So as a crazy lunatic Top Chef fan, I'm not sure if this absolutely hysterical recap of last night's episode will be as meaningful if you don't actually watch it, but if you don't at least emit a chuckle over the summary of the commercial break, then you have no soul.
A commercial break: Erica, the grand pooba of pasta (Handy!), chancellor of cheese (Fresh!), connoisseur of cold (Chilly!) stuck in eternal repetition of infernal domesticity, the unwanted and illegitimate daughter of Julia Child and Sisyphus since September 2007. The choreography of her misery augmented by the words and sounds that float and freeze across her sound and vision. One voice, a man's; the chorus belonging to women who one imagines wear black velvet dresses; the guitar a twobit Shaft riff from a complacent studio musician named Walter. "Am I insane?" she thinks, panicked behind a Westport smile. "No," she relaxes. "For at least the words the women are saying are the same words that appear on the screen. At least I can hold on to that." Her capillaries relax. But as she holds up her hot dog made from the undifferentiated corpses of a small shtetl of holsteins, (Viceroy of Value!), she sees the word "Tasty" next to her Piggly Wiggly face but hears the word "Yummy!"
The eggshell cracks but perhaps it was just a momentary blip in the world largely seamlessly. She seals her wiener in a Glad bag, still clinging like a rat to rubbish to her happiness. "Thrifty!" the steel gray of the word threatens to bang into her temple. "Alright," she says, "if I hear Wilson Phillips say 'Thrifty' I'm sane and it's all okay. I'm not a sad clown. I'm a woman, a mother. My husband isn't cheating on me. He'll find a job soon." But then the voices come. "Economical!" it says with malign glee. Erica, the grand pooba of pasta, chancellor of cheese, connoisseur of cold, collapses like a soufflé onto her linoleum floor. Her apron bunches, her legs splayed. She's crying and her tears pool on the clear plastic coffins of food unwanted. Happily, her hot dog stays dry. A moment's reprieve is all Erica's misery earns her and then the music starts again. She rises up, compelled by a tourbillon of the wretched, and reties her apron. "Erica!" the voices say and Glad is misery.
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