Thinking Too Much Can Ruin A Good Time!

So we're cruising through the Williamsburg iteration of the Brooklyn Flea and I'm all, "this is cool, this is right, this is a bunch of people just like myself feeling great about browsing for old bottles because, well, old bottles just look cool and if there's nothing else people like myself feel great about, it's browsing in Brooklyn for old bottles" when, all of the sudden, we turn the corner down at the end of one of the many aisles at the Brooklyn Flea and notice the food offerings up at the back of the gravel parcel — the gravel that slows down strollers and folks in uncooperative footwear — and there it is, abutting the brand new buildings up there on the Williamsburg waterfront, a table selling mayonnaise.

It's not just any mayonnaise, no — and, to be sure, had the price/ounce ratio not been so clearly posted on the placard at the front of the table, I probably wouldn't have even noticed it, but it was there, and since I did notice, I made a point of turning to Jen and commenting, out loud, at least to her anyway, that five dollars for four ounces of mayonnaise, even "decadent" mayonnaise, seemed awfully expensive.

"You should write about this," Jen said.

"Why, so you don't have to hear me complain about it for the next half hour?"

OK, so here goes: Five dollars for four ounces of mayonnaise, even "decadent" mayonnaise, seems awfully expensive.

Just as a point of comparison, a 32-ounce jar of Duke's Mayonnaise, which is pretty good mayonnaise, by the way, retails for nowhere near five dollars for four ounces.

Which is also to say, if Duke's priced its mayonnaise at five dollars for four ounces, the normal 32-ounce jar of it would cost $40. And not that I'm endorsing it, but a one gallon receptacle of Miracle Whip — that stuff that Kraft is trying desperately to rebrand (or re-rebrand) in that cute ad campaign — would cost $160.

Unless I'm wrong, one tablespoon equals half an ounce. One tablespoon is what many recipes recommend you put on a sandwich that involves the condiment. So given that, this five dollar jar of mayonnaise will provide you with eight servings of condiment — or 62.5 cents a serving of mayonnaise. I don't think it's just me — that's a pretty steep price to pay for condiment, right?

And what is mayonnaise anyway? Alton Brown tells me that it's just an egg yolks, salt, dry mustard, sugar, lemon juice, white wine vinegar and safflower or corn oil. Even if we're using farm-fresh organic free-range eggs, Himalayan salt, whatever dry mustard, some top-notch sugar, Meyer lemon juice, whatever super-awesome white wine vinegar exists and the finest safflower or corn oil you can find at the Costco, I can't believe that artisanal mayonnaise producers aren't making cash hand over fucking fist.

Clearly, everyone here is wasting their time on old bottles when they should be spending their time on condiments.

If I were to rewrite The Graduate, it might sound like this:

Mr. McGuire: I just want to say one word to you — just one word.
Ben: Yes sir.
Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?
Ben: Yes I am.
Mr. McGuire: "Condiments."
Ben: Exactly how do you mean?
Mr. McGuire: There's a great future in condiments. Think about it. Will you think about it?
Ben: Yes I will.
Mr. McGuire: Shh! Enough said. That's a deal.

Look, all I saw was the sign. And God help me if I Google "Brooklyn Flea Mayonnaise" because I'm not sure I will appreciate what I will find at the end of that search.

Soemtimes you wonder whether all the things that first attracted you to New York have finally been obliterated by all the things that make you really sick of New York.

Posted: April 3rd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Andy Rooney | Tags: , , , , , , , ,