Last night Oodgie and I were enjoying one of our favorite meals at one of Brooklyn's many fine-dining establishments and discussing how perfect we are in every way. I believe I may have mentioned--and I'm paraphrasing here--that Oodgie "hit the mother-load" when she met me. At about this moment Oodgie started laughing, probably because of something she saw behind me that I missed, and when she was done she said:
"Well, you could be a little more....cultured."
"That hardly makes you a renaissance man."
"Are you saying I lack class?"
"No! I just think you could be more....refined."
"Yeah. You're lowbrow and despicable."
"Is this about the spoons?"
"Well....sometimes. You're definitely not the most delicate eater in the world. You could just be more...you know...refined."
This sounded a little strange coming from someone who thinks puppets barfing is the funniest thing ever. And I took umbrage at the accusation.
("Umbrage" is a word refined people use.)
(So is "erudite")
(I'm not sure about "barfing"...refined people probably prefer "blow chunks")
But Oodgie does have a point. Emily Post wouldn't think highly of my propensity to belch during meals, or to point out that it "tastes like chicken." I'm not exactly a snappy dresser. I read the New Yorker, but I hate people who talk about reading the New Yorker. And I think a mash-up between Legos and Star Wars is fucking brilliant.
On the other hand, knowing which is your salad fork and which is your fish fork doesn't make you a better person. It may save some embarrassment when I'm dining with the ambassador, but our invitation hasn't arrived yet. I don't see anything contradictory about enjoying both William Faulkner and Neal Stephenson, Amadeus and Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, a quiet dinner party and a rodeo. I think a lot of the rules of "refinement" were invented by "refined" people so they can show off to their "refined" friends how "refined" they are. And, as you can tell, I don't hesitate to point that out from time to time.
The good news (for me, at least) is that Oodgie
tolerates loves me for who I am, even if she questions my judgment from time to time. I know what I like, I know what I don't like, and I'm willing to try pretty much anything else (except bungee-jumping) And regardless of how highbrow and sophisticated the activity or entertainment may be, we both agree that it can always be enhanced with a good fart.
'Cause farts are funny.
A Quick Note to my Refined Readers: Please accept my humblest apology if you found little delectation in the chronicle above. If you're at all timorous about perusing future vitae on this blog, let me assure you that I hold you, my esteemed Brahmin friends, in the highest regard, and shall aspire to confabulate about more genteel subjects--and in a more urbane and sophisticated manner--in the weeks ahead.