red beans and rice ingredients

Red beans and rice

February 4, 2021

   It happened again, just the other night. I’d gotten up from the couch, a rare enough daily occurrence that it prompted a comment from Carol. At the time, I was headed for the freezer to take out some cornbread for dinner that evening. The cornbread was to go with the red beans and rice I had taken out earlier. Carol’s comment had struck me as one similar in content to the contradiction that is the New Orleans favorite of red beans and rice. I thought, “Here’s a blog!”

   You see, the thing about red beans and rice is that it’s not in any way a balanced meal. It’s starch on top of starch. It occupies the same plane on the food pyramid. Throw in a few squares of cornbread on the side, and you don’t have a food pyramid anymore, you have a food trapezoid or something. Maybe a food oval. It explains why the old joke about obesity applies especially to New Orleanians. ( Q. Why are New Orleanians like state police cruisers? A. It only takes two to block a highway.)

It explains why the old joke about obesity applies especially to New Orleanians. ( Q. Why are New Orleanians like state police cruisers? A. It only takes two to block a highway.)

   Anyway, the contradiction of red beans and rice struck me as a perfect metaphor for the remark Carol had made when I’d gotten off the couch. But by the time I’d returned to the couch, the remark, the metaphor and the whole blog was gone into a dementia dead zone. ( I should note the distance from the couch to the freezer is about 15 feet, and I’d found the cornbread right away. So the whole round-trip took well less than a minute.) The phenomenon is quite similar to my walking into a room and forgetting why I did. Since I’ve pretty much been doing that my whole life, I ascribe it to my head being perennially in the clouds, rather than anything that could lead to a clinical diagnosis.

  I sat in misery trying to resurrect the blog idea, but my mind was so blank I couldn’t even provide reasonable clues to help Carol remember what she’d said. “I need to start carrying around a dictaphone,” I muttered dejectedly. Carol looked at me as if I’d just emerged from a decades-long coma. “A dictaphone?” She asked. “Do they even make those anymore?” (She Googled it, and they don’t. And from the images she showed me, it wasn’t something you could just carry around anyway.)

   She did find an app, though, that amounts to the 21st century version of a dictaphone. She downloaded it directly to my home page on my phone. Now if I have a blog thought, I can immediately record it to the app for later use, as long as I remember to keep my phone with me. I tried it out and it truly works. Now I can be like that annoying Alan Alda character in Crimes and Misdemeanors.

   The red beans and rice were delicious, by the way. And so was the cornbread. We completed the starch trifecta with one of Carol’s homemade chocolate chip cookies. We ate it all on the couch during episodes of Outlander. Soon, we’ll be able to take walks and block highways just like New Orleanians.

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