Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Not sure everyone got the memo

I was waylaid by a migraine the other day, and I always have kind of a hangover hours afterward.  My tradition is to watch my guilty television, so I did.  The choice this time was a local PBS show, Check, Please.  If you're not familiar with it, this is a Chicago show that gets together three regular people and a moderator.  Each person chooses their favorite restaurant, and the three people independently go to them ahead of time, discussing what they thought of the food, service, ambiance, etc. when they all get together. 

The reason I consider this my guilty TV pleasure isn't because it's a great place to check out local cuisine.  That's its absolute positive point.  No, what I like are the characters that invariably appear on the show.  Most are pretty normal, but sometimes you'll see people like the Frustrated Foodie.  FF is the one who doesn't like anything with less than four stars, poo-poos everyone else's choices, looking down his nose (these are usually "hims" for some reason) the whole time.  Then there's the Super Vegan, who is equally fun.  Nothing against those who are vegetarian or vegan, because I know many who are great people who adhere to these types of diets, and I'm happy to keep their dietary restrictions in mind when dining with them.  But the Super Vegan is one who makes sure everyone in a five mile radius is apprised of her (again, usually "hers" for some reason) vegan status, usually punctuated with talk of how it's irresponsible to wear leather.  She also waxes on, peppering her speech with words like "organic", "free range", "hydroponic" with a judgmental bent on her face until our eyes glaze over and I want to sneak some meat into her, just because.  Another fun character is Da Local Guy, who invariably chooses a place "wit da best beef sandwiches youze ever tasted."  If forced out of his comfort zone, he often responds as if dropped in the middle of Calcutta, instead of having to drive to the burbs. Or maybe he sees those as equal, who knows.

But the one I cannot stand, is the type I saw on this last episode--Trendy Gal.  She's often a student, lives in the city, is more concerned with appearances than substance, and picks a restaurant that will likely have a solid spot on the "it" list.  If I could have reached through the screen on this particular Sunday and slapped TG, I would have.  She complained that at one spot, she had to "get over the bartenders and patrons with tattoos" in order to enjoy herself.  She declared a sushi monorail kind of restaurant not authentic, even when the person who recommended it said it was just like when he lived in Japan for two years.  Oh, but the crowning offense was when she was actually complimenting a dish at an establishment she said "I didn't even feel guilty until the next morning for eating all those calories."  Yes, people, she said she felt GUILTY about EATING on a show whose entire reason for being was to rate RESTAURANTS.  What did she feel guilty over?  A HAMBURGER. 

This, oh internets, is why I don't own a gun.  As it was, I lobbed my near empty tissue box at the TV.

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