The Truth!: Eric Reads the Week, #40

Hi! It's R. Eric Thomas. From the internet?

Listen, I need to tell you the hard truth about fajitas.

You are probably not prepared to hear this but, whatever, hold on to your butts because I'm going to let the whole place out.

Whenever David and I go out to eat at our favorite Mexican food places he always hems and haws and then announces he's going to get the fajitas. Always! And always when he does that it sends me into a tailspin and I launch into a Julia Sugarbaker-style rant about them. He finds this amusing. BUT I AM SERIOUS!

You know the deal with fajitas: they give you peppers and meat and a plate with tortillas, rice, guac, beans and sour cream, and they're like "Go with God." Then you gotta spend the rest of your meal putting your own food together while the rest of us are happily munching on food that has been assembled by other people because we know the TRUTH ABOUT FAJITAS.

(OMG. This isn't even what I was meaning to talk about but I just found this picture and I need to share it with you. This picture makes me so mad. What even is this, Sherman? Why are you doing this to your food? This is not a life hack. This is a cry for help. A fajita is a fajita. It is not a hot dog. A hot dog is a sandwich. TRUTH BOMB.)

Anyway, here's the TRUTH ABOUT FAJITAS: it's a scam!

Why am I going to pay some body to give me all the ingredients for the meal but not make the meal? Is this America or what? I don't want to do any work! I just want to bang on the drum all day. And you know who can't bang on drums? People who are making their own fajitas.

When you go to a bakery do they just give you a box of Duncan Hines and a couple of eggs? No! They give you a three-tiered key lime cake and a little treat for your dog but you eat the dog treat yourself because you don't have a dog and you're sure it's fine. It's fine to eat dog snacks! EVEN IF THEY DON'T TASTE VERY GOOD.

Anyway, back to this fajita controversy. Think about the presentation, sheeple. I mean, they serve you the peppers and meat on a sizzling cast iron pan; they don't even take it out of the dish for you! The food is basically still on the stove and you're like "Thank you! Here's $14.99! This was fantastic."

You're never going to catch me eating a fajita! Why would I order a fajita when I can order a burrito and have someone else do all the work for me? When you order a fajita some guy in the kitchen goes "Ha ha, those fools. Break time, my friends. Let's all smoke a cigarette while this dude makes his own meal." Not on my watch!


I just remembered that when I worked at the Hard Rock Cafe we served fajitas all the time! People were OBSESSED! SHEEP! And every time someone ordered one, everyone in the kitchen would let out a great cry of joy, take off their aprons and luxuriate in the paid time off while the customers slaved away over a sizzling pan.

Actually, that's totally not true. Fajita setups took FOREVER to make. As a server I dreaded them. You had to heat up your own tortillas but not too much or they turned into hardtack and that was a whole thing. And then you had to put like 20 things on a plate with little scoops. Like, who has time for all this? THEN! After you took the plate out, you had to cajole the grumpy food expediter at the kitchen window to "fire" your faj plate. Once fired, a cook would grab a very hot, lima bean-shaped, cast iron skillet from the oven, put it on a wooden block, dump veggies and meat on it, slide it across the window like a hockey puck of death and the expo would spray "faj juice" on it and send you out with it. I always feared that I would trip with a fajita skillet and end up a lima bean-shaped burn. I was so afraid of becoming Skillet Face. It was a whole thing.

Anyway, so that's the actually truth about fajitas. They're an actual pain in the ass (AND SOMETIMES IN THE FACE OMG!) but it's been years since I worked at the Hard Rock and I've forgotten that now and every time someone suggests that I get a fajita I scoff because my understanding the transaction that I'm engaging in relieves me of having to do any labor to manifest my own happiness and if I were to make any contributions to this endeavor it would somehow cheapen the experience and maybe there's a metaphor in that or maybe I'm just talking about food. Who can say?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, I spent wrote extensively about food and bev on this week, from Oprah's garden to the veggie-themed Dolce & Gabbana runway. And when I wasn't covering food, there was as always, the trainwreck that is literally everything around us. Take, for instance, this astounding Megyn Kelly interview of Jane Fonda...

This Awkward Moment Between Jane Fonda and Megyn Kelly Is Going to Carry Me For the Rest of the Day

This morning, Megyn welcomed the two Hollywood legends to talk about their new movie, Our Souls at Night, which sounds like a flick about two ghosts who like to party but is probably not that. Rather abruptly Megyn began her interview with the question "Why?" which is also what I ask every time I turn the program on. Anyway, everything kind of went downhill from there. [READ THE FULL COLUMN]

Oprah's Obsession with Her Garden is the Best Thing On the Internet

Oprah's garden is the horticultural definition of "This is too much." I feel like even calling it a garden is inappropriate. Calling Oprah's massive estate of giant vegetables a garden is like saying Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern got to tour a reptile petting zoo. I would not be surprised if Oprah had a couple of velociraptors stashed somewhere. I'm just saying. [READ THE FULL COLUMN]

All the Things the President Is Probably, Maybe Okay With NFL Players Doing With Their Bodies

Don't kneel - Worst thing you can do in America. Kim Jong Un would kneel. Super bad.
Do stand - Super great. Captain America would do this. As would Iron Man. Unclear about Black Panther; never heard of him.
Do link arms - Good. Interesting. Patriotish. But make sure your arm is the one over, not under. Americans are always on top!
Don't cross your fingers - Terrible. Very rude. Emotionally distressing.
Do cross your fingers on opposite day - Subversive. Clever. Would you like to run the CIA?

NPR Has Started a Wine Club and It's All I'm Drinking from Now On

This product was made for a delightfully specific audience. This is club for that discerning consumer who wants to stay informed about the day's news but also wants to immediately forget the day's news. Why has it taken so long to introduce this? Arguably 60% of the news on NPR could be titled "You're going to need a drink after this." Listening to NPR is like asking Emma Thompson to gently and dispassionately narrate the plot of a disaster movie while you sit in traffic. [READ THE FULL COLUMN]

Dolce & Gabbana's Milan Runway Is Literally Delicious

The only thing that can compare to the joy of eating five to 20 mini-tarts and cannolis is getting to walk around all day wearing them. Who needs a shopping list? Just put on clothes and point to things on your dietary drag until people bring them to you.

"Hello waiter, I'll be ordering off the menu tonight. I'll have my sleeve and two of my earrings, please."
"Ma'am, this is a Chipotle." [READ THE FULL COLUMN]

We Don't Need Any More Reboots of Beloved Films

Krysten Stewart is "being eyed" for an Elizabeth Banks-directed Charlie's Angels reboot. Who asked for this? While I am intrigued by the presence of Krysten Stewart in this overtly peppy franchise, I am also very confused. What would even happen in this film? Would it be about three Angels who sit around the mansion, sullenly ignoring Charlie's calls? Who are the other Angels, Rooney Mara and Greta Gerwig? Actually, when I put it like that, I'm suddenly on board.

But really, why do we need another version of this specific property? Why can't we have a film about three women who shoot things and have no boss? Call it Three Women Who Are Spies and Work Independent of Oversight. [READ THE FULL COLUMN]

Emmy Winner Sterling K. Brown Has Yoga Socks and the Shiniest Abs You've Ever Seen

I need to know his workout routine and his moisturizing routine immediately. This man has got crunches and cocoa butter on lock and I'm shewk. [READ THE FULL COLUMN]

Random thing from the internet...

Last night, I discovered that Tank and the Bangas will be performing in a concert with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in January. I have never purchased tickets so quickly as I did to that. It sounds like a hybrid concert; first the BSO performs some classical selections, then Tank performs, then they two groups perform together. I'm so SO hype about this. If you're in Baltimore, you should come. If you're not in Baltimore, you should revisit their extraordinary Tiny Desk Concert audition video (perhaps while drinking NPR wine.)

Hot dogs are sandwiches!


All performances are Pay What You Wish after the performance, so reserve today and pay after you love it.
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