Wendy: Could you pass the cream?
Ray: Are you sure that’s cream?
Wendy: Isn’t it?
Ray: Probably not. It’s probably not even milk, right. I mean its been sitting here on the table for how long. It would spoil right? Look, it doesn’t even look like milk.
Wendy: Oh, well but whatever it is, this coffee would taste awful without it.
Ray: Yeah. Here.
Ray: How was your trip?
Wendy: Hm? Oh. It’s like pretty much all of them, I spent a lot of time in my hotel room.
Ray: You get free trips to exciting places all over the world and you sit in hotel rooms?
Wendy: I don’t know, they’re never as exciting as you think they’re going to be. Or you remember they were. And when you’re by yourself going out to places where you’re supposed to have fun in actuality just turns out to mean watching a bunch of total strangers having fun. And not like a lot of fun, not like so much fun that its fun just to watch them have that much fun. For that you have to watch TV. And I can do that in my hotel room.
Ray: So you just watch TV?
Wendy: Not really.
Wendy: Usually I just sleep. Or read.
Ray: What are you reading?
Wendy: Well, no that’s not what I did this time. I actually don’t have any book I am reading right now.
Ray: So you slept?
Wendy: No, not this time.
Wendy: You know what, I wrote something.
Ray: You wrote something. Like what? You mean like a story?
Wendy: Well, I wanted to write a story, I tried to write a story. I mean, I sat down with a pen and said “I’m gonna write a story.”
Ray: About what?
Wendy: Well, that’s the thing, what are you supposed to start with when you write a story? I didn’t know. I don’t know.
Ray: But you have to start with something. I mean, at least you gotta know what you are going to write about. Characters?
Wendy: Right, well that’s what I started with.
Ray: So who are your characters?
Wendy: Well, I didn’t actually write a story.
Ray: I thought you said you sat down and wrote a story.
Wendy: I sat down thinking I would write a story, I got stuck sitting there thinking what you have to do to start writing a story, I decided I should start with some characters so I started to think of some characters and I didn’t really get anywhere.
Ray: So you didn’t write anything?
Wendy: I did, but its not really a story and I couldn’t really come up with any good characters.
Ray: I can’t believe that you couldn’t come up with good characters. What about just copying somebody you know? I mean you know so many characters you could just change the name and write about them? Or like, you know, a composite character. Make a character out of people you know.
Wendy: I thought of that, but I
Ray: What are you doing?
Wendy: I only like the outside part.
Ray: Are you even supposed to eat the outside part?
Wendy: You’re joking right? Of course you are. It’s the best part. I mean as far as I can tell the only purpose of the Brie is to provide some interior mass to hold up this layer of whatever it is that tastes so good.
Ray: Isn’t that just like pure mold?
Wendy: Is it? I don’t know maybe, but I tell you what its the best tasting mold I ever had. But the cheese inside is horrible, it’s like eating straight butter.
Ray: So do you actually buy Brie and just eat the outside part?
Ray: And throw away the inside part?
Wendy: Well I wouldn’t say exactly throw it away..
Ray: I see.
Wendy: I mean after the skin has been removed what’s left is not something you could actually throw, but yeah, I have no use for it.
Ray: That’s a pretty expensive snack.
Wendy: Well obviously the production process is horribly inefficient. The ratio of molten butter-slash-cheese per square inch of the good stuff is exorbitant.
Ray: Sounds like a market opportunity.
Wendy: Hey, no kidding!
Ray: How much actual Brie do you need to make a certain quantity of Brie-boundary? I think that’s a Calculus problem.
Wendy: Brie-Boundary, I like it. Or how about Brie-Bloom?
Wendy: Oh man, Brie Brickle.
Ray: You know its probably not a crazy idea at all. I mean think of all the bizarro after-market food modifications being sold all the time.
Wendy: Ice Wine.
Wendy: I love pluots.
Ray: Me too.
Wendy: OK here’s the thing:
Wendy: You know in some pretentious restaurants where the dishes are so complicated that it takes 3 people to serve it. One person to arm you with a whole new set of utensils specifically machined to interface with the particular food on the plate, one person to put the plate in front of you, and one person to point at every atomic element on the plate telling you what it is and which local biodynamic farm it came from? It seems like every time I eat at one of those restaurants, strewn across the otherwise most appetizing item on the plate is some disgusting unnaturally-colored substance that looks like it was skimmed off the pond at said farm right after the runoff from a wash-out rainstorm. Foam. And that’s exactly what they call it. They can’t even come up with some halfway inviting name for it. It’s like “Here you have scallops caught this morning by divers and carried one by one out of the sea in jewel cases, seared perfectly over a geyser we had re-routed at great expense to our kitchen, set over rare grains that were collected by celibate Monks, and finally topped with FOAM.
Ray: I’ve seen that.
Wendy: Okay but here’s my biggest food mystery.
Wendy: Asiago cheese. Right? Tell me, is that really a cheese?
Ray: What do you mean?
Wendy: There’s chard on your face.
Wendy: The greens. It’s chard right? I think the server said it was chard. I think he said something like “embellished with pearls of chard.”
Ray: Better than shards of pearls.
Wendy: Anyway there’s a pearl on your chin, you might want to wipe it off. Oh hey, how was that new exhibition you went to?
Ray: Ah yes, the Alpha-Beam Installation.
Wendy: What was that?
Ray: You’ve heard of I-beams right? Well, this guy built massive steel beams with cross-sections for every letter of the alphabet.
Ray: And P-beams, and Z-beams, etc. And punctuation beams. The semi-colon beam was an engineering feat in itself.
Ray: Yeah right, and he wrote poetry with his beams. Gargantuan, industrial poetry. A single haiku took up the space of football stadium.
Wendy: I love it.
Ray: I guess, but come on how is that art?
Wendy: Oh, don’t be such a douchebag.
Ray: Listen, it may sound cliche, but really anybody could have done that. Even I could have done that. I’m no artist, and if I could have done that, it’s not art.
Wendy: But you didn’t do it. On the other hand, he did. Because it’s art and because you are not an artist.
Ray: Ok, I’ve heard that one before, but I’m telling you that argument just doesn’t work. Sure I didn’t make alphanumeric pillars and arrange them into rhymes and sure I never would have dreamed of doing something like that but that doesn’t make him any more of an artist than me. Think of the thousands of other self-styled artists working in obscurity picking completely random things and not using them for their intended purpose. One of these guys gets plucked out of his basement and placed in an art museum handing out free cheese and wine to 7 of his friends from high school. It’s not enough to point out that he did it and not us. Because there’s a thousand things we did and he didn’t. Your argument gives me no way of distinguishing between a world where this guy has some innate ability to sense which particular non-functional scrap of architecture has the power to move people and a world where everybody is repeating pre-school art projects and one gets picked at random to fill up a vacant wharehouse.
Wendy: You would be such a bore if it weren’t for the hilarious food on your face.