Wednesday, December 09, 2009

I hate almonds

I really, really hate almonds. They disgust me. They make me want to retch, to stagger around shouting 'kkkkckkkkkckkkkkkckkk' while contorting my face into a disgusted grimace, trying to hawk up my lungs to rid my mouth of the horrible almondy taste of these evil nuts.

Unfortunately, I'm very obedient*, which means that uncaring or wilful individuals will from time to time tell me to eat things, which happen to contain almonds. Cue a look on my face like a disgruntled hamster, cheeks swelling, eyes brimming with tears, as I discover that the person I thought I could trust sees me merely as a pawn in their horrible, almond-eating game. That my discomfort should bring joy to others is something that a better man might see as deriving some good from bad, but I can't. All I can think of is how horribly traumatised I am, now that I've been made to eat something that has at least a passing acquaintance with almonds.
Thus I was horrified to get an email from evite, the American party-planning website, that included these helpful suggestions for parties, brought via the wonderful sponsorship of the Almond Board of California:

  • Place bowls of different flavored almonds around your home so guests can enjoy new tastes as they walk around the party.
  • Sprinkle or encrust your main dish with sliced almonds for some added crunch and visual interest.
  • Almonds can make any side dish look and taste like your meal’s main attraction. Cook in a handful of sliced or slivered almonds to shake up your green bean casserole or sweet potatoes.
  • Take cocktail time to the next level by mixing up some Almond Toffee Martinis or Almond Hot Toddies.
You insensitive clods! I live in a four hundred square foot apartment, which is largely made up of a wardrobe, a toilet, and a non-descript space for sitting on the sofa and staring at the mind-numbing images on my television screen. I don't have space to place bowls of different flavoured almonds around my flat. My army of domestic helpers will be enraged, I'll be constantly disgusting myself with different flavours of almonds (which strangely, all taste of almonds) and I don't want my houseguests taking part in some bizarre treasure hunt where they seek out bowls of almonds under the cistern of my toilet, on high shelves or inside the pockets of my best suit.
Furthermore, I won't add visual interest to my main dish by sprinkling it with almonds. If you hadn't noticed, I hate almonds! They disgust me! They are horrible! I might as well add visual interest to my main dish by sticking nail clippings on top of it, using them to spell out the words "DON'T EAT ME". If that wasn't bad enough, the only two things I ever eat in the apartment are pasta and cheese sandwiches, and neither of these dishes has ever, in the history of mankind, required extra visual interest conveyed through the medium of nuts. I think any reasonable person would concur with me on this, but not the California Almond Board and their staff of insane almond-obsessives.
But if that wasn't enough, they think you can add to each of your side dishes by sprinkling it with almonds. Now, I'm not some sort of food fascist who'd demand you kowtow to my tastes. Even though they are correct. No, suppose I had invited you to my apartment for a lively and invigorating discussion of politics, bus timetables and the works of HP Lovecraft, and you declared your lifelong love of the almond. I wouldn't do what is in the right of every gentleman of good reason and sound mind, and kick you down the stairs. No, I might, if there were, through some bizarre and perverse coincidence, any almonds in the apartment, possibly offer you some almonds. But they would be in a side dish. Almonds will always be in a side dish, never the main part of a meal. Sprinkling more almonds on to a side dish of almonds only makes the problem worse, as you now have more almonds. Can't these maniacs at the Almond Board of California Almond Board see this?
No, of course not, they're blind to the madness. Perhaps the continual consumption of almonds has affected their sight. Maybe they'd suggest that they meant there to be other side dishes, apart from almonds. But I'm immune to their wiles, their incessant suggestion that I'm getting my syllogistic logic in a twist, and all their other cheap pedantry and sophistry. As long as there are almonds, they'll sit in a side dish and they will not be eaten.
And yet, they don't stop there with their horrible plan to scatter almonds willy-nilly throughout my existence. They even want to bung them in my martinis. It's enough to drive a man to drink. Stop, Almond Board of California Almond Board Board, why must you torture me so?
On reflecting further, I must admit that from time to time, a nice almondy Bakewell tart can be rather nice.

*Don't think that this is because I'm some kind of submissive who does exactly what he's told for some kind of kinky pleasure. No, I just do exactly what I'm told, because it means that I don't have to exert my decision-making faculties any more than I need to. This saves time, as I'm pretty sure nobody would ever tell me to do something if there wasn't a good reason for it, and nine times out of ten, this abdication of reason and volition may very well stand me in good stead in any legal situation.**
**Your own experience may vary. Don't attempt this in any illegal situation.


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