Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Elbow Macaroni Queen

Pierogi Fest. That’s what the celebratory sign said.

That’s how you assert your culture within the dominant white culture. That’s how you celebrate who you are and where you come from.

You do it with food. You pick a food that symbolizes who you are and where you come from. And you build a festival around it.

Pierogi is an indigenous food of my maternal culture. Babushka cuisine. It’s a cuisine born of frugality. My family ate the tongues and butts of animals. My grandma used the blood of a duck to make soup. And once grandma plucked and cooked a chicken from her farm and we all ate every last damn edible bit of that bird, everything but the beak and eyeballs. Grandma boiled the chicken’s feet and I ate one.

But you have to be careful because you know how the dominant white culture can be. When the dominant white culture comes to fully recognize something of value in a different culture, you know how they show their appreciation. They steal it. And then they ruin everything. They do it with food all the time. It’s culinary colonization. I saw this new place called Autentico Mexican Restaurant. It was in a foo foo suburb so I looked at the menu in the window, just for laughs. There wasn’t a damn thing autentico about it. Tacos for $13.50! Tacos are supposed to be cheap. That’s a major reason why tacos are such a celebrated food. But the dominant white culture fills a tortilla with lobster thermidore and charges $30. That’s as ridiculous as chitlins a l’orange!

Cripples have yet to identify a symbolic cultural food staple that we can put forth to illustrate who we are and where we come from. Until we do that we’ll never be affirmed by the dominant white culture.

So I’d like to offer up elbow macaroni as the cheap food that is the essential ingredient of cripple cuisine. The official cripple cookbook: 1,243 Recipes for Elbow Macaroni.

Because it's so cheap, just about every cripple is full of elbow macaroni up to their eyeballs. Institutionalized cripples are served elbow macaroni for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Buttered elbow macaroni. Elbow macaroni with salt. Crunchy elbow macaroni.

But even free-roaming cripples consume tons and tons of elbow macaroni. Broke ass cripples use elbow macaroni as thoroughly as Eskimos used the whales they harpooned. They don’t just eat the elbow macaroni. They make clothing and furniture out of it. They construct huts out of elbow macaroni and heat them by burning elbow macaroni in furnaces made of elbow macaroni.

We’ll know the dominant white culture has officially taken notice of cripple culture when we see Chef Pierre’s Elbow Macaronium.

And of course the highlight of every food-oriented culture festival is the presentation of the queen. So the star of cripple fest will be the Elbow Macaroni Queen. She’ll wear a regal crown and flowing gown, made of elbow macaroni.