Charles Darwin often said that “no one could be a good observer unless he was an active theorizer.”
Accordingly, Mr. Henry has been theorizing. Why do so many New Yorkers spend so much money going out to eat?
Americans as a whole do not save. We know there is entirely too much waste in our budgets, but should so much of our budget go to our waists?
The Obama nation, if it comes to pass today, is going to have to cinch it in, brothers and sisters, because the reckoning is near, the reckoning of monthly accounts, that is.
As raincoaster so aptly points out, habitués of restaurants very often don’t have the wherewithal to support such a lifestyle. Night after night, careening towards insolvency, impelled by some hidden Darwinian urge, they push through the portals of fancy eateries.
Are these self-destructive people somehow advancing an agenda, raising their status, or perpetuating the species in ways we cannot see?
Even to observe this calamitous feeding behavior requires a larger dispensable income than Mr. Henry’s own, and requires, as well, an elastic schedule. If you walk the noble hound Pepper no later than 7:00 a.m. every morning, how can you have lingered until midnight in a downtown restaurant? Each night before bed he must also allow enough time to wrestle Mrs. Henry away from the endless presidential election TV extravaganza or whatever news machine that will now takes its place.
Mr. Henry’s theory is that people are searching for knowledge, the same reason Eve ate the apple when in truth she wasn’t particularly hungry. It is curiosity, a desire for hipness, and a struggle for dominance over the pack.
The best restaurants inform the imagination while seducing the palate, a marriage of skilled work and artistic flair. Most restaurants, however, offer only a casual fling – a flirty sauce, sweet and sour, less interesting than ketchup, or else an utterly inappropriate one-night stand like sushi with tabasco.
If you really want to taste the pleasures of life, if you really want to get to know someone new, get together and cook.