I haven’t posted on this blog for about six months, but an experience tonight brought me back from the dead.
What could bring me back? Only some really weird shit. Like running into Mike Tyson at Whole Foods.
Seriously, that happened tonight. And it was the Whole Foods in my Friendship Heights neighborhood because Mike Tyson immediately makes you think of friendship.
He was hanging out with two serious-looking men, maybe bodyguards. Do people really start beef with Mike Tyson? I remember hearing that when he was in jail some of the convicts picked fights with him, hoping to get through it with their brains intact enough to say they scrapped with Iron Mike. The customers at the Friendship Heights Whole Foods were pretty much like this too except that everyone got misty-eyed and stared at their shoes when within ten feet.
Everyone except for one of the checkout clerks. Tyson walked right by me as I was paying for my groceries, and the clerk called out, “Yeah, Mike!”
I thought the clerk was cheering good-naturedly. But the looks Tyson and his crew gave the guy suggested he was on his way to a very unFriendship-y face stomp.
this is harder in real life
I then did what I do when I see famous people: I pulled out my phone to take a picture. Over the past six months, two other celebrities had no problem with this: Alexander Skaarsgard and Stephen Colbert. And then there’s Mike Tyson. As I pointed the phone in his direction, he saw me and we locked eyes. I thought about asking him to say cheese, but he was eyeing me like he was hungry and I was the cheese. Without any sudden movements, I put the phone back in my pocket.
Then he walked out of the store to the garage, leaving me pic-less.
And yet, getting stared down by Mike Tyson at the checkout counter was not the weirdest thing that happened tonight at Whole Foods.
The Seoul is an attempt by Ambassador Whole Foods to bring bibimbap, the Korean mixed rice dish, to the masses. At least, that’s what I think it’s supposed to be. I’m not sure, because if the Seoul is supposed to be bibimbap, it is the most ridiculous bastardization of Korean food I can imagine.
I like Whole Foods. I shop there all the time. But I was offended by this concoction, and I’m not Korean. Or even Asian.
What’s the big deal? Where to start. The Seoul came with a liquid called “bulgogi sauce.” Except, there was no bulgogi in the bowl. You know what's awesome with bulgogi sauce? No bulgogi. Plus, bulgogi sauce is a marinade of sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic … you know, Korean ingredients. This sauce wasn't Korean.
It was Tobasco!
I really, really hope someone accidentally put the wrong sauce in the bowl. Because if Whole Foods is trying to get honest, hard-working Americans to put Tobasco on their bibimbap, I can never go to a Whole Foods store again. And it’s right across the street from where I live, so that would be very inconvenient (Giant is crazy far away, like three blocks).
The ingredients said the "bulgogi sauce" was soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger, and green onions. Trust me, it was Tobasco. And since when does Whole Foods have handwritten labels? I'm so confused.
Just the sauce was enough to make me angry, but that wasn’t the only problem. The description on the front of the package says that the Seoul comes with “beans.” This seems to refer to edamame. First of all, bibimbap is Korean, not Japanese, but putting edamame in there is okay because it’s all the same continent, right? Just like you can sell a hamburger or pizza as Mexican food. Also, if Whole Foods is right that the only way Americans will buy edamame is if they call it “beans,” I'm done living in this country.
The package says “Good Food.” But the rice was cold and chewy like when you keep it in the refrigerator for a few days. Was I supposed to heat it in the microwave? There weren’t any directions. Halfway through eating, I desperately tried microwaving, but when I took the Seoul back out, the seaweed reeked and I had to throw the rest away. “I’m so confused,” I kept crying out to Marcy.
And so, I went to my computer for a therapeutic retelling of the gory details of tonight’s traumas. Will I blog again? Anything's possible especially if Mike Tyson sees this post and becomes a follower.