had to take all the classes

smart guys took some Home Ec classes to date the hottest girls

i tried like the dickins to get my middle son to go to Chef School in Portland Ore..he's a fabulous natural cook...but he can't sow a button on for sh*t....hahahahaha

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FullFlavorPike Oct. 7, 2009 @ 9:38 p.m.

I have pairs of pants that I sewed patches on because they were all tore up and full of holey holes. Watching me sew is HI-larious as it literally takes me an entire week to patch a pair of jeans.

In the kitchen, though, watch out. Nobody gets between me and my mise en place!

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FullFlavorPike Oct. 7, 2009 @ 9:39 p.m.

BTW, didn't know you were a military kid, Adam. Learn something new every day on here.

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CuddleFish Oct. 7, 2009 @ 10:04 p.m.

Me too! Dad was in the Air Force, I was born in the old Naval Hospital. Have a baby brother buried out at Ft. Rosecrans.

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SDaniels Oct. 7, 2009 @ 10:28 p.m.

A few brief observations, LPR:

  1. "Usually, it's Chili's or Applebees' to start..."

Eeks! How often then, do you actually get to date #3?!

  1. How did you learn anything in Home Ec? The 1960s must have been far more serious about it than the 80s. It was one of the only classes I took in HS, and we were lucky to learn how to make nachos.

  2. "Krap Mac-N-Cheese"

Let's not be coy...

...why not just call it "Krap-N-Cheez?" I do love it, though--the organic "white cheddar and shells" kind. :)

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David Dodd Oct. 7, 2009 @ 10:36 p.m.

Hey, Cuddlefish, I was also born at the old Balboa Naval Hospital. Small world?

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antigeekess Oct. 7, 2009 @ 10:38 p.m.

"1. "Usually, it's Chili's or Applebees' to start..."

Eeks! How often then, do you actually get to date #3?!"

Don't be a food snob, Daniels. I'm sure there are decent Chili's and/or Applebee's in California. Somewhere. They're good in other states.

If he's actually breaking out his wallet to PAY for a meal instead of just sitting on it (a la cute Gary, for example), that in itself is a rarity, in my experience.

Oh, and here's Timaya's latest rant on that very subject. I know you live for them. :)

Not one of her best, but I can relate to it big time.

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SDaniels Oct. 7, 2009 @ 10:59 p.m.

"Don't be a food snob, Daniels. I'm sure there are decent Chili's and/or Applebee's in California. Somewhere. They're good in other states."

You're in a rare mood tonight! How can I possibly be labeled a 'food snob' for wondering how a first date at Applebees can lead to another? APPLEBEES!

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antigeekess Oct. 7, 2009 @ 11:08 p.m.

Wow. You must really hate APPLEBEES. It's not like it was McDonald's in a Wal-Mart, or something. :)

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PistolPete Oct. 7, 2009 @ 11:14 p.m.

HA! AAAAAAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAA! I ORDERED SOME F***IN' CHICKEN HALF AN HOUR AGO AND(inaudible). I've watched that 100 times and still doesn't get old.

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PistolPete Oct. 7, 2009 @ 11:15 p.m.

Eatin' good in the muthaf***kin' hood,beyotch!

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CuddleFish Oct. 7, 2009 @ 11:31 p.m.

Man, y'all is noisy!!

Yes, it is a small world, refried!! :)

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David Dodd Oct. 7, 2009 @ 11:35 p.m.

My dad was in the U.S. Navy, I was born there in 1961. I once met someone else who was born in that same hospital. On the same day. In the same year. Within minutes of each other.

We both shrugged and never saw each other again.

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antigeekess Oct. 7, 2009 @ 11:42 p.m.

"We both shrugged and never saw each other again."

Funny.

Um, hopefully you DO look something like your parents, then?

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David Dodd Oct. 7, 2009 @ 11:48 p.m.

AG: Oh, yeah. Plus, she was a she (sort of difficult to screw THAT one up on the old birth certificate). It was a visit to a doctor in San Diego about ten years ago, she worked at that office on my first visit. She looked at my data and remarked that we were born on the same day, in the same year. After a brief discussion, we discovered that we were probably within a foot from each other right after we were born.

Other than that, there was zero connection.

Weird.

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CuddleFish Oct. 8, 2009 @ 12:13 a.m.

That is odd. What month were you born in, refried?

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FullFlavorPike Oct. 8, 2009 @ 12:36 a.m.

It's not a date if you go to Applebee's, or any other place that substitutes gluing crap on the walls for ambiance.

My 0.02

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CuddleFish Oct. 8, 2009 @ 12:51 a.m.

Lord, Pike, give a guy a break!! It's hard enough for them to live up to glued crap on walls at Applebees!!

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David Dodd Oct. 8, 2009 @ 1:06 a.m.

Well then, Happy Birthday, Cuddlefish! Happy 29th birthday ;)

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CuddleFish Oct. 8, 2009 @ 1:13 a.m.

Awwww bless your heart, Sir Gringo!!!

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David Dodd Oct. 8, 2009 @ 1:14 a.m.

My wife was born on the 11th, my mom on the 12th (obviously in different years ;)

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CuddleFish Oct. 8, 2009 @ 1:22 a.m.

Bless them!! Libras are lovely people!!

Happy 29th Birthday to them, no matter the year!!

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David Dodd Oct. 8, 2009 @ 1:26 a.m.

I'll pass it on!

Another weirdness (busy, busy, busy...):

My mother-in-law and myself were born on the same day (different year, of course).

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CuddleFish Oct. 8, 2009 @ 1:34 a.m.

Oooh, we can put this astrological stuff to the test: Do you and your MIL share the same characteristics??

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SDaniels Oct. 8, 2009 @ 1:36 a.m.

"I once met someone else who was born in that same hospital. On the same day. In the same year. Within minutes of each other.

We both shrugged and never saw each other again."

Twin? Is there a refriedgringo II walking around somewhere in this world? Perhaps he is the CEO of APPLEBEES?

APPLEBEES!!!! ARGGGGHHH.

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SDaniels Oct. 8, 2009 @ 1:37 a.m.

re: #21:

"It's not a date if you go to Applebee's, or any other place that substitutes gluing crap on the walls for ambiance.

My 0.02"

I'm sure they have a 0.02 appetizer menu!

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CuddleFish Oct. 8, 2009 @ 1:40 a.m.

Am off to bed, see you homies in the morning! xxxxxx

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SDaniels Oct. 8, 2009 @ 1:40 a.m.

Thank you, Cuddle. :) I'm not feeling particularly witty tonight. So much work! As refried/Vonnegut would say "busy, busy, busy..." :)

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David Dodd Oct. 8, 2009 @ 1:44 a.m.

No, hun. Not at all. We do, mostly, get along very well, but we aren't alike.

I don't believe in astrology. I believe everything that happens is an accident on purpose. I have a friend who calls it the "Spilled Milk Theory" of existence. One morning, God (or "The Creator", or whatever) opens the celestial refrigerator and grabs the milk to pour over his or her Wheaties, and drops the container.

That's my big bang theory.

Humanity has been busy cleaning up the mess for thousands of years.

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SDaniels Oct. 8, 2009 @ 2:42 a.m.

I always figured god was a fruit loops kinda guy/gal :)

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David Dodd Oct. 8, 2009 @ 2:57 a.m.

It could have been Lucky Charms, Captain Crunch, or anything, really. I mean, when I was a kid, I was partial to Cheerios.

The point is the spilled milk. And God (or Vishnu or Allah or whomever), does not have enough Brawny paper towels to clean up the mess. Next best thing? Invent humanity. Of course, God (or Goddess) is counting on us to clean up the spill. And, as with all really good prime-time reality programming, we are wonderfully reluctant in our cooperation ;)

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SDaniels Oct. 8, 2009 @ 4:59 a.m.

As far as my life is concerned, "Captain Crunch" sounds more accurate than "Lucky Charms" ;) Sorry, I can cry over the spilt milk yet, gotta get the crumbs in order first, gringo. --But what would the "Brawny" be here? Certainly not a public healthcare option? :)

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nan shartel Oct. 8, 2009 @ 10:26 a.m.

did i hear u have some scamble eggs and chorizo over this way Robbie my friend....munchy babe!!!

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CuddleFish Oct. 8, 2009 @ 10:36 a.m.

There you go, nan! That's the scrambled-egg-and-chorizo theory of the universe. YOU open the fridge, and there's the eggs and there's the chorizo. YOU choose to eat them, you pay the price.

On the other shelf, there's an apple ... :)

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SDaniels Oct. 8, 2009 @ 10:42 a.m.

...and I think I just figured out that "spilt milk" metaphor--the "GREAT" Milky Way, as it were--or--how did those old gods procreate? Pretty pretty messily...

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CuddleFish Oct. 8, 2009 @ 11:20 a.m.

I always wondered why they called it Big Bang!!!

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