July 25, 2007

"Christopher Hitchens famously put picnics on his list of life's most overrated things, alongside lobster, champagne and a certain sex act."

So begins an article titled "Abandon tired picnic dishes." Do you: 1. Keep reading to discover exciting new picnic dishes? 2. Google to discover exactly which sex act Hitchens thought was overrated?

I Googled... and gave some thought to the possibility of all four things coming into play on a particular occasion. Why not invite your paramour out on the perfect anti-Hitchens date?

28 comments:

Saint Russell said...

I'm imagining an anti-Althouse picnic, with comments trolls wearing shorts and eating deviled eggs.

Saint Russell said...

Deviled? Devilled? Okay, egg-salad sandwiches.

Maxine Weiss said...

http://www.qvc.com/index.html

Jeremy said...

A date without anal sex is like lobster without clarified butter.

B said...

I wonder if Christoper's good friend Andrew Sullivan has read this?

SteveR said...

I agree about picnics for sure, but as a young man without a lot of money, a picnic was a fine way to add romance to a date. Now days not so much.

Just because you've tried lobster and not liked it, doesn't mean I don't think its great. Or something like that..

Zeb Quinn said...

A date without anal sex is like lobster without clarified butter.

The juxtaposition is evocative of that certain scene of Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider in Last Tango in Paris.

Michael said...

B: Christoper's good friend Andrew Sullivan has read this?

Perhaps that's why Hitchens put this list together - one too many lobster and champaign picnics with Sullivan.

Peter Palladas said...

Anal? I had assumed he would have been refering to oral, which by happenstance is actually somewhat akin to lobster: a delightful luxury rather than a strict necessity, a difficult dish to manage well or without getting fibres stuck in your teeth and, above all, rarely served at home.

Sadly - perhaps - I have never dined anally in any setting, whether domestic, restaurant or even al fresco, and so cannot offer it any rating over or under.

I believe I rather subscribe to the Evelyn Waugh school of thought on this whole matter of back-bottom sex, who explained it thus to his attentive son Auberon:

"A rectum is designed exclusively for the passing of solid waste material from the body and not for the insertion of a penis, howsoever lovingly placed therein."

Jeremy said...

Peter: That was the post of the day for me. Perfect description of oral. And lobster.

Anal is just fine, assuming you've chosen the right girl for the job. The whole point is that it's dirty, so to me that's a selling point, and apparently to you and Waugh, it's a deal-breaker (of course, it can be TOO dirty--ugh). Now, while I'm okay with anal, I can't say the same for what's popularly referred to as "ass-to-mouth." That's just not cool.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Lest we forget: Althouse sees no point in picnics.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

But Althouse's former husband used to like to picnic.

joe said...

Reminds of George Costanza combining his 2 (3?) favorite things - eating and sex (TV?). Memory fails.
Anal? That's a one way street as some comedian once said.

Pogo said...

Hitchens, like picnics and champagne, is best when limited. With CH, this is accomplished by avoiding discussions of [stage whisper] God, Mother Theresa, and Kissinger, in that order.

I must agree with Evelyn Waugh on coitus analis. And thanks to Palladas for a fine post.

Sigivald said...

So, lobsters without clarified butter are the rule rather than the exception, Jeremy?

I think you need to work on that a little harder.

("A date is like a lobster: Both have rubber bands around their claws!")

Anyway, while Althouse has a good idea in principle, I'm not sure lobster's such a good picnic food.

SteveR said...

Evelyn Waugh's criteria for acceptable sexual acts rules a lot of things out. What's a mouth "designed" for? Certainly not swapping spit, speaking of contaminated.

*jane said...

Sweet lobster drowned in butter, clarified or otherwise, is too much. Oh, this is all too much.

MadisonMan said...

Lobster is way too messy for a picnic -- you really need lots of water to wash off your hands -- lest they get itchy (in my case at least -- I have some weird lobster allergy).

Michael Reynolds said...

He's right about Champagne -- they are seldom really exceptional wines. He's right about lobster, at least in and of itself, although a vanilla lobster can be amazing. Generally I'd take blue crab over lobster. He's right that picnics are miserable.

*jane said...

A picnic with anything other than a modest wine, bread, fruit and good cheese in a knapsack is silly and a lot of work. A couple of cups, Swiss knife and a maybe a jacket for the ground complete the spread for a lovely afternoon outdoors. Then just nibble, tipple and loll. Repeat.

Pogo said...

A big ol' family picnic with volleyball and bratwurst is a hoot for kids, and not a horror for the adults. For just two, jane's recipe is perfect.

A picnic of one is just too sad for words.

blake said...

I and some friends had a delightful picnic at the Hollywood Bowl once with lobster and a sort of pseudo-champagne (as we were not drinking).

The actual performance left a lot to be desired, however.

The concert, I mean. I have no comment on the fourth item of Mr. Hitchens' list.

AJD said...

Richard????


Boys????


This post cries out for your comments!!!

B said...

Sorry Michael Reynolds,

but a good Moet & Chandon is heavenly . . . and I'm a non-drinker.

But you sir are right about:

Lobster IS severely overrated - several crab species are sweeter and far more succulent.

As to picnics: how uptight do you have to be to not enjoy a simple picnic?

and as to the end part . . .

whose?

EnigmatiCore said...

Now don't be sad, because three out of four ain't bad.

Cedarford said...

A bit of exertion, fresh air, a lover or good friend and a fine meal with a view outdoors is one of life's great pleasures.

I think the basic problem is Hitch dragging his ass hung over from too much late night drinking tromping along, smoking cigarettes, and saying "this outdoors silliness sucks". With Hitch pausing, then going: "And it all tastes like crap with a Morlboro in your mouth."

Our basic hiker/higher end picnic fare is the 1.5 liter good Cali wine in a box + American Grinder/Sub with gourmet ingredients and all the components separated. Good bread in a paper sack, the stuff that would sog up the bread if assembled earlier in plastic ziplock bags. Then the wine box makes a good garbage container to stuff any picnic remnants in to pack out. A good excuse to drink ALL the wine and offer extra to other people on the trail.

And if known ahead of time that some good wild mushrooms or berries are in season - or any fish, sea produce might be encountered, adding them to the menu with the necessary accompaniments. Cream and sugar for wild blackberries. Salt for wild parsnips. Some wasabi and ginger and maybe a supersharp knife for shellfish on a coastal hike. (Shovel for the amazingly good wild goeduck).

Then there is Alaska - start a hike with nothing but tinfoil and a little salt and be picnicing over grilled salmon grabbed on the hike with fresh wild parsnips, bearberries drinking pure fresh ice cold glacier water....

Revenant said...

I've never seen the appeal of champagne or lobster.

Jeremy said...

Sigvald:

I think my post was quite clear. And without clarified butter is most certainly the exception. ;)

The nice thing about anal sex and lobster is that you can use the clarified butter for better enjoyment of both.