From OpenTable (the restaurant guide/reservation service):
“Bistro Z is the premier destination restaurant in Westchester County. We exceed all of our guests expectations by serving only the finest quality food.”
Rocky wonders: “How LOW can expectations be?”
Skinflint. Miser. Penny-pincher. Frugal. Tightwad.
All of these adjectives describe Rocky in most matters. However, Rocky throws open his wallet and spares no expense for three important purchase categories: automobile tires, bath towels, and orange marmalade.
During her recent two-day trip to London, Trophy Wife’s marching orders were clear: find a jar of Fortnum & Mason’s finest Orange Marmalade, and carry it home for Rocky’s (discount) crackers and crumpets.
Trophy Wife scored a bottle of “Wake-Up Marmalade” early in the day, and all was well until Heathrow Airport Security seized the jar from her luggage as a “security threat.” Horrified, humiliated, and fearing the “Wrath of Rocky,” she ran to the Airport’s Duty-Free Shop, where she fortuitously found the marmalade section next to the Cuban cigars and over-priced single malt scotch. Unfortunately, the Duty-Free Shop’s marmalade selection was sparse, and she selected a jar of Sir Nigel’s Orange Marmalade. (Fortnum & Mason produces more than 40 marmalade varieties.)
From the marmalade bottle: “Noted 1920’s actor-manager, Sir Nigel Playfair was used to getting what he wanted – like the thick-cut, tough-guy marmalade remembered from his childhood rather than the effete flapper versions fashionable at the time.”
After sampling the marvelous marmalade on generic Stop&Shop water biscuits, Rocky agreed that he would no longer consume “effete” American marmalade . A tough guy like Rocky deserves a tough-guy marmalade. But in a show of tenderness, Rocky thanked Trophy Wife profusely for her valiant efforts, and gave her a sticky peck on the cheek.
[Disclosure: Terrorists should note that airport security will detect explosives dissolved in blood orange marmalade . ]
At the behest of his daughter, Rocky sampled his first “Pinkberry” frozen yogurt in New York City’s Greenwich Village on Sunday. Pinkberry has a cult following, and it was time for Rocky to audition for the cult.
The small cup of plain with two toppings cost $6.25 — and while Rocky found the concoction uninspiring — he found the profit potential intriguing.
An unscientific 10 minute demographic survey revealed all of the customers in the store were ultra-skinny women under the age of 30 and just one skinny man (whose attire and makeup were sexually ambiguous.) Judging from their fluency in Pinkberry nomenclature, all were regular customers. The tiny store was grossing over $300/hour — on a cold, rainy March afternoon!
Rocky started salivating. Not from the yogurt. From the profit potential!
But before he could grow lascivious about live cultures, Rocky looked out the window and noticed two stores across the street with “Opening Soon” banners in their window. Red Mango and “YourGurt” had Pinkberry’s prodigious profits in their sights. A frozen yogurt war would soon commence — and monopoly yogurt profits would undoubtedly become the first casualty….
[Disclosure: All that glitters isn’t gold, and all that shines isn’t Pinkberry pomegranate with strawberries. But the jingle is worth a listen: click here. ]
Flush with profits from a recent trade (and a 20% discount coupon), Rocky headed to his local CVS/Pharmacy to treat himself to an indulgence.
He passed on the bubble bath. (skin allergies)
He passed on the organic chocolate bars. (weight gain)
He passed on the automatic blood pressure monitor. (don’t ask, don’t tell)
He settled on Yoshi Blade — “the one knife whose sharpness is guaranteed.”
Rocky enjoys late-night informercials, hence he knew Yoshi Blade is a ceramic knife that’s guaranteed to stay sharp; won’t rust or pit; can replace a drawer full of metal knives; is made of natural eco-friendly materials; and its design is ideal for precision cutting and thin slicing.
After paying $18, he headed home and severely gashed his finger while opening the sharp plastic wrapper. Alas, Rocky discovered that the plastic wrapper would prove to be a better knife than Yoshi Blade (as seen on TV).
“When all else fails, read the instructions,” thought Rocky.
Fearful of a paper cut, Rocky carefully unfolded Yoshi Blade Care and Maintenance Guide, (a booklet containing more detail than his Dell Computer User Guide.)
From the Guide: (verbatim)
- DO NOT use Yoshi Blade or the side of the blade to chop food.
- DO NOT use Yoshi Blade to cut frozen food.
- DO NOT use Yoshi Blade to cut hard cheeses.
- DO NOT use Yoshi Blade for carving poultry or meat with bones.
- DO NOT cut on ceramic plates, marble, stone, glass or tile.
- DO NOT bend, twist, pry or apply force on the tip or side of the blade.
- DO NOT use Yoshi Blade to smash garlic or other foods with the side of the blade.
- DO NOT place Yoshi Blade in or near open flame or heat source, as ceramic blade will get hot.
- Yoshi Blade is NOT dishwasher safe. Hand wash only in warm water with mild soap and never let Yoshi Blade soak in water for any period of time.
Rocky thought he understood the instructions. Yoshi Blade cannot be used for cutting, carving, chopping, twisting, stirring or any other activity normally reserved for knives.
(It suddenly became clear how Yoshi Blade can replace a drawer full of metal knives: put Yoshi Blade in a drawer, and order Chinese Take-Out.)
[Disclosure: Rocky lives dangerously. He put Yoshi Blade in his dishwasher. ]
Rocky always looks for an “edge” in his market speculations, but rarely finds one.
In contrast, Rocky always looks for an “edge” in his brownies, and often finds one. As any brownie aficionado knows, the crispy, chewy edges are the best part of a brownie. Rocky’s technique is to cut the crispy, delicious edge from around an entire brownie pan, and leave the gooey middle bulk for lesser mortals.
This habit always drove Rocky’s daughter crazy, as she would bake a gorgeous fresh pan of brownies — and return to find all of the crust surgically removed and only mutilated innards remaining.
Rocky’s daughter gave her dad a birthday present that solved the problem: The Baker’s Edge Brownie Pan. This cleverly designed pan has a maze shape, so that every brownie has a chewy, crispy edge. Rocky thought the invention to be brilliant and dubbed it “his best birthday present ever.” (Except for the birthday when Trophy Wife rented a full-size excavator for a day, and Rocky and his friends dug some holes for fun.)
Here’s the amazon.com link to the brownie pan:
[Disclosure: The first batch of brownies was magnificent. Every brownie had two crispy/chewy edges, and some brownies had three edges!]
Back by popular (or unpopular) demand, Rocky asks his readers, “What’s this food?” As always, the winner will receive a unique prize of dubious monetary value.
Hints: This food was purchased at the local Whole Foods Store. It’s certified organic. They are a dried fruit. And this fruit is mentioned in a popular children’s book.(In the Humbert Household, Whole Foods is not-so-affectionately known as “Whole Wallet” … which is a reference to its prices. But they sure have some wierd stuff!)
[Disclosure: “Big Al” won the last Name-this-Food contest with a correct guess of a British Pub Pickle&Cheese Bap. If this were the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes, Big Al would be ineligible. But this isn’t the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes, and Big Al is invited to participate!]
As a valued Admirals Club® member, we want you to be the first to know that beginning October 1, 2010, American will offer alcoholic beverages, including wine, beer and spirits, free of charge to customers visiting any of our domestic clubs, in addition to complimentary coffee, tea, soft drinks and juices. Domestic clubs will offer well brand liquors, house wine and beer as a complimentary service on October 1st.” Menu items vary by location, and include fresh salads, sandwiches, hot entrees and small bites. All menu items are available to enjoy in the club or for carry-out.
Rocky appreciates the gesture, and instead of visiting his local Applebees or TGIF, he’s planning to “hang out” at the Admirals Club, where he can throw back a “cold one” while charging his cellphone. He also expects that American may discover a surge in Admiral Club membership in college towns.
[Disclosure: Rocky has no position in American Airlines (AMR) , Applebees (DIN), or BUD stock. But he may re-examine a three-way-arbitrage….in the morning.]