Potatoes

You know, I have no idea what the Irish Potato Famine was. All I have are some ideological props lamely disguised as history. It was the lack of biodiversity, you see, that did them in. Or more honestly the first thing that pops into my head is: Didn’t they know that potatoes are just empty carbs?

The point is, the only way I can think of the victims of the famine is as poor fools. Too bad they had to learn the hard way what we now know! I mean, I guess. They got what was coming to them, right? When you think about it, the holocaust only happened because we didn’t yet know to kill every goose-stepping kraut on sight. After seven decades of deliberation, we’ve come to the conclusion that that’s what fascism is--martial dance moves and fermented cabbage.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, what even the Irish knew: Always keep potatoes in the dark. I say this, but I don’t do it. A whole army of them are spread on the kitchen counter, bearing obscene green protrusions. The poor things don’t know that there’s nothing for them to grow in. Expose them to the sunlight and they’ll just start sprouting, unaware that once they’ve used themselves up to make green shoots, there will be nothing to support them besides sunlight. Their roots will scour the counter for water and nutrients, and they’ll find nothing. They’ll wither and die. Which is probably for the best. Imagine if you were born into a vacuum. They keep clearing your mouth of mucus, but there is in fact nothing for you to breath. There is only one way to act on this knowledge, and it will happen anyway: you must die.

Speaking of, I need some creative ways to preemptively exterminate these doomed spuds. I was thinking an oven. It’s an act of compassion. Sure, I could put them in soil, but come on, do you think there are enough holes in the ground for all of them? Besides, it’s so much responsibility. I have better things to do, like write this shit.

I’ve spent a lot of time waiting in vehicles for the driver to complete some errand (you know who you are), reading. The material varies. On better, less amusing days I’ve brought something with me, but sometimes it’s a pocket technical encyclopedia filled with trivia, sometimes it’s a tossed-aside (for good reason) magazine, and sometimes it’s a paperback, also tossed. When the driver gets back into the car, he inevitably gets an earful of whatever I’ve just entertained myself with during his absence. Imagine yourself the driver. One time it was the first chapter of some post-apocalyptic sci-fi. I think the premise was something like “and then the machines went kaput, because the nanomachines went berserk and murdered them, because nanomachines are evil, and, damn, now there’s a whole swarm of them, but only at low altitude, because real Americans live in the mountains.” As vague as The Road, but more torturously rationalized. In any case, our story centered around a small group of survivors, who of course were fighting amongst themselves. The author had taken the post-apocalypse as a perfect stage to set his vision of The Way Things Really Are, which I understood to be men posturing a lot, heroically saving their perceived inferiors with Hard Leadership Decisions (the kind Bush made), and filling the air with a lot of self-justifying talk. Stuff like “Lucy, I know it’s hard, but we can’t cuddle just now--we’ve got to cook the dog.” Paired with potatoes. Apparently when the apocalypse comes, we’ll all be eating a lot of meat and potatoes. Not because that’s what’s around, but because that’s Real Food.

29 March 2012