Our story tonight takes place on a darkened night with a moderate storm occurring in the background.
Are we discussing the minutae of human nature?
Are we referencing anything that has to do with behavioral psychology?
Hell no. We’re talking about a manly subject that many of my readers have come to hold dear: steak and its preparation. Tonight we will discuss the strangeness that comes from invoking a remote spectator in the overall preparation of said steak.
Let’s get to it.
The Caper Begins
When I was in college we had a shared kitchen in the shared dorm. Suffice it to say that several of the denizens of said dorm were of sub-par cooking quality. There were those who could make basic dishes and then there were those who struggled with even the simplest directions that were printed on the basic Cup-o-Noodles recipes.
One of the idiots decided to microwave the equivalent of a Venti cup of a particular Starbucks roast. Needless to say that concoction wound up covering the ceiling of the microwave as well as its bottom; as the idiot stood cleaning it the rest of us gathered around and laughed at him in order to drive home the concept that the aforementioned should not be attempted in a simple microwave.
It absolutely gets worse from here so I encourage you to read on.
Everything was normal except for the one guy attempting to cook noodles that night. How he managed to burn said noodles and set off the fire alarm is beyond me; however, he pulled off such a feat and therefore the majority of us wound up outside in the cold air of a 2 AM morning.
I talked with one of the fire officers and he had nothing to say beside “Yep, that bowl of overcooked noodles is responsible”. Of course we hunted down the culprit and exacted the college version of frontier justice but that is neither here nor there.
We were informed of the status of the building (i.e. we can all go back inside and go back to sleep) fairly early that night. There are some things that just won’t die, however, and they tend to live on through either written story or word-of-mouth.
I had yet to realize that I would soon be engaged in such a discussion in the worst possible time.
The Steak and Its Victim
As I stand urinating at the stall before me I hear a familiar voice.
“Hawk, does this look medium-rare to you?”
I’M STILL PEEING. For some reason, the stall door is still open so this is at least partially my fault.
“Hawk, take a look at this”.
I’m greeted with a piece of steak on the end of a fork while I’m trying to pee. My friend Alex had thought it proper to bring in this piece of steak for my review; while I generally don’t mind taking a look at various pieces of steak I have a mental block against doing it while I’m urinating.
“Hawk, this is medium-rare, right?”
Alex is now shoving this piece of meat in my face now while I’m trying to pee.
It has a nice exterior coating with just the right amount of internal redness so I figure “this looks good”.
“Of course that’s medium-rare. That looks good to me!”
He replies, “See, that’s what I thought! Thanks, Hawk.”
Upon realizing what has just happened I go back to my business and everything goes normally.
Sometimes your friends need your opinion on a specific cut of meat. Other times, your friends require your opinion in a restroom stall and nothing else can possibly serve the requirements for which have been set forth.
Either way, meat always has some kind of underlying ruleset that is modified based upon how it is cooked.