Saturday, May 22, 2010

Hypermasculine Me

Somewhere in America, a restaurant is failing, and losing more money every month. It is failing because the food is crap, or rubbish, or looks and tastes like used diapers. This is so because the chef has Lost His/Her passion. The owners have no money left to send the children to college. Indeed, Dad is hoping, though it shames him to do so, that Elder Daughter will consent to a few months of call-girling just so the restaurant’s suppliers won’t stop supplying it.

The world-famous chef with a face that the English press has cruelly, accurately described as resembling a scrotum, but dazzling blue eyes, rides into town. He samples the restaurant’s food and pronounces it…crap. It is unmistakable to him that its chef has lost his/her passion. He tours the kitchen and is appalled by its filthiness. He wouldn’t let a rabid dog throw up in it. The restaurant’s owners want to kill him, and each other, and themselves. There is a commercial break.

WFC says the chef must regain his/her passion, the kitchen must be cleaned, and a new, simpler menu must be devised to replace the existing one, which offers 382 different dishes that the passionless chef either can’t cook very well or hasn’t even heard of. Everyone hates the WFC, whose umbrage at the restaurant is such that he actually bounces up and down as he spews profanity. One of the restaurant’s owners would rather quit the business then endure another moment of the WFC’s verbal abuse.

WFC stops spewing profanity long enough to devise a new, more streamlined menu featuring fresh local ingredients. The chef’s passion begins to come back. In the dead of night, WFC’s team of decorators comes in and makes the restaurant slightly less ugly, or ugly in a slightly more current way. Seeing this transformation, the restaurant’s staff is moved to tears.

The restaurant is relaunched. Local dignitaries and tastemakers are invited. But on this night of nights, this do-or-die night, the kitchen can’t cope. Diners are shown wondering what’s taking so long for their appetizers to arrive. Meals are returned to the kitchen, where the newly re-impassioned chef utters one of WFC's favorite words. WFC’s prodigiously furrowed brow grows even furroweder. It appears as though his heroic efforts are all for naught. This time, he has bitten off more than even he can chew!

But wait. His exhortations to the chef to Take Command finally sink in. The kitchen catches up. In the dining room, local dignitaries are observed enjoying the restaurant’s food more than they’d have dreamed possible. At night’s end, the restaurant’s staff baptizes WFC in grateful tears. At the end of the tunnel, they have glimpsed light. WFC rides off into the sunset, his blue eyes twinkling deep in the furrows.

Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares is ever thus. It is thus in the UK, where I saw it first, and where no bleeping takes place when the great man calls his would-be beneficiary a fucking disgrace with bollocks the size of fucking chick peas, and it is thus now in the USA, where, with the sublime, if no less predictable Friday Night Lights, GRKN has made Friday night a wonderful time to stay home in one’s home theatre.

In other news, I’m not the world’s most masculine guy. I grew up playing with Barbie rather than balls and bats. I’m not good with tools and have never driven a motorcycle; I couldn’t be less handy on a bet. I’m really good at divining what certain facial expressions connote. I have no qualms whatever about asking directions, and enjoy wearing women’s clothing. I am soft-spoken and sensitive. But commercials for the impending release of Sex in the City II have begun airing, and I am suddenly feeling hypermasculine and heterosexual, for I tremble with loathing at the mere sight of them.

I watched the first one because Claire was a big fan, and at the end pronounced it six hours (or so it seemed) of absolute torture. I can’t stand Bruce Willis. I would sooner watch twice every action film Bruce has ever made — plus the entire oeuvre of Steven Seagal — than 10 minutes of this.

Anyone up to some hunting, camping, or fishing?

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