On Dumplings

Owing to a Master’s Thesis which devoured most of my writing energies for the year, I’ve not been able to maintain this blogue ((I’ve frankified the spelling of the word “blog” in an effort to make it seem more erudite)) with the sort of frequency one might desire.  However, I’ve been able to reel in my old friend Anne Thrope to do a little piece for me.  “Anne,” quoth I, “would you mind terribly knocking together a little something for my blogue?”  “Sure,” quoth she.  “What did you have in mind?  Another rant?”  “I should be delighted,” quoth I.  What follows is that rant…

Let me start by saying that I love dumplings.  I love dumplings.  Love ‘em.  Five for a dollar at Prosperity.  It’s got to be the best deal in town.  I mean, where can you get five of anything for a buck?  Let alone anything as good as a dumpling.  So what if the guy behind the counter hasn’t smiled since General Chennault was in China with the Flying Tigers?  So what if the place is nothing more than a 4×4 holding cell for hungry Chinese, idiot hipsters, tourists who obviously know somebody who sent them there because honestly you could never find this place on your own if you didn’t live here, screaming children, pushy Chinese, this one sketchy photographer dude in a leather jacket that I see from time to time and I’m pretty sure is kind of a dick (unless he reads this, in which case, hey what’s up), and pushy hungry screaming Chinese children.  Obviously this little 4×4 dumpling play pen doesn’t hold all these folks at once.  That’s what the line out the door is for.  Or, alternatively, why you try to go at not-quite-lunchtime.  So you get your five-for-a-dollar, hit it with some sriracha and soy sauce, and get the hell out of that claustrophobophoric fox-hole and enjoy your glorious dumplings in peace.  Or you get your sesame pancake.  I mean, they look great, but they clock in at what, $1.25? $1.50?  I’m not made of money.  The point is, I love the classic dumpling.

Also the soup dumpling.  I’m assuming you know what a soup dumpling is.  This may be an error, as I can’t tell you how many people I’ve had to explain this to.  I try to tell them, “Ok, picture the greatest thing ever.  Now imagine it’s a dumpling.  Now imagine it just had an orgasm in your mouth.  Now imagine that your mouth had a return orgasm all over it.”  Gross, right?  No!  Because it’s a dumpling. (Dumpling!).  With soup inside it.  (Soup!).   I mean, I’m ready to put the soup dumpling forward as proof of the existence of god.  You want to teach creationism?  Go right ahead, provided you use the soup dumpling as your sole example of why there has to be a god.  Because things like this don’t happen by accident.  We can explain the creation of the earth and the moon and the sun with physics.  And evolution is totally fine.  But you don’t get the soup dumpling without divine intervention.  It just doesn’t happen.  Because if mankind were actually capable of this kind of genius, we’d have figured out how to stop having Republicans who keep thinking it’s a good idea to use the word “rape” in any context whatsoever.  Or wars.  Whatever.  Anyway, the soup dumpling.  A cheap treasure.  You can find them at Joe’s Shanghai among other places.  They cost something on the order of six for eight bucks, give or take.  People, this is a small price to pay to make out with god.

And then, This.  My friends, the dumpling has gone Artisan.  Θεέ μου θεέ μου, ἱνατί με έγκατέλιπεϲ; ((My god my god, why have you forsaken me? – Matthew, 27:46.  And yes, I had to look that up.  Also, and I’m not a biblical scholar and I don’t deal in koine Greek, but notice the lack of elision on “με.”  “ἐγκατέλιπεϲ” is a natural adonic which gives the line a literally epic close.  Yet the rhythm, at least to my Homerically trained eye, is derailed by the lack of elision in the preceding word.  So as a Jew, I feel comfortable saying that the real shame here is not the crucifixion of Jesus, but the crucifixion of epic rhythmical figures.  But I guess it’s only a matter of time before King James gets his hands on it anyway.  So whatever.  But, whither dumplings?)) You see, this is why we can’t have nice things.  Hipsters will eventually ruin everything.  First they came for Cheese.  But I’m lactose intolerant, so I didn’t say anything.  Then they came for Beer. ((Don’t get me started.))  But I prefer whiskey, so I kept my head down.  And now they’ve come for the Dumpling.  And who is left to speak out?  Look, I don’t mean to be hysterical.  Artisan dumpling establishments are not going to put the five-for-a-buck Chinatown shops out of business.  It’s just that, well, can’t I enjoy my cheap dumplings in peace?  Does a “pretzel dumpling” really need to be a thing?  Not that it’s not nice.  I’m sure it’s nice.  But it’s this sort of cavalier attitude that will spawn hundreds, if not thousands, of hipsters who are now going to talk like they “know” all about dumplings.  Hipsters, you do not “know” all about dumplings.  Oh, but you know how to be pretentious about them, don’t you?  And now it’s only a matter of time until I’m standing on line at Prosperity and will be forced to endure overhearing the hipsterical pontification about how these dumplings are the greatest hidden treasure because they’re so cheap (and I’ll be godsdamned if the word “authentic” doesn’t pass your ἕρκοϲ ὀδόντων), ((“The wall of your teeth,” a Homeric formulaic figure, often used to express the idea of, “What the fuck did you just say?”)) but ohmigod have you had the pretzel dumplings!?”  Ohmigod, shut the fuck up.  Please.  Pretty please, with a slice of orange on top.

Miss Thrope is the author of many unpublished works, including the hardly known “I Don’t Care What You Did Last Summer,” and the will have been posthumous classic “Die, You Bastard: A Love Story.”  She does not have a small dog which is the size of a large rat that she carries in a purse.  And even if she did have such a dog, she would still not carry it in her purse.  I mean, seriously.  She lives in New York City.  Alone.