Monday, September 1, 2014

A Labor of Loving Burgers - and Mistresses

So, it’s Labor Day in New York and, as in LA, I have been invited to nothing. 

I had a burger at home last night – my single contribution to what is apparently the last summer barbecue weekend – although, technically, it was a beef “pattie”, which is not the same thing at all. Oh, dear me, no.

Can you believe I have not found one supermarket that sells burgers? Real burgers. None of your Angus reared stuff with 5% fat, but something juicy and overflowing with non-goodness. Something that I can, on the very occasions when I eat meat, smother in my own chillies, ketchup, onions, mushrooms, four cheeses and consume alone, with gristle hitting the walls.
You can get them everywhere else, of course – from trucks, fast food chains, restaurants, et al – but I want to do my own. I don’t really like eating in front of people, as I suffer from misophonia (literally, a hatred of sound) and, for me, eating with others creates so much stress, being subjected to their munching and scrunching, my own stomach tends to batten down its hatches.
So, all I wanted for Labor Day was a burger. A burger like Bird’s Eye in the UK make. Or a sausage. Like Walls’ sausages. Not a saveloy, which isn’t a hot dog at all in my book: it’s a flaccid…Well, I’m sure I don’t need to elaborate.
Anyway, enough about lack of meat and invitations; the thing that really fascinates me in the US is how different Bank Holidays are from those in the UK. Here, they build up to them for weeks – and I MEAN, weeks – because they have so few holidays. Americans really do work incredibly hard and most people I meet have just two weeks’ holiday a year (if they’re lucky); so, when an extra day arrives in their schedule, it’s like the Second Coming.
It’s astonishing, in the UK, that there are now two Bank Holidays in May and one in August, not to mention all the holidays in between. So blasé are the Brits about their time off, they do just two things on a Bank Holiday weekend: sit in the pub getting drunk, or sit in their car trying to get to somewhere they haven’t a hope in hell’s chance of reaching before the next Bank Holiday comes around (as I finished that sentence, by the way, a “Living Social Deal” arrived in my inbox, inviting me for a “Tandem Sky Dive”. I don’t even want a tandem Five Star dinner with most people, so why would I don a helmet and risk my life, all for a picture that makes me look as if I’m being rogered from behind by an air bag?).
At least there is decent Bank Holiday telly in the US, days that the UK usually decides to wheel out all the dross that couldn’t make it into the schedule the rest of the year. Tonight sees the season finale of Mistresses, a show so ridiculously OTT, silly and unbelievable, I love it. They’ve done what Sex and the City did with four friends – they have everyone talking about which one you think you might be. I am not Savi (boring, and I wouldn’t be so stupid as to get pregnant on a desk); nor April (I wouldn’t be so stupid as to mistake an FBI agent for a hot artist); and nor, definitely, Karen, the nymphomaniac, expressionless shrink, who might actually be dead, for all the enthusiasm she shows during hot sex.
I am so utterly Joss (in the same way that everyone wanted to be Carrie in Sex and the City), it’s uncanny. Never mind that she is tall, blonde and beautiful (hey, a dwarf can dream), our spirits are intertwined in the universe, I just know they are (but you really need to choose Harry over that dork of a fiancé, tonight, Joss).
It’s now 3.28pm and I’m going to sit down with my home-made spaghetti Bolognese and watch last night’s Masters of Sex. I’ve been up working since seven (that’s what I really call a Labor Day), so I think I deserve it.

Happy holidays, everyone. 

And it’s not too late to invite me to your barbecue.

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