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project

Helping the Food Network

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project   

We saw Ms. Sara Moulton's

<a href="http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=81688&view=findpost&p=1108009">

response</a> which included:

<blockquote>

The new president came in with her agenda which included

getting rid of some of the old guard. Their new

demagraphic is something like 15 to 35 year old males and

their goal now is to appeal to that segment of the

population. They want talent that is for the most part

young, telegenic and very entertaining. I have a

producer friend that tried to pitch some shows and was

told, "No chefs please, and nobody with training."

</blockquote>

Gee, I used to go to the Food Network in my efforts to become

a better cook.

I wanted to <b>learn</b> and evaluate the results by how well

what I learned worked in my hands, in my kitchen, on my table,

and in my belly and where the main criteria are flavor,

preparation time, cost, and nutrition.

For this learning, I wanted material that did exploit video

and was as educational, instructional, and informative as

possible.

I know about education, spent a lot of time in a classroom

learning and later teaching challenging material; for learning

about cooking, I want more of the same.

These points are true now and were just exactly as true when I

was in the "demagraphic" of "15 to 35 year old males".

Indeed, it was those years when I bought

<blockquote>

Julia Child,

Louisette Bertholle, and

Simone Beck,

<i>Mastering the Art of French Cooking,</i>

Alfred A. Knopf,

New York,

1967.

<br><br>

Prosper Montagné,

<i>Larousse Gastronomique:

The Encyclopedia of Food, Wine,

and Cookery,</i>

ISBN 0-517-503336,

Crown Publishers,

New York,

1961.

<br><br>

A. Escoffier,

<i>Le Guide Culinaire:

The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery,</i>

Translated by

H. L. Cracknell and R. J. Kaufmann,

ISBN 0-8317-5478-8,

Mayflower,

New York,

1982.

</blockquote>

the Time-Life series <i>Foods of the World,</i> etc.

<br><br>

In particular, if I watch a show on <i>cooking</i> and don't

really actually meaningfully significantly <b>achieve</b> the

<b>GOAL</b> of learning as I have described, then I feel like

a total fool that has been manipulated and lied to and has

wasted time.

In fact, this bad result has happened on the Food Network far

too often, well past my tolerance level, and as a direct

result I have spent very few seconds tuned to that channel in

many months.

<br><br>

I liked Ms. Moulton's programs because she has good

credibility, good knowledge and skills, and is a good teacher.

That she's cuter than kittens and puppies didn't hurt but was

not important.

<br><br>

But, it appears that the Food Network wants to go in different

directions.

So, let's try to help the Food Network in their goal of a

"demagraphic" of "15 to 35 year old males".

I know something about such males because I was one and very

much have not forgotten at all, not at all.

Indeed, some of those memories are indelible!

<br><br>

I give four suggestions below and invite suggestions from

others.

<br><br>

<b>Suggestion 1.</b>

<i>Home Economics 101</i>

is a <i>reality</i>

series in a high school home economic class on beginning

cooking.

All the students are girls ages 14 to 17 and drop dead

gorgeous.

They have ponytails that bounce.

They tend to gossip and giggle.

When a girl burns some food, she pins one ear to her shoulder,

makes her eyes really big, acts meek and sweet, looks up, and

squeals.

<br><br>

The class next door is on physics, and one of the students,

Joe, is a senior, Captain of the football team, and with a 505

HP Corvette.

His father owns the important Italian foods import business

Testosteroni and Son.

<br><br>

Joe's project in the physics class is to develop software to

calculate the stiffness of a titanium tubular space frame to

be used in a mid-engine car with a 14 Liter W-16 engine with

turbo-charging and inter-cooling and 2000 HP.

<br><br>

In one episode, one of the girls starts a fire and screams,

and Joe rushes in and, using his knowledge of physics, puts

out the fire.

During the clean-up after the fire, one of the girls explains

to Joe her fears of burning the water, and Joe assures her

gently that she will not.

The girls are <b>really</b> impressed and whisper to each

other "Isn't he <b>awesome</b>!"

<br><br>

<b>Suggestion 2.</b>

<i>Home Cooking 101</i>

is also a <i>reality</i> show, and one episode is about a

pizza slumber party with six girls, all age 16, all drop dead

gorgeous, in nightgowns in a big fancy kitchen and struggling

to make pizza.

The soft dough-balls are suggestive.

The girls make a mess out of the pizza.

One of the girls uses her cell phone to call Joe who goes to

his after-school job at the pizza parlor, recently closed for

the night, heats up the oven, quickly knocks out four pizzas,

and delivers them to the girls in his Corvette.

The girls are <b>really</b> impressed

and whisper to each other

"Isn't he <b>awesome</b>!"

<br><br>

<b>Suggestion 3.</b>

<i>Camp Fire Cooking 101</i>

is, yes, a <i>reality</i> show, and one episode is about a

camping trip with eight girls, ages 15 to 17, all drop dead

gorgeous.

The girls are not able to get the tent poles erected.

When trying to build their camp fire, it rains.

It's a disaster.

<br><br>

One of the girls uses her cell phone to call Joe who breaks

off from his duck hunting trip, races over in his souped-up

572 cubic inch 650 HP tricked-out Chevy Silverado Crew Cab

3500 Big Dooley with his big friendly dog Hunding, starts the

fire, digs rain diversion trenches around the tent sites,

quickly erects the tent poles and puts up the first tent,

warms the <i>cassoulet</i> brought for the hunting trip, and,

with the girls, all in the small tent, enjoys the

<i>cassoulet</i> and dessert of chocolate cake with chocolate

icing and soft chocolate ice cream.

The girls are <b>really</b> impressed

and whisper to each other

"Isn't he <b>awesome</b>!"

<br><br>

<b>Suggestion 4.</b>

<i>International Cooking 101</i>

is, yes, a <i>reality</i> show, and one episode is about

Sandra, 16, drop dead gorgeous, daughter of a US diplomat in

an unnamed country in South Asia.

Sandra is learning about South Asian lamb stew with ancient

spices when some angry dissidents dressed all in black and

carrying AK-47s break into the kitchen and abduct Sandra,

screaming.

Next we see her sitting with some native women, all in Burkas,

including Sandra, and guarded over by an angry looking man

dressed all in black and carrying an AK-47.

<br><br>

Joe is a Captain in the Marines and a test pilot and has just

completed flight tests of the US Joint Strike Fighter F-35B

Short Take Off/Vertical Landing (STOVL) two seat trainer

version.

We see Joe in his Marine uniform giving a presentation on the

F-35B when a determined senior diplomat with Marine escort

interrupts the presentation, takes Joe to a small conference

room, and explains that he and the F-35B and its unique STOVL

capabilities are the only hope for Sandra and for peace in

South Asia.

Joe flies his F-35B to South Asia, does a midnight vertical

landing at the GPS coordinates, sets up a diversion, rescues

Sandra, remotely detonates the diversion, and does a short

takeoff with Sandra.

Landing on safe ground, as Joe helps Sandra from the F-35B,

the collected US embassy contingent gives a standing ovation.

Joe and Sandra have a romantic dinner with lamb stew with

ancient spices, eaten with the fingers, with dessert a local

dish with figs, walnuts, honey, cinnamon, and sweetened

yogurt, and at the end, with the sun descending over the

distant snow covered mountain tops, are embracing at the

corner of the arched portico of the US Ambassador's residence.

<br><br>

Several women on the embassy staff whisper to each other

"Isn't he <b>awesome</b>!"

<br><br>

Maybe no one learns much about how to boil water or cook

pizza, <i>cassoulet,</i> South Asian lamb stew, or figs, but

think of the <i>product placement</i> opportunities!

I mean, what Nielsens did

<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_T._Aubrey%2C_Jr.">

James T. Aubrey, Jr.,</a>

get from teaching cooking!


What would be the right food and wine to go with

R. Strauss's 'Ein Heldenleben'?

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Csaville   

Good Lord... When did it become so unfashionable to be in one's mid-thirties, established in a career and having some disposable income to buy fabulous chefs knives and pans with?

:blink:


Chantal

www.kawarthacuisine.ca

"Where there are vines, there is civilization"

from Mondovino

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Project, you're brilliant. This was very entertaining, or rather, it would be entertaining had I not been sure it wasn't actually a possibility. Except, it won't be Sandra, it'll be Sandy. No wait, Sandi. No, wait..... Sandii. Yeah, that's it...Sandii.

"No chefs please, and nobody with training." <<------ UNBELIEVABLE. :sad:

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Good Lord...  When did it become so unfashionable to be in one's mid-thirties, established in a career and having some disposable income to buy fabulous chefs knives and pans with?

:blink:

Well, the powers that be announced this a while back.

Apparently you missed the memo. I'll see if you can find a copy and send it along to you.


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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mrbigjas   
The girls are really impressed and whisper to each other "Isn't he awesome!"

The girls are really impressed and whisper to each other "Isn't he  awesome!"

The girls are really impressed and whisper to each other "Isn't he awesome!"

Several women on the embassy staff whisper to each other "Isn't he awesome!"

project, you're a genius, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.


Edited by mrbigjas (log)

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giggles

Project is funny and just soooo awesome!    :wub:

giggles

I believe Project also created Semi Home Cooking W/ Sandi Lee, but he won't take credit for it. Such humility.


Cooking is chemistry, baking is alchemy.

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Chad   

Interesting quotes from Bob Tuschman, Food Network's senior vice president for daytime shows in an article for the LA Times by Corie Brown:

“There are a lot of types of cooking that people love to eat but they don't want to see every day,” says Bob Tuschman, Food Network's senior vice president in charge of daytime shows. “Asian, Latin food, that's not what we’re doing now,” he says, noting that Sara Moulton and other chef-stars often host guests who cook these cuisines.

“In the early days, we assumed people were passionate about food,” says Tuschman. “We no longer assume they have much skill.” (emphasis mine)

That mentality gave birth to Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade, a show featuring recipes that seem to have originated on Campbell's soup can labels. The retro cuisine drives serious cooks mad.

“I'm sick to my stomach when I read Sandra Lee's cookbooks,” says Gastronomica's Goldstein.

But the Food Network audience loves her. “From the day she first appeared a year ago, she has had a huge fan base,” says Tuschman.

“If you are looking for food with foam on it, we're not going to have it,” he says. No apologies for abandoning more sophisticated cuisine? “I'd be more apologetic if we did a high-end program that made people feel that they can't do it and so they stay out of their kitchens,” Tuschman says.

Food Network is about food as entertainment, not food as education, culture or passion. Quoted in the same article, Brooke Bailey Johnson, Food Network's president says, "Food is pleasant, and it's made by pleasant people." It is not lowest common denominator programming, it is least objectionable programming.

The original article is much longer and compares/contrasts PBS food programming with Food Network. The LA Times has it archived, but you can read the wire service version HERE.

Chad


Edited by Chad (log)

Chad Ward

An Edge in the Kitchen

William Morrow Cookbooks

www.chadwrites.com

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Interesting quotes from Bob Tuschman, Food Network's senior vice president for daytime shows in an article for the LA Times by Corie Brown:
“If you are looking for food with foam on it, we're not going to have it,” he says.

Define "foam."


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I didn't think it was possible for me to be any more disappointed with or pissed off at the Food Network exec's aspirations for programming than when I read Sara Moulton's comments re: the 15 to 35 male target demographic and the network saying they wanted "no chefs and no one with training."

I was wrong.

Thanks Chad for supplying the link to the article highlighting the differences between PBS' and FTV's food programming. Especially after reading the remarks by FTV execs, I have to say that:

1) They have absolutely no respect, as in NONE, for their own target audience. Phrases spouted by their execs like those of Tuschman or their senior VP of prime-time programming, Kathleen Finch, saying: “At 9 p.m. you don't want to work. You want to put your feet up and be entertained.” The fact that it eludes her that you can be simultaneously enlightened/educated and entertained is rather disturbing.

2) Frankly, if their target audience is lapping up this crap at record numbers no less, the FTV execs are right: THEY DON’T DESERVE ANY RESPECT.

3) But I find this to be the most offensive: Again, from Tuschman, “There are a lot of types of cooking that people love to eat but they don't want to see every day,” “Asian, Latin food, that's not what we’re doing now.” So exactly who are the “people” he speaks of that don’t want to see that type of food each day? Perhaps someone should put him in touch with the U.S. Census Bureau as there has been rapid growth in the population of people from Asian countries as well as Spanish-speaking countries. Is it beyond him to understand that people from those countries/ethnic backgrounds are also watching from home and might enjoy seeing those cuisines more prominently featured? Or that there are plenty of folks, regardless of heritage who would enjoy that type of programming if only they would give it a chance? The truly wonderful “My Country, My Kitchen” which only lasted a few episodes on food network, comes to mind. His comments, while not exactly racist, are definitely in the realm of culturally ignorant, at least IMHO.


Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!

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Project, you're brilliant. This was very entertaining, or rather, it would be entertaining had I not been sure it wasn't actually a possibility.  Except, it won't be Sandra, it'll be Sandy. No wait, Sandi. No, wait..... Sandii. Yeah, that's it...Sandii.

"No chefs please, and nobody with training."  <<------ UNBELIEVABLE.  :sad:

Ahem. That would be Sandee.

Brilliant is right, Project. :cool:


"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office

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I didn't think it was possible for me to be any more disappointed with or pissed off at the Food Network exec's aspirations for programming than when I read Sara Moulton's comments re: the 15 to 35 male target demographic and the network saying they wanted "no chefs and no one with training."

I was wrong.

And do this demographic actually buy anything besides downloads for their iPods, time for Xbox360, and concert/movie tickets? Hell, they can see all the ta-tas they want online.

I've always had respect for the professional women out there who don't "strip to sell." There are just fewer of them, it seems.


Edited by FabulousFoodBabe (log)

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office

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I didn't think it was possible for me to be any more disappointed with or pissed off at the Food Network exec's aspirations for programming than when I read Sara Moulton's comments re: the 15 to 35 male target demographic and the network saying they wanted "no chefs and no one with training."

I was wrong.

And do this demographic actually buy anything besides downloads for their iPods, time for Xbox360, and concert/movie tickets? Hell, they can see all the ta-tas they want online.

I've always had respect for the professional women out there who don't "strip to sell." There are just fewer of them, it seems.

Exactly, FabulousFoodBabe. There's a glut of "entertainment" programming out there for this demographic already, I mean we are totally saturated with it, which brings me back to what I posted during Sara Moulton's visit to eG:

The interesting part about TVFN's target demographic of 15-35 year old males (not all, just the ones that have no interest in actually cooking anything and see food as solely entertainment or to be made for them by someone else) is that, IMHO, they are notoriously fickle and will drop the Food Network the nano-second something more interesting comes along. Hmmm, would serve them right after losing their most loyal fan base--us loveable foodies/food geeks.

They're probably working out the final details of a new show along the lines of what Project outlined above, except it will probably feature a set of hottie triplets named Sandee/Sandii/San'dy "dressed" in full stripper regalia, wearing 5-inch stilleto heels, complete with a web-cam on the set, so that their 15-35 demographic can make suggestions for what they'd like them to do in the kitchen. I can see it now: "Uh, could you please bend down and check the internal temperature of that rib roast AGAIN?" :blink:


Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!

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...They're probably working out the final details of a new show along the lines of what Project outlined above, except it will probably feature a set of hottie triplets named Sandee/Sandii/San'dy "dressed" in full stripper regalia, wearing 5-inch stilleto heels, complete with a web-cam on the set, so that their 15-35 demographic can make suggestions for what they'd like them to do in the kitchen.  I can see it now: "Uh, could you please bend down and check the internal temperature of that rib roast AGAIN?" :blink:

Now, see, THAT I would watch! I don't mind sex on my television. What I can't stand is when the show's producers think that sex is all you need, or a funny giggle, or extreme novelty stuff. I want solid cooking along with my frills. Otherwise, I can have one of the boys in my life come for a visit and cook for me in skimpy undies. Or a funny uniform. Or, I can cook, and run some comedy films while I'm doing it. In this century dumbing down will only go so far for television. There is so much information out there in our section of the world, via books, internet, people in the workplace, radio, magazines, etc.! I think that stupidity and lack of content will lose out in the long run. BUT, please, keep cuties on television! Just hire smart ones from now on!


More Than Salt

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Cure Cutaneous Lymphoma

Join the DarkSide---------------------------> DarkSide Member #006-03-09-06

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The Food Network has replaced "foam" with "fluff".


Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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...They're probably working out the final details of a new show along the lines of what Project outlined above, except it will probably feature a set of hottie triplets named Sandee/Sandii/San'dy "dressed" in full stripper regalia, wearing 5-inch stilleto heels, complete with a web-cam on the set, so that their 15-35 demographic can make suggestions for what they'd like them to do in the kitchen.  I can see it now: "Uh, could you please bend down and check the internal temperature of that rib roast AGAIN?" :blink:

Hey, bad enough the guy has to mangle my name, but apostrophes? That's over the line.

OTOH, you really oughta see me in 5-inch stillettos and a bustier. :wink:

Now, see, THAT I would watch! I don't mind sex on my television. What I can't stand is when the show's producers think that sex is all you need, or a funny giggle, or extreme novelty stuff. I want solid cooking along with my frills. Otherwise, I can have one of the boys in my life come for a visit and cook for me in skimpy undies. Or a funny uniform. Or, I can cook, and run some comedy films while I'm doing it. In this century dumbing down will only go so far for television. There is so much information out there in our section of the world, via books, internet, people in the workplace, radio, magazines, etc.! I think that stupidity and lack of content will lose out in the long run. BUT, please, keep cuties on television! Just hire smart ones from now on!

Hey, how about a program that would appeal to both you and me?

Let's call it "Chippendale Cuisine," in which buff guys strip to the waist and prepare sizzling dishes for audiences of adoring ladies and the occasional queer guy, who would provide campy running commentary on their presentation and, um, technique.

As for cooking with comedy and education thrown in, Alton Brown does a good job, though I imagine his mix of corniness and geekiness is not for everyone. I find it appealing enough--and his science-of-cooking lessons useful enough--that I may just go out and buy I'm Only Here for the Food.


Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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jsolomon   
I don't mind sex on my television.

You must have a much larger television set than I do :laugh: But, I must say, I am NEVER AGAIN cooking bacon sans shirt. Nope, not even for Stacy Kiebler.

As for how much foam? Whipped cream r00lz even more than p0rq ph4t.


I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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DTBarton   

One of the girls uses her cell phone to call Joe who breaks off from his duck hunting trip, races over in his souped-up 572 cubic inch 650 HP tricked-out Chevy Silverado Crew Cab 3500 Big Dooley with his big friendly dog Hunding, starts the fire, digs rain diversion trenches around the tent sites, quickly erects the tent poles and puts up the first tent, warms the cassoulet brought for the hunting trip, and, with the girls, all in the small tent, enjoys the cassoulet and dessert of chocolate cake with chocolate icing and soft chocolate ice cream. The girls are really impressed and whisper to each other "Isn't he awesome!"

That's quite an erection, Joe!

For the target demographic, the formula is simple. Food Network pay per view, available in HDTV for TIVO and/or as a video podcast.

Title: Topless girls gone wild cooking with beer! Brought to you by Bud Light!

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I figured the apostrophe would get you to post here Sandy! :rolleyes:

*** Note to self: would pay good money to see Sandy actually don stilettos and a bustier; though I adore Alton Brown, him dressed as such would be just too weird *** :wacko:

Please get back to us after you've pitched your "Chippendale Cuisine" idea to FTV!

And Rebecca263 it's obvious that I really need to be hangin' out with you since at the drop of a hat you're able to............

Otherwise, I can have one of the boys in my life come for a visit and cook for me in skimpy undies.
:biggrin:

As for you saying that you'd like "solid cooking with your frills," I think FTV is attempting to do this with Rachel Ray, Giada De Laurentiis, and :wub: Tyler Florence :wub: each of whom (especially Rachel Ray) has made for some very vigorous debate on several eG threads. I don't know that I share your optimism--though I hope you're right--about the future of tv programming when you say "dumbing down can only go so far" since just when I think tv execs in general can't sink any lower, they usually do.


Edited by divalasvegas (log)

Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!

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Hey, how about a program that would appeal to both you and me?

Let's call it "Chippendale Cuisine," in which buff guys strip to the waist and prepare sizzling dishes for audiences of adoring ladies and the occasional queer guy, who would provide campy running commentary on their presentation and, um, technique.

As for cooking with comedy and education thrown in, Alton Brown does a good job, though I imagine his mix of corniness and geekiness is not for everyone.  I find it appealing enough--and his science-of-cooking lessons useful enough--that I may just go out and buy I'm Only Here for the Food.

Or a reality show about the planning and operation of a anti-Hooters restaurant named "Peckers". (Woodpecker as mascot, etc)


Screw it. It's a Butterball.

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Hey, how about a program that would appeal to both you and me?

Let's call it "Chippendale Cuisine," in which buff guys strip to the waist and prepare sizzling dishes for audiences of adoring ladies and the occasional queer guy, who would provide campy running commentary on their presentation and, um, technique...

...Or a reality show about the planning and operation of a anti-Hooters restaurant named "Peckers". (Woodpecker as mascot, etc)

OK, Sandy, I'd go for that if the boys can really cook REAL food, none of that ice cream rolled in corn flakes stuff that Ms.Ray has offered us.

Oh, and FistFullaRoux? That's MY idea! I boycott Hooters, they'll see me when they either A) drop the kiddy menu or B) repackage themselves as Hooters 'n' Peckers. I don't think their marketing practices are fair to those of us who like boys too. And, more importantly, I don't think the kiddles should be taught that ONLY girls are worth marketing for sexual objectification, you know what I mean? If this is a distasteful idea to them, well, then,why is it OK to have a kiddy menu in a place that objectifies girls, and only girls?


More Than Salt

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Cure Cutaneous Lymphoma

Join the DarkSide---------------------------> DarkSide Member #006-03-09-06

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...And Rebecca263 it's obvious that I really need to be hangin' out with you since at the drop of a hat you're able to............
Otherwise, I can have one of the boys in my life come for a visit and cook for me in skimpy undies.
:biggrin: ...

I do realize that I AM pretty lucky in the boy department, but I don't think you'd like my type of boy, all those aging punk rockers and artists, avant garde composers and such, they've all been at least as colorful as me, and that's saying something! Still, most of them can cook, and look pretty cute while they're in the kitchen, too! Oh, and jsolomon, you wanted to know how big my television was? That's REALLY funny to me, because of the photo session I did with the artist Stawieray~on top of a television! That's food related, because he and I were foodie soul mates together on many a trip.


Edited by Rebecca263 (log)

More Than Salt

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Cure Cutaneous Lymphoma

Join the DarkSide---------------------------> DarkSide Member #006-03-09-06

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Or a reality show about the planning and operation of a anti-Hooters restaurant named "Peckers". (Woodpecker as mascot, etc)

Frankie Johnson's.


"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office

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jsolomon   
Frankie Johnson's.

Frankie Johnson's FireHouse Diner (with a blinky neon 'u' while everything else stays lit).

But what would people go there to "eat"? Hooters has it's wings...


I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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