Hmm Weekly for August 17, 2020

Tuesday means never having to say you're sorry

Hmm Weekly for August 17, 2020

Another Week, Another Hmm Weekly

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By Joe MacLeod

The Mr. Wrong column is presented by Hmm Weekly.

Do you see the buttons? Do you feel the buttons? How many buttons?

The Ecology of Economy

I AM VERY proud of myself because I bought a brand-new air conditioning machine for my bedroom. They (and you know who They are) say new appliances are better than older ones on account of the Efficiency of Energy and stuff, like when our Government had the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS), a/k/a Cash for Clunkers, to help the Economy and the Environment. I dunno if it worked, I kinda think everybody just liked saying “Cash for Clunkers” because of all the good hard-K Komedy sounds? Today I Learned: The car that got Clunkered for the most Cash was the Ford Explorer. Number One! Clunk!

Anyway, I bought a New and therefore more Energy Efficient, AC for my bedroom, and it’s fine, it’s shinier and quieter than the old one, and it has a logo on it for ENERGY STAR and everything, but there’s this thing called ECO MODE, which is a giant pain in my sweaty ass. When I am done bedrooming, I turn it off, the Air Conditioning unit, because nobody’s in the bedroom all day except for the cat, which, not to be cruel to animals or anything, but that fucking animal: 1.) Sleeps in every goddamn room of the house, and 2.) Does not have a job, therefore kicks in Zero for expenses, so I’m not leaving the AC on just so it can be comfortable on the duvet cover and get hairs all over, no offense.

Like I was saying, I turn off the machine for the majority of the day, to save money and Energy Star, and then in the pre-sleepytime-nite-nite evening, I cut it back on to cool the bedchamber in preparation for and anticipation of blissful slumber. I have discovered that every goddamn time I turn it back on, the machine automatically starts off in ECO MODE. The thing is, ECO MODE basically consists of the Coldness, the “Air Conditioning” part of the Air Conditioner mechanism cutting off and then just the fan blowing air, and when the Conditioning kicks in again, it changes the sound and wakes me the fuck up and I realize I’m hotter than I would be if I was asleep, plus, I am awake. Then I have to try and push the buttons on the front of the AC Machine to try and get it to switch from ECO MODE to normal operation of an Air Conditioning machine! Have you dealt with these new “buttons?” There’s no button, it’s just an area on the unit where you press down, because apparently it is way more ECO MODE to not have buttons and just have a stupid Membrane for button-pushing! And the stupid AC came with a remote that I never asked for, and is across the room on the dresser because I never use it! I’m not sleeping with a goddamn remote! Should I also sleep with my fucking phone? Hey, howabout the TV remote? Damn, I sure wish my desktop computer had a remote so I could just strap on a fucking Utility Belt and sleep with all my remotes! Goddammit, I’m in charge of my Sleep Hygiene, not The Machines!

So what happens is, at Bedtime, before I slip into the arms of Morpheus, I typically forget to press the stupid fucking button and switch the recently-turned-on AC outta ECO MODE, and then later that night when I am supposed to be asleep, I get snapped the fuck out of my well-deserved REM-cycle rest when the machine downshifts or kicks in the Cool, and I gotta reach over and hit that “button,” which means I have to feel around for a minute swelling of the Membrane on the control panel, which I am not sensing well because I am still trying to be sleeping, and if I can’t press it right, it fucks up some other setting, sop then I have to turn on a light, which means I am now completely One Hundred Percent more Awake I was than a minute ago when I was sleeping in a cooled room which is not as cool as I intended it to be on account of it was slacking off in stupid ECO MODE!

It’s a racket. Remember those Compact Fluorescent light bulbs? That was gonna be an ECO MODE answer, the thing that got rid of all the incandescent light bulbs because they used less juice. Sure, but turns out they are all loaded with Mercury and stuff and if you break one you gotta declare your house a Hazmat zone for cleanup. I still have a few in my basement, and I look at them and hope they die so I can replace them with the Light Emitting Diode bulbs, that nobody asked for and nobody said we hadda use, they just showed up because of Innovation, and they’re way better than all the other light bulbs! Plus they are totally ECO MODE! The Economy aspect coincided with the Ecology! Light For All!

Look, I don’t have the energy to Rage at my Machine, but I’m totally fucking mad at my Machine. Just being mad is enough to raise my temperature, you know? And then I need my Cooling Machine! This ECO MODE is a trick to get you to think you are Consuming Less while you are getting charged more, like when the Power Company was trying to get us all on board for Energy Savings days or whatever, so we would use less Energy, with the idea that we would save money. No kidding, Power Company, you mean if I don’t run the AC when it’s blazing hot out I will save money on my electricity? No shit! Thanks! I would shake your Corporate hand, but my hand is disgustingly sweaty right now, OK?

Meanwhile, what the fuck does ECO even mean? Is it ECONOMY, as in save money, or is it like ECOLOGY, to save The Planet? I don’t see how the goddamn machine cutting on and off while I’m trying to sleep helps the Earth, and (right now) I have enough dough to be able to afford investing in restful and Climate-Controlled unconsciousness so I can wake up and get out there on the track and make more money!

Don’t force me to have ECO MODE on my Air Conditioning, I know how to save money, you just just turn the fucking thing off and go someplace where it’s cool. You want me to use less Electric on my Appliance? Why? So there’s more juice out there for all the goddamn Electric Cars? Can I buy an Electric Car that’s good to sleep in?


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WE WIND DOWN our presentation of select recipes from the leviathan and encyclopedic 1896 edition of The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, by Fannie Merritt Farmer, Principal of the Boston Cooking-School, with our second and final installment of a sandwich-adjacent item, canapés.

Anchovy Canapés .
Spread circular pieces of toasted bread with Anchovy Butter. Chop separately yolks and whites of hard boiled eggs. Cover canapés by quarters with egg, alternating yolks and whites. Divide yolks from whites with anchovies split in two lengthwise, and pipe around a border of Anchovy Butter, using a pastry bag and tube.

  • Anchovy Butter.  
    1/4 cup butter.
    Anchovy essence.
    Cream the butter, and add Anchovy essence to taste.

Canapés Lorenzo.
Toast slices of bread cut in shape of horseshoes, cream two tablespoons butter, and add one teaspoon white of egg. Spread rounding with Crab Mixture, cover with creamed butter, sprinkle with cheese, and brown in the oven. Serve on a napkin, ends toward centre of dish, and garnish with parsley.

  • Crab Mixture.  Finely chop crab meat, season with salt, cayenne, and a few drops of lemon juice, then moisten with Thick White Sauce. Lobster meat may be used in place of crab meat.
  • Thick White Sauce (for Cutlets and Croquettes).
    2 1/2 tablespoons butter.
    1 cup milk.
    1/4 cup corn-starch or 1/3 cup flour.
    1/4 teaspoon salt.
    Few grains pepper.
    Make same as Thin White Sauce.
  • Thin White Sauce.
    Put butter in saucepan, stir until melted and bubbling; add flour mixed with seasonings, and stir until thoroughly blended. Pour on gradually the milk, adding about one-third at a time, stirring until well mixed, then beating until smooth and glossy. If a wire whisk is used, all the milk may be added at once; and although more quickly made if milk is scalded, it is not necessary.

If you make one of these canapés, before you eat it, please won’t you send a picture to

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