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Ken Magill

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Stupid Profiling Watch: Whole Living? Pffft!

By Ken Magill

Targeted direct marketing is a beautiful thing. The most recent example in my household is how our incoming direct mail evolved after we moved from Manhattan into the Hudson Valley and began raising chickens.

My wife went from reading the New Yorker, the New York Daily News and Timeout New York to reading publications like Backyard Poultry.

Pretty soon she began seeing correspondingly appropriate offers for other publications, such as Hobby Farm Home, Hobby Farms and Urban Farmer.

The speed at which her direct mail pitches evolved with her changing profile was pretty darned impressive.

But as we all know, direct marketing can also be way off target.

I, for example, recently received two complimentary issues of Whole Living, a Martha Stewart magazine that carries the tagline “Body + Soul in Balance.”

One of the features plugged on one of Whole Living’s covers was: “Couple Fights: Why You Have the Same One Every Time.”

“Because she keeps hiding my shit,” I thought. “Because he can’t put any of his shit away,” she no doubt thought.

I can’t think of a publication that could be more off target for me.

For example, I believe light beer should be an oxymoron and decaffeinated coffee is pointless. I drink my coffee with half-n-half. Whenever we visit family and friends who don’t use half-n-half, I bring my own.

I can’t for the life of me understand people who can drink the gray sockwater that results from putting skim milk in coffee. I don’t understand skim milk for that matter.

My biggest breakfast dilemmas are how the eggs should be cooked and whether they should be served with bacon, sausage, scrapple*, or some combination thereof.

As far as I’m concerned, low- and non-fat foods that traditionally contain fat are just wrong.

I believe in steaks that are well marbled and cooked no more than medium rare. Well-done steaks are a crime.

I like my spinach creamed.

My favorite salad in the world—so far—is the Savannah salad served at Virgil’s Real Barbecue in New York City. It has bacon cubes. When my wife refers to it, she makes air quotes with her fingers and calls it “salad.”

I drink too much. A lot. On purpose. It isn’t unusual for me to consume three different types of alcohol in the same evening, often at the same time.

Introspection to me amounts to little more than making decisions like whether I’m in a place where it’s okay to pull my boxers out of my crack. And as I get older, the answer is increasingly “yes.”

I smoke cigars often during the day and always during the evening. I don’t personally smoke cigarettes but believe those who want to should be able to do so until they spit out pieces of lung.

I believe there is little a pound of butter can’t improve with the exception of a very dry martini.

One of my life goals is to make a pilgrimage to Beaver’s restaurant in Houston, TX and devour a SpamWow! sandwich.

I avoid organic foods—with the exception of eggs from our own chickens.

If I thought hormones and fat would improve the taste of cigars, I’d combine them.

So, me? A fit for “Whole Living: Body + Soul in Balance?”


“Whole Hedonist: Screw it if it Doesn’t Make Me Happy” is more like it.

*For those who’ve never heard of it, scrapple is ground pork and cornmeal mush, cooked and shaped in a loaf pan, cooled, then sliced and browned in butter and/or its own fat. It’s prevalent in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland, among other places. It tastes equally good with either syrup or ketchup.

Of Pennsylvania Dutch origin, scrapple is made of pieces of the pig unsuited for anything else. The best comfort foods invariably have their origins in deprivation and thrift, no?


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Terms: Feel free to be as big a jerk as you want, but don't attack anyone other than me personally. And don't criticize people or companies other than me anonymously. Got something crappy to say? Say it under your real name. Anonymous potshots and personal attacks aimed at me, however, are fine.

Posted by:
Date: 2011-01-13 09:32:46
Subject: Definitely brownish gray

Maybe 'green' here was meant in the sense of "not environmentally harmful" not "the color of Kermit the Frog." My uncle used to make his own scrapple. You put in everything but the oink. As I recall, there's some sage in it, too.
Posted by:
Date: 2011-01-11 15:57:30
Subject: Green Scrapple?

I've got a tub of it in the fridge right now. It's kind of brownish gray. I've never seen green scrapple. I would like to try some, though:) Ken
Posted by:
Date: 2011-01-11 15:42:39
Subject: Scraple

You forgot the important part: Scrapple is green. Far be it from me to overly criticize the foods of my ancestors, but green meat is Just Wrong.