Monday, November 30, 2009

Association of Food Cutter Uppers

It may not be the catchiest name, but it's a great idea to solve a truly American problem.

You see, in this country, we've become used to volunteering only through organizations. We like structure. We like titles. Heck, we like wearing pins, caps and t shirts with names of organizations we belong to on them.

On the other hand, some of us have issues with doing anything "extra" when approached on an individual basis. Whether it's at our job or on our own time, there's a resistance to being the one who has to go that extra mile.

I see this when I go out to eat alone and need my food cut up. The typical scenario involves ordering food, asking the wait person to have the food cut up in bite size pieces, and receiving the plate without the food cut up or cut up in fourths. I then repeat my request, the food is sent back and returned cut up in eighths. By the time I hail down the waitress and this geometrical slicing goes on, my food begins to resemble something out of Mommie Dearest. It's cold and unappetizing. Apparently the chef is the only one who is allowed to cut anything up, much like a surgeon in an operating room. The whole experience makes eating out resemble something like a bad day in Hell's Kitchen.

At that point I look around to see if there are any families with lots of young children around to see if I can surreptitiously pass my plate along for them to cut up the food, hoping they won't notice it's not for one of their kids.

Scenarios like this make me wish I could bring the Ginzu knife guy with me. He would have my food cut up in under a minute and put on quite a show for fellow diners at the same time. Or I could bring Super Nanny, who could go out to the kitchen and explain that just getting me started on cutting my food up really won't motivate me to overcome my paralysis, it's not practical and by gosh there's a chart she can draw up to illustrate all of this. Sigh.

The real solution, I believe, is to create a group of volunteers - official volunteers - who could wear pins when they go out to dine to indicate they're willing to help. After my food is served, I could look around, find a member of Food Cutter Uppers, bring them my plate and - voila! I'd be all set without asking anyone else to do anything "extra". To make this appealing, the group could offer accessories, such as a belt that members could put a notch in for each plate of food cut up. They could run trips, where members and quads could go together. I'd be happy to go along so that members would have an opportunity at every meal to add notches to their belts. That's three meals a day, three notches. What a deal.

This idea may not appeal to those who feel we're already inundated with organizations to help each other when we could simply just- help each other. I know, I know.

But we seem to need yet one more organization because, despite all this volunteering that goes on, I'm telling you - not one is around, it seems, when you need your food cut up.


FridaWrites said...

I'd do it!

Wheelie Catholic said...

Who knows? Someday we may get to meet - and I'll take you up on that!

Greg said...

I'm with you on this

FridaWrites said...

I'd love to meet you someday--if I am up anywhere near your area again (and I hope to be--I used to travel a lot), I will definitely let you know. Even a train ride from Boston couldn't be too long.

Wheelie Catholic said...

That would be so much fun!