Thursday, September 08, 2005

"C" Words......Part One

This was once a food-related blog. Let us try again.

I am becoming obsessed with the political realities and ignoring the the social and nutritional. Last night with the Stanford kids I went on a rant: Mark Shelley was our guest to talk about environmental activism, and I interrupted to blab on and on about Barbara Bush (Dad was a Nazi?......nice kids, Barb. Nice attitude to the poor....sadly the underpriveleged ARE accustomed to murder, rape, robbery and senseless death....), Aaron Broussard (with Ray Nagin, the Rudy Giuliani of New Orleans?).....Veterans for Peace (Cindy Sheehan's bus-driving crew, now in Covington, LA).......and the story no one knows about (two guys were arrested under terrorism laws in Jefferson Parish after being caught severing fiber optic and phone lines leaving the city. Upon arrest they produced credentials from the Department of Homeland Security!! There used to be a saying that ANY press was good apparently NO press is good press. If it is not reported, it didn't happen.) After what I hope was only five minutes of foaming at the mouth, Stuart gently interrupted and steered us back on track. I think my point may have been that passive environmental activism is pointless in the face of such an aggressively incompetent and repressive administration. Time to impeach or dig up the .50 cal's and wipe off the cosmoline.

So, to the C-Words.......Words so awful they are not to be spoken aloud. Like Yahweh, in the old days.

Number One C-Word: Coffee. Can everyone please agree that coffee is a morning drink? As a company, we refuse to serve coffee after 3pm. After noon, it is no longer a stimulating beverage accompanied by a comforting social ritual: it is a drug. In the same way that caterers are not usually expected to bring bongs, roach clips, glass pipes, butane torches, syringes, cotton balls or spoons.....we should not have to deal with coffee on a mass basis in the evening. No one drinks it but the few befuddled addicts. If you need coffee after 3pm, be prepared to make it yourself in the hostess' Mr. Coffee. Or, be patient until the caterer has done the other 200 things for the other hundred guests and can assist you. If you want a bitter black liquid after 3pm, try a Guinness!

Full coffee service costs about $40 per cup. Think of it: You need a cup, a saucer and a teaspoon (notice it is not called a COFFEE spoon!) for each guest. These rent for about half a buck each for commercial quality china and flatware. Then you need a staff member to pack, transport, unload and set up said cups and saucers. Then, of course, you need cream, non-fat milk, soy milk, sugar, Sweet and Lo, Aleve or whatever that blue stuff is and containers to hold each of them. And airpots and decanters for the coffee. And a percolator....which cost more than $100 each and survive being transported about five times. Then, of course you need at least one server to buss the mess, repack everything, re-transport it and return it to the rental company or the storage. Oh, and the coffee. Oh, and decaff.

For a party of 100: China and flatware $150. Other rental stuff $25; Sugar, liquids, fake sugar $15; Coffee and decaff $25 for two pounds; table and linen for setup $25; worker to deal with it 7 hours at $25 per hour. Total cost $415, not including tax and gratuity. Of the 100 guests, experience shows that maybe 6-8 people will want a cup.....typically no one at all. At $415 for 8 pay more than $50 per cup. Oral sex for the guests might be cheaper, and more appreciated. Or bring them real drugs.....

Stay tuned for the next C-Words: Champagne toast and wedding Coordinators.


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