Monday, June 20, 2011

Spread Eagle - "Switchblade Serenade" (1990)

My friend Shawn loves switchblades more than I *heart* Nutella.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - "Spread Your Love" (2000)

My friend Pete loves this band more than I *heart* Nutella.

A Toast To Nutella

Sliced bread is often the measuring stick for great inventions. Because a toaster can be used to heat it, the countertop appliance has to rank among our finest creations. I mean, when was the last time you ate a butter sandwich on two pieces of Wonder straight from the package? Skippy and Smucker's love the added crunch of their structural supports. Oscar Mayer and French's long for kisses from the Nature's Own twins on the "3" setting. Drowned in a pool of Hellmann's, one Star Kist jar extends no apologies to Charlie for choosing the well-to-do toasted rye over an expired, crumbly white loaf from the 39-cent store. A block of 30-year-old government cheese finally melts and reaches for the rays of Sunbeam instead of the lower crust from Bottom Dollar. Gwaltney Big 8's and Heinz on Mary Jane... Whoa, dawg! Gotta put the brakes on that bakery truck but fast! Three culinary dictums are in violation here: 1)Hot dogs not made with beef suck harder than a leech on Lady Gaga, 2)Hot dogs and ketchup go together like Curt Schilling at Barry Bonds' birthday party and 3)Hot dogs should only be served on buns.

Back in the bread line, Arnold 100% Whole Wheat is bored with the old stand-bys and craves a different sort of spreadable substance. Noxzema? OK, not THAT different. Fresh from a satisfying session with the heat lamps, the Arnie Sisters decide to moisturize their faces with rich 'n' creamy Nutella. Fortified by hazelnuts (over 50 per jar!), cocoa and skim milk, the nostrils get the first treats. Nuts and chocolate combine for an aroma that pleases like Toll Houses from Mom's oven or the Sara Lee plant in Suffolk during peak hours. If you're the kind of "just looking" irritant who sniffs Yankee Candles at Becky's Hallmark for almost an hour, add a wick to your roomie's Nutella jar and inhale away. Smearing the spread on the Arnie slices, you may wonder if the frosting-like texture blends well with bread. The concern isn't unfounded. After all, you wouldn't put mustard or mayonnaise on a cake. Doubt not, Duncan Hines, for Nutella is a near-perfect complement to wheat toast. Due to the hazelnuts' presence, what immediately comes to mind are those tasty candies from Ferrero Rocher. During the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, I've been known to devour more than my fair share of the gold-wrapped chocolates. If the mallet-wielding wooden soldier from grade-school field trips to Chrysler Hall is responsible for smashing the FRs in order to make a delicious spread, my inner 12-year-old thanks him. Stanley Roper and the cuckoo bird employed by General Mills would strongly approve of the cocoa flavoring. When he wasn't busy with binoculars, perhaps the leering landlord enjoyed Nutella sandwiches prepared by his perpetually horny wife. There have been questions (and even a lawsuit) regarding the healthiness of the product. Maybe Nutella is "good for you" in the same way as Reagan's ketchup packets (It's a vegetable!) or Michael Evans' favorite health tonic (18% alcohol!).

Vita-Brite might be Dyn-O-Mite, but Nutella is the freakin' A-bomb! Pair your covered toast with sensible choices such as apples, pears, strawberries, peaches, orange juice and Minnie Driver.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Exploding Hearts - "Sleeping Aides And Razor Blades" (2003)

It's a little offbeat, and it ain't in tune.

Blitz - "Razors In The Night" (1982)

You better watch out.

Flex Your Face

Since first lifting a razor to my cheeks in the mid 1980s, I have never maintained a consistent shaving schedule. The average length of time between facial mowings has fallen in the range of 9-12 days. I am not a hippie. There are probably more Grateful Dead albums in Donald Trump's music collection than mine. I am not a hipster. For all I know, Sufjan Stevens' middle name is Suck. I am not Kenny Rogers. Eating unlimited servings of rotisserie chicken and corn muffins gratis for life makes me wish I were, though. What's my excuse? Aside from general laziness and apathy, the task of shaving has never been an enjoyable activity. Whenever I find my way to the sink, the usual plan of attack is to gather a straw basket of new and used disposable razors, grab a holey washcloth from the hall closet, drench my face in hot water to open the pores, coat the mug in creamy Barbasol and maneuver the cheap instrument in downward motions. Invariably, the one-bladers are quickly jammed with stubble, the ends of the cloth are used to remove it, my face is covered in more blood than an MMA octagon, the foam is fizzled and the razors are duller than my perception of "The English Patient."

Detroit Pistons power forward Charlie Villanueva has probably never received a Norelco for his birthday. Afflicted with an autoimmune skin disease known as alopecia universalis, he lacks the ability to grow hair anywhere on his body. Though the condition is otherwise harmless, Villanueva had to endure painful trash talk from the Boston Celtics' Kevin Garnett. During a heated tussle between the two, KG called his opponent a "cancer patient." By comparison, Villanueva's worst moment in the NBA was posting to his Twitter account during a game.

Do I envy Villanueva's hairlessness? No, but I'll gladly take a portion of the $35 million contract he signed in 2009. Dough in hand, I'd fill a shopping cart with BiC Flex 4 razors. I tested one for the first time last week, and the experience was a rare treat on my skin. Why hadn't I previously reveled in the joys of a smooth shave? The Flex 4's multiple blades cut through stubborn hair with the force of a Dyson vacuum on a dishrag, yet the pivoting head and sturdy handle offered the control of Danny Sullivan during his 1985 Indianapolis 500 triumph. The aloe- and vitamin E-coated conditioning strip glided gently on my face. No shrapnel was trapped between the blades. Blood remained flowing internally, thus vacating the need to cover cuts with wet bathroom tissue. Forgoing the cloth, I ended the session with an extremely hot towel across the scalped areas. A satisfying end to a super shearing!

Should I adopt Mon/Wed/Fri or Mon/Thur/Sun as my new schedule? I'll get back to you in 9-12 days.