Misanthrope Man, Mk. II

There comes a point in every man’s life when a judge forces him to deliver a written apology to a man he’s assaulted. This is that letter:

Dear Mr. Smith,

First of all, Hi! How are you? I hope the wife is doing well. In fact I know she is, but that’ll have to wait for another court-mandated letter. In the meantime, give her my love (or just leave the back door unlocked so I can continue to do it for you). How about the little tyke Junior? That’s great. So happy for you. Anyway, I’m writing to respond to the incident that happened in Joe’s Tavern last week. I trust that you have been released from the hospital by now. So let’s jump in, shall we?

I think it’s really special that you wanted to take Ella out for a nice dinner, but you stunk up the table when you ordered the “Chef’s Dinner Scraps” for yourself, perhaps because you wanted to have more money left to spend on her, or perhaps you’re just parsimonious. Either way I am quite saddened by whatever thinking led you to order such a suspiciously cheap dish. Being an executive at a food company, I would assume you have the money to treat yourself. But that’s not what’s important. What is important is to explain why I launched an impressive and no doubt sexy crusade against your non-diseased heart in a bout the local news has started calling the “Chefman hazing ritual.”

artist’s rendering

OK, let’s start at the beginning. Three things are necessary to make American food. The three necessary ingredients always have been (I guess) and always will be oil, corn syrup, and salt. I decided a few weeks ago to avoid salt since I found out the American Heart Association says we should have less than 1.5 grams per day. Well, I thought to myself, that shouldn’t be too hard. I’ll just have a simple cheeseburger for lunch and–

Whoa. OK, I guess no burger. That stuff is bad for you anyway, right? How about a sub sandwich instead? I mean, some lettuce, some tomatoes, that’s gotta be much more healthful.

This is a joke, right?

All righty, I guess I’ll just stay at home and cook. Sure, no problem. I need to learn to cook anyway. I just have to put that round thing onto the fire and put water in it, right? That can’t be too hard. All right! Spaghetti it is! Now let’s just get some tomato sauce so I can–

Come on! Do you think I’m too stupid to know how to add my own salt to my tomato sauce? I mean, granted I’m too stupid to boil water, but still. Speaking of which, I’ll be right back; somehow the pot is on fire. OK, I’m back. Phew! Let me give you some sound advice: Don’t call 911 and tell them your pot is on fire. They will really think that means something else. Hoo boy, the police and I sure had a good laugh. Now where was I? Oh yeah, I was trying to learn how to cook. You know what, maybe this was a bad idea… No! You can do this, John! Just be a man and commit to something for once; this isn’t community college or a woman. All right, how about a salad? Yeah, that sounds good! Let me just get out the dressing and I’ll be set–

You’ve gotta be kidding me!

I can’t even have a decent salad? And don’t tell me I can simply go without the ranch. If I wanted to eat a bowl of leaves straight up I’d’ve been born a rabbit. Ranch is how Americans can smother an otherwise healthful meal with glorified mayonnaise and not be judged. No one can take that away from me. I think Patrick Henry said something like that. Probably. OK, so I can’t have Italian or anything else–you know what? I’m going about this the wrong way! There are two other staple ingredients in America: oil and sugar. If I want to avoid salt I just have to eat something sweet. No problem. I s’pose I’ll just have some cookies and chocolate milk. ^_^ I need to treat myself after all this stress. Okeydoke, here goes….


“Yes!” I proclaimed, because when I have a craving for something salty, the first things I think of are f**king chocolate milk and cookies! I have to admit that seeing this inspired me. Really; I wanted to not only match such a high level of sodium achievement, I wanted to surpass it. So, long story short, I poisoned you. Well, OK, let’s not get too far ahead. Putting way too much salt in things is a longstanding tradition that I proudly copied with little-to-no research and carried on zealously with just as much pride. You’ll notice, good sir, that most of these products are manufactured by your company. I wondered to myself, “What kind of monster would want to slowly erode the health of whatever saps purchase their foodstuffs?” And when wondering to myself yielded unacceptably sparse information, I wondered to your receptionist instead. Now, you’d really think that a girl whose job is to protect mounds of sensitive information wouldn’t be so willing to part with it, but if you cared about little but important details, then your food wouldn’t be loaded with enough salt to bury Bonneville now, would it!? So shortly thereafter I called you with my concerns and implored you to stop putting salt in things. Not one of my most eloquent moments, I know. You did not listen. In fact, you talked over me to have your bodyguards kick me to the curb. It’s fine, though. I didn’t mind one bit. Getting my lip stitched in the hospital is one of my long-time hobbies.

By now I’m expecting that the judge wants me to apologize yet again for following you around and slipping salt into everything you ate (and drank). So with that in mind, I can say that I am truly, deeply apologetic. I apologize quite profusely. Have an apology or two more on the house, bud. Whatever will help to bridge this gap that has separated us. This is utterly heartbreaking. People aren’t meant to be eternally kept apart! How did we ever get to the point where we can’t even be in the same room together? Anyway, after the judge granted you a restraining order against me, I knew that I had been beaten. You didn’t get the message and your food would continue to have too much salt, arguably as severe a crime as genocide and slavery, at least from a first-world man’s perspective. Anyway, I had another trick up my sleeve. You see, I knew your dining preferences and I knew that you were going to be taking Ella out for a delightful evening. Which meant that my revenge was at hand! All I needed was a position as head chef.

“If you look at my credentials, you’ll see that they are totally legit, bro.”

Oh, I learned how to cook, all right. I learned how to cook like a boss–specifically, a boss overseeing workers in the salt mines. My two main ingredients are food coloring and salt with no anti-caking agents so it clumps into whatever shape I want. I also may or may not have used pheromones to make you attracted to the “Chef’s Dinner Scraps” entry.

“Hey, sexy! Lemme get yo number, girl!”

I’ve done things I’m not proud of, OK? The point is I had to make certain that you knew of my holy mission. You minorly inconvenienced me with your salty nonsense, sir. And now my plan was to reciprocally inconvenience you… by giving you heart disease. Anyhoo, you fell right into my trap and I had the waiter bring out my magnum opus, my piece de resistance: a plate of chicken nuggets.

“Truly, that man is the legit-est head chef we’ve ever had.”

I’m sure you know the rest of the story from here. You took one bite and vomited, simultaneously had a heart attack, yadda yadda, next thing we know you’re lying in a hospital bed and I’m consoling your wife with my penis. It’s the oldest story in the book. I just hope that we can put the past behind us. I shouldn’t blame you for this whole spiel, even though you have access to the internet and could plainly see that too much salt is bad for your heart and then give an order to your subordinates to put less salt in your food so that you could maybe not be partially responsible for 25% of all deaths in the US.

But why not let bygones be bygones, eh? I’m willing to be the bigger man here. Mahatma Gandhi is often attributed as saying “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” This would be the same Gandhi who made his own salt. Anyway, I took his advice to heart and I decided to do something about it. So I acquired a very large sum of Potassium-40 and irradiated every major source of salt I could think of. If I know my economics right, the value of salt should shoot up to $5,000/lb. So you don’t have to worry about following your doctor’s orders of maintaining a salt-free diet. Another bright side is that I’m starting my own distribution company! My salt packaging plant is expected to be so profitable I’ll retire at 40! I’ll make a killing!

Na Na Na Na Na,

Misanthrope Man


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