The scene is this: a couple weekends ago I decided to make mashed potatoes to accompany the Beef Bourguignon I was making for traditional gameday feast that we have when my friends and I get together for the Bears games on Sunday. Like most Americans, I prefer my mashed potatoes of the real variety. None of that boxed, dried, or Country Crock in-a-tub shit. Unlike most Americans though, I make my own mashed potatoes, which I was grossly unaware of when I went on my extremely long and frustrating journey to find a hand potato masher. You see, I don't own a mixer, like Rachael Ray I don't bake, and I also prefer my mashed potatoes to be a little lumpy. You know, some texture so that it doesn't taste like grandma's nursing home food.
I was sure the aisle with all the kitchen gadgets in the grocery store would have one, no problem I assumed. But you know what they say about people who assume don't you? So when the grocery store that I went to purchase the potatoes, butter, cream, cheese, bacon and scallions (I was making cheddar-bacon mashers) didn't have one I didn't fret. Surely the Target next to my house would have one, it's even one of those "Super" Targets. But like I was saying, you know what they say about people who make assumptions.
Like the record player and Brant Brown's happiness, this object is nearly impossible to find nowadays.
Fifteen minutes at staring into a 30 foot long aisle of every kitchen gadget ever known to man outside of the Bed, Bath and Beyond store later I felt like someone was playing a horrible joke on me. With only 30 minutes till the Bears game kickoff and all my friends on their way to my house, I was astounded that even though Target carried 10 "sandwich crust removers" (apparently knives are too difficult to operate nowadays), they didn't carry any potato mashers. Well, this just couldn't be right, I had to ask an employee if they were just out and had some in the back, even though the 2 empty rings were clearly not marked for potato mashers.
I know we throw the term around pretty loosely here at the Saloon, but I truly believe this to be a War Criminal: people that wear red shirts in Target. Why the fuck would you wear a red shirt in Target unless you are there specifically to fuck with me when I need to find something? I must have walked up to at least 3 different people before I realized they were just shoppers and not employees. And fuck Target for not handing out real uniforms. What, they can't afford them? Have you ever noticed that the employees get to pick their own red shirt to wear, and they usually pick one that is so common that fifteen customers in the store will also be wearing the same exact shirt at that moment?
After FINALLY finding an actual employee I was told that they didn't have any and that they also thought it was strange that they didn't carry them. Fucking-a-right it's strange. But I guess it's just America today, too lazy to mash their own potatoes. Fortunately, the good people across the street at Walmart (like I said, I never shop at Walmart, but am reconsidering) had a potato masher, even if it was basically a 3" plastic circle with a couple holes punched into it that was attached to a handle flexible enough to be a Chinese gymnast. I might as well have used my hands to mash those potatoes. So my point is this, 'Merica, if you plan on mashing your own potatoes this Thanksgiving and don't have a masher or a mixer, make sure to reserve an hour of your day to travel to Bed, Bath and Beyond to get a real, old-school metal masher. Enjoy your fucking potatoes!