This is the 100th Renegade Chef column. I am as surprised as anyone that I have been allowed to ramble on in this space for so long.
Over the past four years I have received one positive reader comment and zero negative comments. The positive rating nearly doubles the negative rating, though pollsters say there is a plus/minus ratio of 3 percent on either side of the coin.
One CNN analyst suggested the numbers simply indicate the column has gone successfully unnoticed. Fox News went so far as to say the longevity of this column has been due, primarily, to the fact the editor feels sorry for me — either that, or I possess incriminating photos.
Writing this column has allowed — or forced — me to pull many things from the folds and recesses of my memory. Of course, my memory is the “save” button for a rather warped mind, the synapses of which are frayed and frazzled from abuse and over-use.
Some people say I have “a good sense of humor.” But I don’t have anything. I just find that life was, is and always will be — funny. The dictionary contains a whole bunch of words that I merely try to arrange in appropriate order to facilitate the process of written communication.
I am nothing but a word-arranger. If I’ve ever written something funny, well, it wasn’t me. I had nothing to do with it. In fact I hate funny.
I’ve written about my parents in this space. They were pretty funny, though they didn’t know it. One time my mom rearranged the furniture and when my dad came home to a dark house, he tripped over a coffee table and was left with a twisted neck and permanently dented shins.
That was funny. My mother rubbed butter on his wounds (that’s what they did in the dark ages) and made him a ham salad sandwich on Wonder Bread.
Dad’s temper wasn’t quite so funny. He wasn’t mean, but when he became angry he had a natural tendency to pick up the closest object and fling it in whatever direction the object needed to be flung. If one of us kids happened to get caught in the crossfire, Mom always salved our wounds with — you guessed it — butter.
I guess it was sort of funny that our cats always liked us better when we were wounded.
One time my dad hit me in the eye with a loaded, 60-gallon metal garbage can. It was accidental, of course. He wasn’t even mad at the time. In fact, I think he was whistling “Dixie.”
Unlike my mother, Dad practiced more modern medical procedures, so he went to the fridge, procured a piece of round-steak that was marinating, rinsed it off and placed it like a compress on my injured eye.
After an hour or so, he returned the meat to its pan of marinade to wait for grilling. For some reason we were out of butter, so Mom finished dressing my wound with margarine.
I could go on and on, and probably will should the powers that be allow. And if I torture the reader with another 100 columns, well, I hope they aren’t very funny.
But knowing Mom and Dad, I won’t make any promises.