lugubrious /loo͝-goo͞′brē-əs, -gyoo͞′? - adjective
Autumn adheres like plaque to the un-showered wading amongst her dead leaves -- Soggy beneath the wheels of winter's gloomy greyhound.
Solstice they call it; Idling smoggy behind Daylight-Savings. The Solstice Bus Vinyl upholstered womb-like canned-goods carrying tallow gray bodies, In the condensing belly of winter. Our calendar has been defined by festive meals, and traditions, such as Mc Rib, Enjoy!
Over-wrapped unfashionable parkas circle arctic-ly for months smelling ourselves. Sweaty yellow-green glazing filter our shortened soap opera days, aboard winter's sodden bus. Here, in the solstice, we yearn for something authentic to occur, to shake us -- A crash, perhaps or a derailment. The bus of winter's discontent drones along concealing a retired sun. Here, pine-green safety glass, becomes the prophylactic pinhole of a total eclipse through a metal whale. Scarred tint film shows nothing alive, no glow, nothing warm -- no infrared, just lengthening goldish shadows striping the belly of our 40 ton coffin, and a phone with no charger.
Within the Solstice, everything vibrant comes to die. "Winter Solstice", an elegant name for gloom. Here we ratchet up our snacking. Crisp Factories run extra shifts to meet demand for salted fat, and the false hope that 'Pita Chips' might be a safer alternative enroute to diabetic coma. Autumnal discontent abord this "so-called" Celebratory "Holiday" bus-ride; We compress our desiccated summer selves into forced air. Corrugated skin confined, anguished versions of our bygone Golden Hours. Sleeplessly self medicating, we endure ritual seasonal affective disorder... Adjectives Explode: Salty, Fatty, Sugary, Nasty, Arterial Pudding, Inflammatory, Constipatory (quote) "Comfort-Foods" engage our softening savage selves. Here abord the Melatonin Mobile we swaddle into track-suits, leggings, and moo-moo's -- Ample stretch endures the broadening, and dreadfully long celebratory season of the Witch.
The Solstice is not in and of itself evil incarnate, nor the Devil stalking you, but a test of your wit, your strength, and your will power. Technically speaking, It is nothing more than the concealment of the sun at the Pole of your given hemisphere, when it hides like a coward from you completely for a brief moment. 3:28 AM this year to be precise. The upside of which is inventive snack-foods, pagan rituals, and "Holiday Joy". Another Bright-side is that after December 22nd at 03:20, you can begin to claw your way back to verdant shamrocks.
Druidic peoples, so called Pagans, and basically anyone (even practicing Catholics), who ever worshipped the sun, realized rather early that not having the sun around most of the day long would lead to long liquor lines, food shortages, inventive alternatives, and depressive snacking. "Creative Alt-snack sellers served Newts Toes, and Coca Leaf Crickets, Chicle, and ground a bunch of stuff up with spices and called it sausage... or chorizo. Hungry Savages even found a way to milk sheep, goats, and cows. It becomes a real existential struggle to find any 'rando' fare of sustained winter energy. Ever more inventive candy coatings would come much later. In the so called "Dark Ages", Snack-Food stumbled into more earthy flavors such as Mud and Dirt. Finally, as colonized slavery made all the labor easier for the leisure class a " Happy Snackcident" happened the Moment reluctant Spanish aristocracy sweetened the mud-like bitter cacao powder, iced it and served it at church while worshipping Santa.
In 1680 cocoa was served in combination with melted ice to the nobles present at the auto-da-fés. The popularity of the drink among noble women was such that, (not content with drinking it several times a day), they were drinking it in church too. This indulgence pissed off the bishops, who started a propaganda poster campaign in 1861, banning chocolate sipping in churches during lugubrious sermons. What would later become a "Coffee Clutch" ...Chocolatadas, held at the end of "church services", became popular amongst the ladies. And so they built Rectories.
It should come as no surprise that this ritual and new found snacks were stumbled upon around Winter's Shortest Day. When one stares back at a fancy package and remarks that eating "THAT" or Eating the whole bag of "THAT" was a bad fucking idea; It is born of despair, and necessity. At Stonehenge the Primary Massive Trilithon faces outward from the middle toward the mid Winter Solstice Sun, a sort of "Talk to the Hand" from a far smarter, and industrious pre-history.
Today, inventive adult assholes decided that Clocks (another nasty invention, born of restless loathing for increasing darkness) are reset to accelerate the squalid greyish glow of our skin against our LED daylight. In Modern times we scuttle outdoors in metal coffins for food, and race home to compress crumbs beneath our blankets for another 15 hours of darkness. Pasty pallor betrays the Instagram filter.
Bygone "Boys of Summer" or "Madonna" singing "Holiday", aboard a cute dimpled grin, we dine upon dreadful grey salty crap, bad bar food, frozen meals, canned goods, and all-in-all we act like eating crap is worthy of the so called "Holiday Season". We even substitute cool Music for old fucking Christmas Carols which most mumble through, for want of anyone recalling the second verse. Snack bags, and Cookies you'd steer clear of in mid June -- will now make your "Season bright".
As many times as we have endured the winter's grip, we remain amateurs.
Amateur /ăm′ə-tûr″ Noun: 1. One who has not yet figured out how NOT to do something.
2. One lacking the skill of a professional, To not be good enough at something as to make it one's profession. 3. One who has not or does not accept money in exchange for a task/ activity. Our elastic relationship with the truth, stretches thinly veiled toward greedy gluttonous boredom. Unsurprisingly Spam and the Mc Rib by which we hail Seasonality have roughly the same ingredient count, and shelf-life. We are all amateurs this Holiday, because as many times as we have been here... Our recidivism rate is 100%
re·cid·i·vism ri-ˈsi-də-ˌvi-zəm : NOUN, 1. a tendency to relapse into a previous condition or mode of behavior. Recurring. From the Latin recidivus (Re) Back, and Cado (I Fall). e.g. Fall Back. (Funny Right? just like Daylight savings time... I digress) 2. The act of a person repeating undesirable behavior after having experienced negative consequence of/for that behavior.
Consider anything called "Pumpkin Spice". And ask but one question... Why? Why does this caloric fictional horchata-fueled abomination propel anyone around our equatorial "upside-down"?
Desperation. That's Why. In here fictive orange Wonka characters serve "Turkey", beside cemented fruit segments locked like Han Solo in verdant Jell-O. Is there any moral in this fable? Yes, simply stated, Watch Out! for the fucked up inventions of the idling brain, including those scriptured in bad blogs. This Junk-Food will all will flush counter clockwise until spring which is a mere six months away. Have Faith, and crumble some chips atop your casserole.
Fictive traditions purport to perfect celebratory smorgasbords of pure evil. And Yes, this awful nostalgia fueled Holiday cuisine may kill us all, if the hum drum doesn't do it first. Hence the inventiveness of space-age snacking.
As if the so called Holiday's were not beige enough on the merits of Venison, Dark Meat, Herring, and Casseroles... our decor, (excepting a trillion tiny light-bulbs strung everywhere to simulate the bygone sun)... We are now forced to decorate, nay deck the halls with really dumb shit.
1. A dead Tree, desiccating in the corner dropping needle dander.
2. A Fucking Red Plant, know as the churlish Poinsettia. Noun: A Crimson abomination, (basically) a tiny blood stained tree which never fades, Poinsettias are not a flower, They do not "Point" at anything in fact, and they smell like vomit on compost.
3. Pumpkin Spice..., Period.
4. Old Socks hanging around out in the open, some with snacks in them?
5. Glazed Meats, [You are welcome].
And... Every other first year intern-brainfuck snack-food creative project from Frito-Lay, Mondelez, Heinz, and InBev seem to be introduced this season, when you simply lack the will power to say no. Introducing the worst shit ever invented and packaged by your thirteen year-old stoned-self. It' is how things get done during the Holidays.
Seasonally speaking our culinary journey for the forthcoming 6 months is simply to suffer the indignity of snackcident. To survive our limited edition decor, Blasé' activities, and stranger than fiction snack remorse make this runway sketchy, and anyway this plane is way too heavy to get off the ground now. The very seasonality of everyone's Holiday will be predicated, punctuated, even postulated upon the King-Fucking-Missile of fast Food... Le Mc Rib.
This Winter, as full grain silos compress into Muesli, 56 day-old chickens mature into boneless wings, just before being basted in Franks Red Hot and Butter... The Cattle, Horses, and The Pigs all lie down... and Dog Food factories smolder to consume the rest... And viola!, delightfully ripe Pigs wander nonchalantly out of the manger into a tall corrugated processing plant, where they are picked clean to their carcass for the Celebratory Holiday Cuisine we have all been fasting for.
It is Mc Rib Season people!, Celebrate... And Mc Rib rings in the true spirit of the holidays!
It harkens in our winter wonderland, and even punctuates a fearful Hannukah -- but it cannot last. Pork, Water, Salt, Dextrose Rosemary extract. “That’s it! Only five ingredients.” Lovely...
How can it be that a former McDonald's Chef de Cuisine became a TikTok Star doing nothing more than the "grand-reveal" of how the McRib came to be made?
Zero Cover-Up? Fully Transparent? Perhaps there are less components in Mc Rib, than Spam, and certainly less than Pumpkin Spice Spam, but it is nevertheless a cult of it's own.
The venerable McDonalds wanted to clear the air about their most successful special edition, Pre-Hannukah wonder drug that it is, which hits the shelves round Thanksgiving -- well prior to their Spring-time second-runner-up -- The verdant seasonal Gaelic fascination, the "Shamrock Shake". This Druidic late add to the calendar is the way forward, so look for it.
Here calendars will be synchronized like seal-team chronographs, to ring in the holidays with McRib, then quarterly kick that shit to the curb drowning a shot of Whisky in a near neon Shamrock-Shake, before celebrating spring's rebirth with Caveman Jesus, and a Filet-O-Fish.
The Devil lurks in less frequented corners of your favorite Grocery, and Bodega... Lucifer follows you through the grocery aisles for months making ludicrous suggestions. Shit Man!, And you believed beginning with full sized bars at Halloween was the end of it. Just this one, and then you would break free of "the habit" as soon as the clocks changed.
"Double Down!", you holler at the dealer. "Hit Me!" ...And so he does -- Introducing Grain Alcohol infused with Doritos scum, Yessss!
In the orbit of your most stoned imaginary friendships, you could not have invented a cult of crap foods as outlandish as the Velveeta Martini, Candy Mac N Cheese, or an Arbee's Vodka... Let's face it that if you don't write for South Park, you likely cannot see clear of the car wreck which is happening in real time. Yet the empty wrappers keep coming back to haunt you in the night like Jacob Marley and Tiny Tim. Steer Clear of the madness of crowds. Just say no, ... and Yes!, that plain vanilla ice-cream will do. But just as I have no business eating a Mc Rib this holiday season, I could be tempted; right?
OKAY, so Candy fucking mac-n-cheese, in all it's Rosicrucian splendor seems so foul that one can add to their Xmas List for Santa to bring nothing but the head of this Kraft intern to them in a pillow case. Come the 22nd at around three in the morning, we can begin to look back at this like a bad dream, or maybe just wait until after New Year's Day to change your trajectory. It is a slow snowy road-trip, so drive carefully, perhaps humming a bit of U2 or King Missile instead of a carol, and remember "Nothing Changes on New Year's Day".
Curly Fry Vodka is as real as Santa Claus ...And so it Goes that I have nothing more to say. Except Good Luck.
Age and Treachery will overcome youth and skill.