Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Pet Peeve

Recently in English we had to write about a pet peeve in a satiric, colloquial tone. Here's my response (names have been changed). I just threw in some pictures of cinnamon buns to keep it interesting.

Not as Easy as Pie

Imagine, for a second, that you’re a doctor. You’re at a party with a bunch of friends, but also a lot of people that you don’t know. You and your buddy go over to talk to a group of people cause, you know, you’re trying to make some new friends. You go around the circle listing your professions, and after you mention that you’re a dermatologist, one of the men you just met blurts out, “Maybe you can help me! I need to know if this mole under my armpit is cancerous.” What would you do in this situation? Would you not be pretty annoyed? Well I’m faced with a very similar predicament every weekend, and I’ve come to the breaking point!

You see, I generally try to be a pretty nice, friendly guy. I’m certainly no Mr. Rogers, but I’m no Steve Stiffler either. I like to help people out just like the next guy and my favors often involve food and cooking. It’s what I know and love. It’s my signature. I can definitely be the mean big brother, but I make it up by baking treats for my sisters. Yesterday was my mom’s birthday so I baked her a cake. My cooking is either a display of affection or a gift, and that’s why it’s absolutely absurd, when people assume that I will just cook for anyone who asks!

I don’t like it, no, I can’t stand it, when random kids ask me to cook for them. I guess it has kind of gotten around school that I cook a little here and there, and so whenever I go to some social gathering with people I haven’t met before, they don’t even take the time to introduce themselves before asking “will you cook for me.” “Nick I hear you’re a big famous chef, will you make me some cheesecake? Nick how are you at making banana bread? Nick when it’s my birthday will you roast me a chicken?” No, No and No! Just last week I was at my friend’s house talking to a few girls that I had hardly met. I guess they overheard me when I said to my friend “Let’s have a picnic at the park tomorrow” because one girl promptly responded, “will you make a picnic for all of us?” “Absofrickinlutely not” I thought, but didn’t say. But from now on, I’m gonna let them know how I feel. “No Jessica Johnson I will never make you cream cheese brownies. No Andrew Carter, I couldn’t care less that you’re a burger connoisseur. No, unnamed lax bra, the fact that you have the mega-munchies does not make me want to cook for you. No Jen Matthews, well, actually yes Jen Matthews I would love to cook for you.” But the point remains. I actually met a girl once who asked me to make her an omelet. That soon became the extent of our relationship—whenever I saw her, she would ask me to make her omelets. That was it! How egregious, how disrespectful, how discourteous can you be? Be my friend talk to me, and maybe one day, I will tell you, that in the future, there is a chance that I might potentially cook for you.

Believe me, I love cooking, and I’m generally friendly, but if I cooked for everyone who asked, my cooking would become an empty gesture. It would have little meaning or significance. Imagine for a second, that I became known for whoring my skillet around and cooking for anyone. Then all of a sudden, the most beautiful girl—deep blue eyes, long blonde hair, enjoys long walks on the beach—transferred into this English class. I could try to impress her with some pancakes, but that wouldn’t be special because I’ve already made those for Billy and Sue and Jane. I could bake her my famous cookies, but she knows that I do that for anyone that asks. Basically by cooking for everyone, I’ve thrown away my one shot at this blonde beach babe.
But there is a larger picture. Did longshoremen ask John Keats to write them poems? Did Venetian cheese mongers ask Michelangelo to paint the ceilings of their shops? Did Austrian yodelers ask Mozart to compose them symphonies? No, and unless we’ve spoken, I will not make you apple pie.


E. said...

I think you make a really good point. :) The cinnamon buns look delicious btw.

The Empress said...

Good points, well made. Also, given that cooking is presumably going to be your career, why do people feel that they can ask you to cook for them for free? It would be like someone asking a bookshop owner to give them free books!

However, the pictures distracted me, in a good way! Do you just follow a standard recipe for the cinnamon buns? Mine always end up waaay too soggy.

Anonymous said...

"Whoring your skillet" had me choking on my coffee. By the way, are you any good at making coffee? Do you ship your cookies UPS?

James said...

You mean you haven't tried charging them?

Tom said...

Nice work Nick. Very funny.

shelle said...

But while you're very talented, you're not Keats, Mozart, or Michaelangelo. That's not a slam, just a fact.

I do cakes. People are alllllways asking for cakes (and I am no Keats et al either). It's nothing to get insulted or worked up over; it's a compliment, and it's a reality that people always want something for free. Lighten up.

Susan O. said...

Gosh....either you've edited out the comments, or have very selfish readers. Pretty darned nervy to compare yourself, albeit in an obtuse manner to Mozart or Michelangelo. I'm a cook of greater than your caliber and feel very flattered when people ask me to cook for them. It's always a joy to share with my friends.

Mandoline said...

You are so right, and frikin funny. Did you get an A on the paper? If not, you know what you can do.......

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your post!

We were once at a market and my dad asked someone for a sample of his food. This person said, 'That's not fair. What do you do?'

Dad said, 'I'm an engineer.'

'Well, then, how about some free engineering?'

It was funny because my dad's kind of engineering is useless to ordinary folk in their day-to-day lives (and it made me realise I don't have friends with useful professions that I can leach off).

I thought this market guy made a good point, although it wasn't great sales tactics.

Anyway, even if you were deadly serious, I'd agree with you. The insult isn't that people want you to cook for them. The insult is demanding and expecting you to do it. They should be grateful if you offer them food (or if anyone offers a gift). But it's not a gift if you demand it!

AND, let me say, good food costs a lot of money to make. You'd bankrupt yourself both in time and money and karma credit if you cooked for anyone who asked for it!

Jumper said...

Hilarious. Thanks for the smile you gave me.

Chandrika said...

Hey, really funny post. I have gone through the same situation as you. Some of my relatives want to visit me just because I can cook. I don't even mind cooking for strangers who ask me nicely. But I hate people when they try to exploit my skills.