What do all these pictures have in common? If you guessed: "that is one good looking motherfucker", you'd be absolutely correct. Also I am wearing a cloth face mask. As much as I don't like wearing them, I know it is the right thing to do all the time, no matter what. Too many people are depending on me to be safe: my wife, my sister, my friends, family and my customers. Without me, my customers have to find another place to go to lunch and they may forget all about how delicious my food is. Customers can be finicky like that.
If you can't tell by looking at me, I'm not a fucking doctor, I'm a cook. I would never walk into a doc's office and tell them how to doctor, and they don't come into my kitchen and tell me how to make Coq au Vin for Christ's sake. I listen to many people who know more than me, which is most people in this world that aren't professional cooks, and I am ok with that. So if some yahoo I have never met before, that has more letters after their last name than letters in the alphabet, tells me to wear a piece of functional yet stylish fabric over my mouth and nose, and the majority of like-minded folks agree with them, I will follow their medical advice and wear a fucking mask. The majority of science and medical professionals say that masks keep us and others safe. I'll wear my mask, and really, so should you. After all, safety is its own reward. As I have previously mentioned, they are not merely functional. I have a mask for every occasion, mostly food/chef related, (I can't help it, at this point it's is in my blood.) I have always said, (for the last year and a half), it's the fashion accessory of the new Millennium.
For the last 18 months, the mask has been a consistent catalyst of division in this country. No matter where you turn in this world some "expert" is saying that masks are either good or bad, useless or useful, smart or idiotic. We are told that masks identify the sheeple, but no matter which side of the political aisle we sit, we are all of us sheeple. We point our fingers at each other, screaming at the tops of our lungs that our side is right and you're stupid for believing what you believe, and that is exactly how they want us. At each other's throats, fighting each other instead of the real enemy, and I am not talking about the army of the dead.
I am talking about the people on both sides of the aisle that run this country. No matter blue or red, as long as we are fighting each other and not holding them accountable, they will be looking out for their own best interests and not ours. As George Carlin once famously said, it is a club and we will never belong. We vote for these people but neither side takes us into consideration once they leave their district or state. We are all being taken for a ride. ALL OF US.
One of the great tools that they use to keep us divided is the internet; a tool that the machine plays brilliantly. The internet and especially social media, in my opinion, is the biggest contributor of the dumbing down and the ever-increasing divide in our society. We are force-fed bullshit 24/7 on an endless loop. You want it, the internet has it. And all of us, myself included, spoon it up like its Manna from heaven. There is an article to fit any narrative. Man marries goat, the earth is flat, JFK jr. is still alive and pulling the government's strings via the Deep State? The internet has it, and that, my friends, is just the tip of that iceberg.
The subject of this blog post was born from that cesspool of bad ideas and misinformation, Facebook. Because of course it is.
I was scrolling through my feed seeing what they want me to see today. Always the same shit, just a different day. And I see a well-written, thoughtful post on a local restaurant/foodie Facebook page by a restaurant owner asking customers for a little patience and understanding in a very difficult time. She then goes into some suggestions such as, if you are coming with a big group, no matter where you are going, call ahead and let the restaurant know so they can prepare better. That we all need to be a bit more understanding and that we want nothing more than to serve you. Like I said, it was sincere, honest and transparent. All she was asking for was for a little peace, love and understanding but what she got was exactly the opposite. Anonymous people fighting behind a keyboard are the worst.
And on to the comments I went, because you know, Facebook.
I am like a crack addict when it comes to reading the comments on politically charged posts. I can't help it. I know nothing good will come of it. I know that I will change no minds, make no points, and of course not listen to anyone else; and at the end of my rant I will not feel any better getting off my soap box than when I stepped up on the motherfucker. Everyone is right and everyone else is wrong. It is mean, nasty, and at times, even filthy. I talk to complete strangers like I have never learned respect, yet another way my mother failed me. Thanks Mom. Every once in a while I will get called out, and I always appreciate it. I don't want to be the person I portray behind my keyboard while on Facebook. But I am weak and I go back on the offensive, just like an addict goes back to the crack pipe; knowing full well they wouldn't quit for long.
Because of the world-wide pandemic, the food chain is breaking, and deliveries aren't being made on a regular basis. There are no drivers to deliver the food from the producer to the wholesaler, and even if there were food at the wholesaler, there aren't drivers to handle the loads from the wholesaler to the retailer. And don't give me that, "people are lazy and the they got used to the government handouts". That's bullshit. What really happened was those people finally had time to breathe during the lockdown and they realized that they deserved more than the scraps they were getting thrown for the hard work that was expected of them. They just found better ways to make a living during this time and you really can't blame them for that. The sad truth is that we have all been convinced that life is about working the skin off our backs just so we can afford a meager existence.
The industry hasn't gotten any better as the restrictions have lifted, either, as far as being a career that any sane person wants to go into. Yes. the wages may have gone up in some places as owner/operators scramble for competent, experienced staff. But between shortness of staff and scarcity of products, customer's complaints have gone through the roof and they are putting everyone in the service industry on BLAST. Whether we like it or not.
You can't blame the customers either, if you want them to come to your establishment and pay the prices that good food costs, they should expect something in return. So, as an owner operator, I need to figure out a way to make both my staff and my guests happy. Shorten my menu, run lean and mean, make sure that every item on my menu is perfectly executed and always in stock.
I'm sorry, I digress.
We are all in Covid's crosshairs. It didn't go away by Easter as we had hoped, then Independence Day came and went. Labor Day was a wash as well. And not to bemoan the point, but they are now talking about a fucking fourth wave. This virus clearly doesn't give a fuck who you are or what holidays you are wanting to celebrate.
It doesn't care which political candidate you voted for.
In reading the comments from the Facebook post in question, I had a revelation; We are so busy fighting each other that we have lost focus on the real enemy, Covid 19.
Below is a sampling of the Facebook follies to which I have been greedily subjecting myself:
Wearing a mask makes me uncomfortable, I have a hard time breathing with it on. Try a ventilator there Sparky, how are you breathing now?
Covid is like the flu. Did the flu ever kill 600k Americans in a year?
But it's my body and I should have the final decision on what to do with it! Great, so you must be pro-choice? Not so much? Hypocrite.
We are either self righteous or selfish.
We are all right and all wrong.
We are all sheeple.
See how much we have in common?
Covid gives no fucks what you think, feel, or believe.
What did we just accomplish? Nothing, as expected. But Covid is still here waiting for me to get careless. Careless as, I forgot my mask, but I am just running into the store, surely I won't be exposed. Wrong.
There is red and there is blue but we are all the same inside. I have recently moved to a "purple" part of the state of Washington and I really appreciate the difference of opinion as long as we all get the shot and wear a mask. In my county about 75% has received the vaccine. I don't really care who you vote for, what side of the bed you sleep on, who you sleep with or what you favorite flavor of cake is. All you have to do is believe.
Believe in science and that maybe you don't actually know everything.
Believe there are people in this world that have your best interest at heart.
Believe that we all want to put our differences aside and fight this virus together.
Believe that this virus is actually something to fight, for the love of all that is holy.
I am tired of the excuses, as we all are, on both sides. Did anyone come and take your guns? No? Then trust me on this, the virus is real, it will infect people you hate as well as those you love. No matter the god you worship, Covid gives no shits. Your immune system may be strong, but for the love of god, do it for someone besides yourself. Stop being selfish, get the shot and wear the mask. If we all do this, Covid will fade into the background.
This is a call to arms for all of us, to work together, as one. Both owners and customers, front and back of the house, democrats and republicans, we need to work together to stop this common enemy in its tracks. We all can do this, we have done it before, remember the "Greatest Generation"? They weren't called the greatest generation because they were fighting over masks, they were called that because they banded together to fight the common enemy of fascism. Covid is one fascist motherfucker. Lets fight it together and win. If not we will all lose.
Until next week,