God help me, but I think I may be falling in love with Rachael Ray.
She's like a New Age Valerie Bertinelli — those chubby little hamster cheeks! — hustling around spending $40 a day on food in some resort town. She is a vision in an apron.
Of course, it could be the sweetened ice tea, of which I had several glasses at Leonard's, a Memphis barbeque/Southern cooking institution. I had fried catfish (be still my beating heart!), fried okra, collard greens with pepper sauce, Leonard's to-die-for baked beans and a yeast roll. That's enough caffeine, sugar, grease, pepper sauce and a spare piece of cherry pie to keep a rhino awake for a week. Which is why I'm deep into a Rachael Ray marathon on The Food Channel even though the set call is coming at 6 AM. That's okay — I have make-up! In no time at all, I can make the bags under my eyes look like an old drag queen's! The photgraphs are from FHM, by the way, who apparently came to the same conclusion I did re: the lovely Rachael. I love it when she rolls her eyes right in the middle of eating some burger in Des Moine. I am ...
...well, hell, what's the option? Late night television is seven or eight shows about hostile multi-generational families building choppers and shouting; a dozen shows about various crews of mixed-lot people (a gay guy, a woman in a tank top so cranked on meth she's seething, some guy with a power saw, etc.) redecorating the houses of people who always say, "OH MY GOD!" and "I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!" when they discover their bedroom has been turned into a vintage New Orleans' whorehouse with a salad bar; three history shows on various battles of World War II featuring the same stock footage and a rerun of Rocky IV (I think) the one where he beats up Mr. T. I can't face the news channels.
That leaves Rachael and the central tension of whether she will, indeed, be able to eat dinner on the crappy $40 bucks The Food Channel has given her. My god, what if she starves? What if she can't order that one lonely beer? What if she's reduced to eating the little pretzels she salvaged from the plane flight?
Now she's drinking hot buttered rum...$6.25...I may have to take a cold shower. Or an antacid. I wonder if Leonard's is open for breakfast?