without a definite route

that’s some patriotism right there

on February 27, 2007

in october 2004, josh and i were the recipients of a most excellent trip to paris. nana (at that point, she was zoe’s nana and emmit’s nana-to-be) was the generous gift giver and co-traveler. we researched the trip in our own styles, i looked online and read books, josh asked people for their suggestions. i was particularly interested in museums. josh prepared his required eating list. nana was already there and, i think, was pretty much up for anything as long as we were together. it was a wonderful, fun and relaxed trip. with all the little tricks she knows, nana could be a professional traveler. she’s not crazy about staying in hotels, so she found an amazing apartment for us, which let us pretend we actually lived there by, among other things, allowing us to do our own morning routine: i made coffee and heated milk on the stove, josh went hunting – or was it gathering? – delicacies from the many nearby neighborhood patisseries and nana prepared the tour books so we could figure out our plans for the day during breakfast. in a word? heavenly.

recently, i was eating something that reminded me, texturally, of a dish i had ordered in paris that turned out to be skate (related to sting ray) loaf. it was kind of like fish loaf only skatier. i still shudder at the thought of the white gelatinous rectangle the waiter put in front of me. he smiled a little smarmy frenchy smile because he knew that i knew that he knew that i didn’t know what i had ordered. so much passed through our brief eye contact. he could see right through my brave-trying-to-be-oh-so-classy-but-really-hoping-not-to-vomit front.

meanwhile, josh had obsessed for weeks about getting a plat de la fruits du mer. a chef friend told him to order it wherever he could. it was an enormous platter filled with all kinds of fish, oysters, shrimp (with faces!), mussels, clams, scallops. it practically took up the entire table and had enough seafood on it to stock a not-so-small aquarium. josh was overwhelmed, but – i thought – satisfied. it was more than he could eat, even with a little help from nana and me.

while reminiscing the other night, josh said that he had been disappointed by the “bullshit dipping sauces” that came with it. there were only two, a mayonnaise and a red wine vinegar (which he dubbed the “i surrender sauces,” which is probably funnier if you’re a republican).

i then asked what sauces he would have liked. his reply?

“well, of course, some basic garlic butter, some nacho cheese, some ketchup, some cajun ketchup, some kickin’ cajun ketchup, some triple xxx kickin’ cajun ketchup and some nasty nascar, which, as we all know, is just mayonnaise and kickin’ ketchup.”

he paused, smiled then added, “that’s not even getting into the ranch family.”


4 responses to “that’s some patriotism right there

  1. Nana says:

    oh, you so just made my day!!! I’m sitting in my office, went to ramblinjaq hoping for more emmit movies, a highly addictive fix, only to find this hysterical account of one of the many wonderful special vignettes (do the French have a word for that?) from our Paris adventure. What fabulous memories, but how hysterically funny too. I did not remember the paucity of dipping sauces with the megaseafood display, but do recall the uber-eater Josh being rather intimidated by the hugeness of his order. Which is as it should have been, of course. The list of potential sauces that COULD have been supplied is a riot too, but I love imagining the look on all our faces if the somewhat snobby waiter (??) showed up with a good old bottle of american ranch dressing!? I love you so and you’re a great writer. BTW, minor editorial correction: Nana to Emmit-to-be! More Emmit videos. We want more Emmit videos!!!

  2. ramblinjaq says:

    good point, nana! you already were & emmit was to-be. duh. i almost just spit out my coffee at your mention of whether or not the french have a word for “vignettes.”

    oh, yeah. when’s our next trip?

  3. serge says:

    i always knew josh was a smart man.

    if you are really bored some weekend, jim davis’ owns a place in muncie with a plat de la fruits du mer. or it did in 1995.

    when J and i were first dating, we got that with veal medallions and poultry on the side.

    dual carnivore-ism: quell roman-tique!

  4. lmb says:

    Was emmit even to-be, though? He was conceived yet, only hoped for. Can you to-be if you’re not-already?

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