markets, product review, rant

It Could Have Reminded Me of A Lot of Things.

1. UPDATE: that brie canadien i was trash-talking last week was Emma brand, so’s you know. can’t find a website for them, but you’ll in all likelihood know it to see the logo. sorry emma.

2. Duck Eggs. i’ve been eatin’ ’em. they’re considerably more expensive than hen eggs (6$ for 1doz, as opposed to 6$ for 30 from Capitaine D’Oeuf at Jean Talon), but i thought What The Hey, i love eggs and i hate ducks, so let’s see what can be made of this. the eggs have slightly more oblong shape and sturdier shell, which has made for some hard times in the cracking, but i’m getting used to it. had to stab one of them with a fork today, but i shouldn’t take my ineptitude as representative. the yolks, as compared to the hen eggs (also organic, and free-run or otherwise well-treated) also from Mr. Oeuf, are a little paler and larger, and the whites somewhat more gelatinous. i described them to someone yesterday as “more like gristle” (eliciting predictable, if unintended revulsion), but i think gelatinous says it better. they also remain a little more translucent, which unfortunately translates to looking a little grey, and seem less creamy. duck eggs are apparently noted for their gaminess (uh, gamey-ness?), but i didn’t notice any appreciable difference.  also, the yolks are usually darker orange, but this is diet-dependent. all in all? interesting, now i know, but i’ll stick to the chickens, thanks.

3. this whole Duck Egg Affair reminded me of puns, and some thinking about them that i’ve been doing.

that’s not totally accurate. the duck eggs reminded me of that far side cartoon with a bunch of animals hanging out and one of them yells “duck!” and they all duck as a duck flies overhead (as if thrown, not flying under its own power, which i maintain is essential to the cartoon’s effectiveness). which in turn reminded me of puns (being one), and how i’ve been meaning to think more about them.

because i’m conflicted.

on the one hand, i disagree with Samuel Johnson’s oft-quoted dismissal of the pun as the “lowest form of humour,” because it simply isn’t so – puns rely on a facility with language of both the speaker and the hearer, exploiting the ambiguity of a given language in ways that may range from merely superficial homophonic resemblance to subtle historical, literary or political significance. further, they need not be employed solely for humorous effect, for they occur all over the place from the Bible to Nabokov to Military iconography, performing artful involutions that may be merely clever or form part of an architecture of symbolic depth and complexity. punning, even at its worst and certainly at its best, can be said to insinuate the spatial complexity and hidden structures of language (in general and in particular languages, in apparent isolation or in defiance of this appearance, in the case of interlingual puns).

on the other, i absolutely want to throttle Shelagh Rogers, and bomb the entire writing staff of As It Happens off the face of the goddamn earth.

i just can’t stand it – i guess because they’re so frequent it feels mandatory, rote (in the particular case of the CBC). it’s like they have a quota and you end up with this deluge of seemingly awful (although perhaps not so bad if taken in the proper time, place, and proportion?) puns, and as with all humour, cooking, i guess all life – sacrifice timing and discretion and you just have an obnoxious, tasteless (or noxious, abrasive) mess.

newspapers are terrible for this as well, and OFTLOG (Oh For The Love Of God),both themed mystery and paranormal romance novels. seriously. it’s awful. i don’t know who established the trend, but terrible puns in combination with literary or pop culture references abound, spun, however, to the extreme that they no longer really refer to anything, or at least the choice of the title incorporating the reference often bears no relation to the content of the referent. or little enough. “Demons Are A Ghoul’s Best Friend”? seriously? seriously?

anyway. you know there is a series of White House Chef Mystery novels? heck yeah there is.

okay, i’m just ranting now. i recognize this, and i recognize that i too trade both heavily and freely in puns here, and for the sake of good taste, i’m trying to rein it in. every time i am tempted toward paronomasia in my post titling, i stop and ask myself if there isn’t an obscure or totally oblique literary or musical reference i could be using. out of respect for the medium. you know.

why do you suppose i find Eggspectations more annoying than Quoi De N’Oeuf (“quoi de neuf” = “what’s new?” although in my head the restaurant was always Quoi D’Un Oeuf, which would mean something like “what, but an egg?” if it actually translated and was something people said, which i guess it isn’t, but i still prefer it to reality, i must say)? because of the french? probably.

(honestly, i’m not sure what i would consider the ‘lowest’ form of humour. scat humour and slapstick offer themselves as likely candidates. both if which i love, and which i think require a certain amount of artistry in order to be done right. even the qualifier “done right” suggests a certain amount of conversation with or self-awareness of their own histories as forms of humour, which seems like a typically academic (read: snobbish) move. like, “I like toilet humour, but only smart toilet humour.” i don’t mean to say oh, i only love Rabelais and Chaplin (what is the distinction between slapstick and physical comedy? does slapstick suggest a move toward cartoonishness? beyond the realm of the believable, vs. say, Gregory Peck tripping over a barcalounger?), because, like a guy falling off a building and landing on a toilet, preferably totally shattering the porcelain and his ribs and collarbone in the process, is pretty funny.

pretty, pretty funny.


6 thoughts on “It Could Have Reminded Me of A Lot of Things.

  1. emily says:

    WE TRIED THE GOOSE EGGS! as it turns out, they are either less-different from a hen egg than a duck egg is, or i’ve just fallen off the edge and can no longer tell the taste of one kind of poultry ovum from another. i can tell you, though, they they are HUGE (an omelette made with one goose egg easily matched one made with three hen eggs) and they lack the extraordinary pinky translucence of the duck egg-shell (but are clearly equally if not more hard to break).

  2. y says:

    it’s easier to crack eggs (and a cleaner crack, less broken shells) on a flat surface. i don’t know if you tried that or on a rim.
    i’ve never eaten duck eggs, but i ate turtle eggs once and they were slimy as hell. the white never congealed, and just turned grey. it was visually repulsive but very tasty.

  3. Renée says:

    1. I thought that sarcasm was the lowest form of wit, according, I think, to Oscar Wilde. But I think both play on words and clever sarcasm can be brilliant. I encourage you to embrace the pun shamelessly and fearlessly exult in the results.

    2. Why do you hate ducks?

    3. My grandfather was a great lover of eggs, and he always used a fork to crack them. He’d hold one egg in one hand and sharply strike the egg with the fork in the other (obviously, duh). It’s far more elegant and precise. Try it!

    4. I went to Le Capitaine yesterday at the J.T.M. and thought of this entry. I am even less interested in duck eggs now that I’ve read. Gristle? Gag!

    • stillcrapulent says:

      you got me on two counts – one, i don’t actually hate ducks, and two (this is more of a halfie) – it was not samuel johnson but john dennis who said “A pun is the lowest form of wit” (Get Thee To A Punnery, Richard Lederer, 1988), however i’m willing to believe wilde said something of the sort about sarcasm.

      he certainly wouldn’t have about puns though, i can’t imagine.

  4. caitlin says:

    ah! i’ve always wondered about duck eggs. i ate a quail egg once by pure accident since it was inside what i thought was a delightful little puffy pastry. it was so slimy and gooey and horrible, but that might have been on account of its surprise to my mouth. eggs are my favourite new discussion subject these days! i’m keeping chickens in my backyard and they are freaky freaky… the day i introduced 8 chickens from this evicted punk house to the yard with the original 3, one of the three got all stressed out and layed an egg without a shell in the middle of the yard and one of the new punk chickens came up and ate it! and once one of the older hens layed a soft shell that felt like a water balloon. otherwise, all goes well and the eggs get eaten or traded for other snacks.

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