Monday, 7 May 2012

From Hot Dogs to French Politics

My son desperately wanted a hot dog for lunch today so like a good (i.e., doormat) mother, I trotted off to the store in search of hot dogs and other 'necessities.'  In England, you don't have the option of buying all-beef hot dogs which is what I would typically buy in the US.  You also don't seem to have the option of buying grillable hot dogs.  It's boiled all the way, baby.  I chose the tin (that's right, they come in a can) that read 'American-style' hot dogs and then did something I've tried to avoid my entire life.  I read the label.  I didn't intend to read the label, but I was curious to know what they considered 'American-style.'  Turns out in England American-style means 82% chicken.  Yes, chicken.  Not very American after all.  I checked out a few more cans that were not American-style.  I found one with 63% pork and 11% machine-separated chicken (lovin' that phrase).  To top it off, my son hates chicken so I chose a glass jar (phew) with the highest pork content available.  I just wanna know which marketing execs over at the foreign hot dog company are so ill-informed that they think chicken is the main ingredient in our dogs.  Don't they know it's chemical stabilizers??

At the other end of the food spectrum, I made an important discovery this week.  Brace yourself for the most pretentious statement you've read this week -- I much prefer California avocados to South African.  There, I've said it.  Call the snob police because I am busted.

And finally, speaking of hot dogs and snobs, it's au revoir to the vertically-challenged Nicolas Sarkozy.   The French president was  defeated this week by socialist candidate Francois Hollande.   Here's the bit I really enjoy about this story, though.  In 2007, Hollande ran for the presidential nomination and was defeated by his then partner of 30 years and mother of his four children, Segolene Royal who, in turn, lost to Sarkozy.  After that election, the pair broke up allegedly because of his affair with a journalist (whom he is still with today).  Royal supported Hollande during this campaign (probably through gritted teeth).  So let's break this down into things that would never happen in US politics: (1) an unmarried mother of four wins the a major party nomination for president; (2) the lothario male partner runs in the next election and wins...with her support; (3) nobody in France raises an eyebrow.  No John Edwards-style trials, no lynch mobs.  The French don't care about your private (or, in this case, public) affairs as long as you can do your job.  And France, may I point out, is a predominantly Catholic country.  Lessons we can learn, America!    

Quote of My Week:  "It's fantastic!  Mommy, you did a great job." - My 5-year old to me after I rearranged her bedroom.

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