Thursday, April 1, 2010

Out of this World!!!*

When it comes to trite and corny phrases, you just can’t beat conversations about food and restaurants. 

A couple of weeks ago, I ran into Len Farbman and his wife, Sheila. Farbman prides himself on checking out all the new Philly restaurants, and he mentioned he’d just eaten in a place named Chez Nouveau  which had just opened in Northern Liberties.

I asked about the food. 

“Out of this World!” exclaimed Farbman! “Their food is out of this world!”

“And the clams casino are To Die For!” chimed in Mrs. Farbman.

This came me some pause. What exactly do such overblown statements mean? The only food substance I’m aware of which is usually found out of this world is Tang.

And an ideal, like freedom, maybe is worth dying for. Spending a night with Scarlett Johansson might also be something to die for, and of course, it would almost certainly kill me. But I’m not going to lay down my life for a plate of bivalve mollusks, no matter how delicious they are in a garlic sauce!

I resolved then and there that I would always strive for greater precision when describing anything as important as my evening dinner.

The following week, I took my son Brandon out to dinner with the Farbmans at the very same restaurant in Northern Liberties. Scarcely had the first course been served when a grinning Farbman leaned over and asked me “How’d you like the Snapper Soup?”

“Out of this State!” I replied. “In fact, I’d say it’s half-way to Trenton.” It really was good, but a trifle too salty to qualify for lift off from the earth’s atmosphere.

I ordered the roast beef as my main course. Unfortunately it was a bit overdone and stringy. “How’s that roast beef?” Farbman was quick to ask. “Out of this world, I’ll bet!”

“Out of this County,” I answered diplomatically. Poor Farbman appeared crestfallen! I hadn’t the heart to tell him that my Chef’s Salad, overladen with cheese croutons which I really hate, was barely “out of this room.” I wished it had at least been “out of this building” so I could have trashed it in the alley while he wasn’t looking.

Meanwhile on their recommendation, Brandon was eating the clams casino and Sheila was plotzing to hear how Brandon was enjoying them. Sheila Farbman, by the way, is a person so discerning she thinks Health Care Reform is a branch of Judaism reserved exclusively for hypochondriacs.

“Brandon, I can tell by the look on your face,” she rhapsodized, unable to take it any longer, “that those claims casino are….

"To have a Heavy Cold with Labored Breathing for Ten Days For,” Brandon replied. I was at once sorry I hadn’t gotten them too.

We ordered dessert. Farbman ordered Crème Caramel, Sheila the Strawberry Shortcake, Brandon the highly touted Flaming Cherries Jubilee, and me --- well, I got me the Double Chocolate Mousse.

“Out of this World!” Farbman shouted, licking the caramel from his lips.

“To Die For!” cooed Sheila F.


I really do love mousse.

Brandon was strangely silent. On the way home, I asked about the dessert.

“To be honest, Dad,” he sighed, it was only "To Have a Minor Paper Cut For.”

I guess maybe cherries aren’t in season right now.


*April Fool, jerk

Out of this World! has nothing to do with science fiction at all. Did I “get ya?” Were you expecting aliens? Carnage? “Gort Klaatu Barada Nikto?”  You're so gullible!

Did you think to play any jokes on me today? No? Goes to show you how much more I think about you than ..... oh, don't even talk to me!


Baby Boomer Girl said...

Out of this World - I thought it was going to tie in with my 'Have a Body Link an Avatar Alien' theme. You made this old April fool smile ... :)

Baby Boomer Girl (again) said...

PS - Oops - typo - that 'link' word was a Freudian slip - meant to be 'Like' - but I must have subliminally wanted you to click my link!!! :)

C Bailey said...

This is terrible silliness and a point well taken, but try as I might I can't seem to encourage the public to adopt my phrases in exchange for their tired and worn out ones.

I think son-of-a-diplomat is much more effective than the alternative at conveying the behavior discouraged.

But instead, I hold them all inside for fear of my oddness. That is, I hold them inside, until I get sleep deprived and go tweet. That's when I meet the best, funniest people :).

Perry Block said...

Thank you, Carrie.

I hope I'm one of the funniest people. I know I'm certainly not one of the best.

You need hold nothing inside for me --- unless it's your pancreas. I don't really need to see that spilling out in front of me, especially at this time of the morning.

BTW, your "Ode to Nescafe" has now replaced the fantasy I oft refer to familiarly as "A Study in Scarlett" as my most erotic experience of the 21st Century. Only I don't particularly like Nescafe. I just mentally substitute the words "Dunkin' Donuts" for "Nescafe."

Caffeine Addicts: Carrie's piece is at

Thanks again, Carrie!