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This post is part of my 2022 Word Project. You can read what that’s about here.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

I had a word today, and it was going to be burger, because we were going to go out for lunch and get one.

And then we didn’t. We went out for McDonald’s instead, which is disqualified from being a burger. I was feeling all poetic about how good a good burger is, but alas.

Now the word has to be disqualified.

I had a rant last night and don’t want to have another. I want to think happy thoughts, so I can use the word disqualified, and still talk about burgers. When life hands you lemons… don’t make burgers.

McDonald’s is disqualified.

Whenever Ralph and I used to road trip, we would always stop for McDonald’s. It was a guilty pleasure, the kind of thing you don’t eat normally but when you’re driving for 15 hours and there is a rest stop, you dive into a Big Mac and love every second of it.

Except no. It’s off the list.

I mean, if I’m starving and it’s the only game in town, I’ll eat it. It’s not inedible, like Kroger’s butter.

But it’s also not good.

I love rest stops, by the way. Some of the best fried chicken we ever had was at a gas station in the middle of Oklahoma.

I had a plain old cheeseburger today, which is sort of the McDonald’s equivalent of a Whopper Jr, except a Whopper Jr is actually pretty good. A cheeseburger has a third of the calories as a Big Mac and while I was feeling burgerish, I was not feeling like I wanted 900 calories worth of the fast food version.

It was also apparently buy one get one free cheeseburger day, and even though I neither ordered nor wanted a second one, they put one in the bag anyway. Unfortunately, children are going to starve in China because of me, because it went in the garbage. That’s how disqualified it is.

When I was done eating most of the first one, because I was hungry and it was in front of me, I went and made myself a salad because I needed to eat something that was food and didn’t taste like a salted lump of fat.

Other places that are disqualified: Five Guys.

I never had a burger there, but Ralph did and said “it’s fine.” It wasn’t inexpensive though, so really, “fine” disqualifies it as fine.

I had a hot dog there, which was terrible. I ordered it with peppers and it quite literally came with one strip of raw green pepper on top.

Womlets: disqualified.

I forget the name of the place where they make the womlets, it opened recently nearby and we thought oh, let’s go try that. We spent like 40 bucks on two womelets with a side of “avocado” mashed into one of those little plastic containers with a lid that you usually get your salsa in.

The conceit of the womlet place is that they make your omelet on a waffle iron, which is fine if you want something that is charred on both sides with none of the squishy goodness in the middle.

Disqualified: anything calling itself guacamole that comes in a plastic container in the supermarket.

One time I went to someone’s house for a party, I brought guacamole. I made it specifically because I make excellent guacamole, and I have this on authority from everyone who has ever eaten it.

It’s not always easy to do, because you need avocados, which don’t always cooperate. Sometimes they are pure mush and yuck brown, and nobody wants to see that in a bowl. Sometimes they are not ripe and you have to wait a week before they resemble anything edible.

And no, you can NOT put them in the oven to ripen them faster. You can put them in the oven to SOFTEN them faster but that is not the same thing, is it? Don’t believe all the internet tips you read.

You can, however, put them in a paper bag on top of your refrigerator with a banana and they will ripen faster. Like, four days instead of six.

I made the guacamole, with the things that belong in guacamole, tomatoes and onions and garlic and cilantro and lime and a little dash of cayenne.

I brought it to the party.

Someone else brought not-guacamole from the supermarket.

Someone else noticed that there were two guacamoles, and decided that multiple guacamoles were not the proper thing to have at a party, so they mixed the disqualified store bought version in with my homemade version.

It was a horrible moment for guacamole.

Have you ever read the ingredients on some of those store bought guacamoles? “Avocado” does not make the list.


Peaches not from Georgia: disqualified.

I know that you can’t always get peaches from Georgia, but it’s worth it if you can. I don’t know what’s different about the air and the ground in Georgia but the peaches that come out of it are sweet and juicy and absolutely peachy. I don’t bother buying anything else.

When the Peach Truck comes around with their boxes, I buy the 25 pound one every week.

When I was doing pandemic grocery shopping and having Whole Foods deliver my groceries every week, one of the advantages is that when you got something that wasn’t good, you could return it. Where “return” meant going to Amazon and filling out the “it’s not good” form and they would give you your money back without even asking why.

I only remember doing that once, and it was when I ordered peaches. I got maybe eight of them and one after the other I cut them open to find dry ughness inside.

Whole Foods produce is usually great, but not peaches. Not if they aren’t from Georgia.

I’m sure I can think of a hundred more things.

You may wonder how I turned a desire for happy thoughts into one of disqualification, and the answer is simple: anything having to do with food is a happy thought, even the disqualified kind.

Maybe I will turn this into a cooking blog after all.

Things that are not disqualified: Tiff’s Treats. Although I have put them on the temporarily ineligible list, they shall return. I mention this, because today I joined their launch team for a book that is coming out next month. I post stuff on social media and they give me free cookies. Also I get to be part of a team that is equally obsessed about cookies.

If that’s not a happy thought, I don’t know what is.

Other happy thoughts: I disqualified unnecessary stress from my life. That netted me a few extra hours on the couch tonight, writing this and back seating Destiny.

It’s like the “just say no” campaign, but punchier.

Now I am going to disqualify excessive thinking and wording and go have a glass of very qualified wine.

Photo: tonight’s qualified glass of wine. The big X seems somehow appropriate.