Friday, April 29, 2005

Getting Political

It is, after all, an election year and every man, his dog and every second woman is writing about politics in the blogosphere. So, I will add my voice to the fray: it may even be that a political party, stumbling on the verge of obscurity, might hear my voice and think "aha, a solid issue facing our society behind which we can throw our weight". So, with this post I formally announce the commencement of my campaign. I haven't quite arrived at the right name, but its coming.

I am sure many have seen the particular matter I am about to discuss, but have not seen the problem within. I myself was completely oblivious to it until I had breakfast In Astoria Cafe, Wellington, quite recently. That initial spark has led me to discover the widespread nature of this particular practice, which needs to be stamped out for the good of society. Rhubarb in Dunedin is another practitioner. This morning, I had lunch (a very fine bacon, basil and tomato soup with toasted bagel) at Emma's in Oamaru and they too had fallen into error.

All three cafes have two things in common. They pay a lot of attention to getting many things right: the decor, the food, the service, the ambience. As a result, whenever I go to either Oamaru or Wellington, I always visit Astoria or Emma's, whichever is appropriate at the time.

But they all engage in this pernicious practice which MUST BE STAMPED OUT. They bring out their wonderful breads to accompany their great food, and they give you an Anchor individual serve of butter, packed in plastic. How crass. There is never the right amount of butter and it just lowers the whole tone of the place. Giving a real serve of butter on an appropriate small platter would add that last touch of refinement.

There are sidewind benefits as well. I hate to think how many cafes, restaurants and hotels are dotted around New Zealand, each serving a certain volume of these things every day. That's a mountain of plastic being generated, just to introduce a sour note into the nation's breakfast. So, we'd reduce the production of hydrocarbons. Plus, and I know this is the real problem here, someone would finally have to come up with the ideal design for a suitable butter dispenser. Then people would need to make them, expanding the options for those unfortunate enough to be employed in minimum wage jobs.

As I was sitting in Emma's pondering my scrunched up former-butter container, I was thinking that I could start with a letter writing campaign - the advent of the cheap colour printer means that creating "Campaign for the Adoption of Venue-Appropriate Butter Vessels", or should that simply be "Better Butter Vessels: NOW!!!" letterhead is the task of a minute.

We would need some care to be taken: plastic one-serves of butter have their place, in low rent cafes with non-ironic formica tables and suburban coffee shops. We wouldn't want them to have pretensions to grandeur and opt for plated butter.


Blogger harvestbird said...

When ma familia was making the long annual haul back from Southland to Chch, we would stop for devonshire tea at the tea rooms attached to the Mobil Station on the Kilmog hill. The main thing I remember about this is that they would serve the butter on little steel platters, in curls. In fact I suspect there's a piece of cutlery called the butter curler for doing that very job.

I strongly recommend the adoption of the butter curler as the symbol of this new political movement. Hell, we could print it on a black background and join the campaign for a new flag.

11:25 PM  
Blogger Jessie said...

It's kind of a creepy image though - reminds me of the movie Sybil...

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As the owner of RHUBARB in Dunedin I take exception to the comment that you made about us using butter sachets. We never have done or ever will do. Please make sure when writing comments (either good or bad) about a cafe or restaurant that you are talking about the correct venue.
Regards, Helen Wright

11:24 AM  

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