I have a new set of roommates including a couple of post-adolescent males. Look, I really don’t care if they subsist on a frozen hamburger patties and chicken nuggets drenched in ketchup served on hot dog buns, but for Christ sakes, why the George Foreman grill?
Quite obviously, I was never expecting to come home to soufflés or puff-pastries, but I do quite often find myself coming home to a messy kitchen that reeks of hamburger fat and a greasy George Foreman grill laying prostrate, tipping backwards on the counter spilling fat in long, oozing puddles all over the god-damned counter. And of course, there’s always the lovely little grease tray that builds up with layer after layer of unconsumed fat like the flowing forms of some hardened slow-moving Hawaiian lava field. Of course, the people responsible for this are the prime demographic for domestic procrastination, so I know that I can be guaranteed an identical experience every time I enter the kitchen for the next six hours. But hey, that’s human nature. I might as well rail against the second law of thermodynamics.
Furthermore, it’s clear to me that my roommates are not the only young men so enthralled with the appliance. All throughout college and onwards, almost every discussion of food included some time spent on the topic of how, “flippin’ sweet,” the grill was (met by broad waves of agreement and nodding heads) and most every visit to someone’s swinging bachelor pad included a similar scene of a George Foreman Grill met with such a sorry fate.
But why in holy hell do they insist upon using the space, time, and energy wasting piece of plastic junk that is, “The Lean Mean Fat Reducing Grilling Machine?” Even if the damn thing is actually able to grill off more fat than any other means of preparing food, it isn’t like there’s some enormous body of carefully controlled long-term clinical research that clearly demonstrates a benefit to, “grilling the fat right out!” anyway, so let’s skip our discussion of the grill’s supposed main benefit.
No, I suspect the real reason they use this damned thing is because it allows them to escape from the mental trauma of directly confronting the basic human need to cook for themselves from time to time. The finances can only support eating out so many times per week, cold cereal can at best account for perhaps half of their daily caloric intake, so something else needs to fill this gap. Cooking, combining multiple ingredients in a sensible fashion is of course much too difficult and effeminate to be engaged in without some type of duress, so George Foremaning takes its place. George Formanning is something else entirely. An activity invented by Madison Avenue, a fun and breezy activity partaken in by attractive and energetic blonds on the QVC that doesn’t carry all of the emotional baggage of cooking.
I wonder if they’ve even stopped to consider that a heated metal surface really isn’t the enormous technological advance in food preparation that the commercials proclaim. It’s almost as if the technology has existed in various forms for tens of thousands of years of human advancement right up into the modern range-oven sitting three feet away from the sanctified George Foreman Grill. Hell, it’s even a gas range, so they could actually be consuming their grilled fish sticks in even shorter order than with the Foreman grill. What exactly is stopping them from using the well developed and user-friendly technology of the non-stick frying pan? Have they never noticed just how easy a non-stick frying pan is to clean? That you can wash it with soap and rinse it off in the sink in an easy two step process that doesn’t involve wiping down both grilling surfaces, the legs, the light, the top, the counter top, and the grease trap with a half-roll of paper towels?
I don’t understand my contemporary’s infatuation with the George Foreman grill, but I do hope the love affair will fade with time.