Tuesday, January 16, 2007
It's OK, I Can Walk
This is a Ford Windstar minivan.
This is a delicious Mexican flan dessert.
On the surface, you might thing these two things have very little in common. For example, one is a self-contained motorized form of transport relying on an internal combustion engine to propel a family in relative foot-roomy comfort with enough space left over in the back to safely tuck away the lifeless corpse of a helpless, recently murdered puppy where the kids won't be troubled by it. You know, so long as you can control the smell. Of the mouldering dog I mean. The kid smell, sadly, is long-term and non-negotiable.
The other, you will notice, is a tasty honey-glazed baked egg custard turned out of a ceramic mold and presented in a festively ethnic sort of a way to maximize the multicultural liberal satisfaction of eating it. Not only does it give you all the wonders and benefits you would normally expect from eating cooked condensed milk, but you can also feel superior to the person seated next to you eating vanilla ice-cream who is obviously a Hitler-loving Klansman. Also: the puppy-hiding principles exist, but they would require a scale of construction that would render this method highly impractical.
Just to be clear, I'm not saying in any way that a Ford Windstar minivan and a delicious Mexican flan dessert are exactly the same in every way. I'm not. I just want to be clear about that.
What I am saying is that they may be more alike than you realize.
First of all, both were probably made from foreign, most likely Mexican labor. In the Windstar's case, it's because the outsourcing of formerly American jobs even in the construction and assembly of American vehicles means that more and more of the things we think of as "American" is now mostly just a marketing angle and just about every aspect of the manufacture of this vehicle after the design phase--and perhaps even that--has been handled by grubby forn hands.
The flan goes even a step further. Not only was it designed and popularized by Mexicans, given the way kitchens in most major restaurants are staffed these days, even if you bought one here in America, chances are it was probably still made for you by a person of the Mexican persuasion.* Exactly the same as a Windstar!
Is that all there is? Of course not! The most important thing: I own a Ford Windstar. I have eaten flan.
If I had on my desk next to me right now a freshly baked, honey-swimming flan tempting my tastebuds to some hot gastronomical miscegenation, that flan would in potentia provide for me right this minute the exact same road-worthy driveability of my Windstar.
I hate my Ford.
*= "of the Mexican persuasion" means any one darker than a light mocha and speaks something vaguely Romance. Most likely a Guatemalan.