There's Nothing Real About It

I spend a lot of time at the grocery store, probably twice the amount of time I spend playing Sudoku.

We feed a family of four during the week, with a jump to six or more on the weekends.

It can be a daunting and expensive undertaking, but I try to maintain a postive outlook.

Who knows?  I might be approached by a tall, Australian chef who desires my company for the afternoon.

Yes, I speak of Curtis Stone, the star of "Take Home Chef."

For the 12 people not privy to the delights of satellite TV, trust me in saying Curtis is a fine specimen of a man, and since he can cook, that makes him pretty much perfect.  The gist of his hit show is as follows:

Curtis and his camera crew appear at ritzy grocery stores, the kind that carry elaborate choices of meat, cheese, wines and chocolate Twinkies.

They target unsuspecting, attractive females, the kind that pole dance or play drums in a rock and roll band.

The team approaches the woman, and Curtis asks if he can help plan a menu for that night's dinner, escort her home and help make it.

The females usually stand there speechless, their mouths agape, although a few actually know who Curtis is and realize immediately they've hit the jackpot.

Anyone with a smidgen of a brain is going to take his offer.

Curtis picks out the food, while allowing the female to believe it was all her idea.  He then pays for the groceries and rides home with the woman in her car.

He always has her stop at a kitchen gadget store, where he can purchase items she might not have, say individual Japanese jello molds.  Then they proceed to her McMansion, which is perfectly clean and home to a fully equipped kitchen.

There are no soiled buckets of Kentucky Fried on the counter from last night's dinner.  No, these are William and Sonoma people.

If there are children, and usually there are not in such a world, they arrive in Gap clothing and sit quietly. 
Curtis starts the dinner preparation while the female goes up and changes into something skimpy and dressy, the kind of little black dress I could spend months trying to find in a size Women's 22 Petite.

She then joins Curtis in the preparation, pretending she has never cooked in her life.

"Curtis," she pleads, "coud you show me how to chop a carrot?"

Or, she'll dip her entire finger in the batter and ask Curtis to lap it off.

Then Curtis and the female surprise whomever she would be cooking for that evening.  That person is usually a balding business man with baggy eyes.

The bald man simultaneously enters his home and a state of shock.  Something smells good, his wife is half naked, and there are cameras.

He hasn't been this fortunate since Richard Nixon resigned.

Once he grasps the idea he's on national T.V., he regroups and simply grunts, "Me hungry."

Last night Curtis served steamed mussels with chorizo and white wine, skewered shrimp marinated with garlic, olive oil and lemon, and pan-seared scallops with orange butter sauce.

Fascinated, we ate our mac and cheese in front of the widescreen.  I served cored apples on the side with a caramel dizzle.

They call it reality TV, but there is nothing real about it.

I want to be on this show.

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