Monday, October 18, 2021

Corned Beef Hash as The Exemplar of Hope

"CBH Landscape", not photographed by Ansel Adams

5% of my limited reservoir of hopefulness traces to the childhood revelation that home fries are served with CBH (corned beef hash, duh), even though the latter's already rife with spuds. This is an aberration, an inexplicable exception to the fundamental starch rule of American cuisine. That's just not how it works. And yet, here we are.

I discovered this at the same time that substitue-school-busdriver Walter Crowther first appeared, offering bubble gum from a cardboard crate on the floor next to his seat as we climbed aboard. The world doesn’t work that way! Bus drivers are sullen creeps! The situation refused to compute. It was, in the purest sense, an Easter Egg.

Both are very small things, I know. So I seem daffy to carry on about them. By the same token, no one, before Chowhound, could fathom why I made such a fuss over muffins and tacos. To many, I appear to be perennially frothing at the mouth over trifles. I seem unhinged.

My old explanation for driving out of my way for slightly better brownies remains effective: the bad things of our world are super-apparent*. Unmissable, overbearing, and right in our faces. So the smartest way to survive our residency here is to seek consolation in delightful minutae. That's how I developed my devotion to nano-aesthetics. That’s my world, now, because that's how I frame things. That's how I pay attention.
* - The world's torments absorb our attention because we've completely taken for granted the great gifts, e.g. copious free sunlight and oxygen, and strangers who'll make sacrifices to help us not die. We are ungrateful creatures; princesses constantly scanning for mattress peas. It's just how we're wired.
It still astonishes me, after all these years, that the world harbors Easter eggs. They must never be unappreciated. I feel such pity for the vast majority who don't even watch for them, and who scarcely value them when they notice. I once observed that if trees had never existed and sprung up overnight, people would be driven insane by the beauty. And then there's my Corn Flakes theory (originally offered here, though I've improved it):
Corn Flakes causes amnesia. The moment you start eating them, you enter a deep bliss state which is utterly forgotten after the final bite, as you snap back to your previous opinion: Meh. Corn Flakes. Whatever.

If aliens visited and tasted Corn Flakes, and were told they were available anywhere on the planet for mere pennies, they'd assume we're a race of angels, enjoying a heavenly existence.
This doesn't seem like an Easter Eggy world. Sure, that's paradoxical, as Easter eggs are always jarringly surprising (that's what makes them Easter eggs). But still!

Warning: When you really delve into the religion of Apprecianity, and the related field of nano-aesthetics, you may begin to behave strangely. I lightly thrill whenever I'm served flexi-straws (so much better!). I was moved by automated vaccine followup check-ins. And I can get a little emotional whenever I rediscover that people come in the night to take away my garbage (in what other facet of life are non-zillionaires so dependably pampered and serviced?).

There is peril in noticing nano-miracles and appreciating Easter eggs. You could find yourself growing happier than you'd intended. You might even turn into a complete idiot, gleeful at banal inanities, and letting go of the ball - failing to keep your eye firmly on the ever-vanishing prize no one's ever actually won or seen or can really even describe.

No comments:

Blog Archive