The Air at the Top of the Bottle

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Imitation Butter

November 23rd, 2011 · 2 Comments


I had always thought “imitation butter” was margarine; that is, a spread that imitates butter’s oleaginous properties, and could be substituted if butter was unavailable, or too expensive.

This simple gag item, however, reminds me that butter has other qualities as well: in this case, the shape and color.  Greasiness is immaterial, because it’s not meant to be consumed, but to be used as a “fun provoker at the table.”  The dinner table, as I recall from my childhood, is not much fun, so the idea is inviting.

Unfortunately, it comes without instructions.  I suppose that you substitute the imitation butter for the real, and the fun then follows from a fellow diner’s predicament when he discovers its properties.  But when do you do this?  Is it, for example, when your alcoholic father, once again, abuses your mother so mercilessly that she runs from the table in tears, and he then turns on you?  Is that the time to provoke the fun?  Or do you spring it earlier, so that the fun can derail the tirade?

My family is all dead, and they’ve conditioned me to avoid dinner tables, so the question is hypothetical; but instructions would still be welcome, just in case.

(Posted by Doug Skinner)

Tags: Dietary Mores · Diversions

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Lisa // Nov 24, 2011 at 12:03 am

    my suggestion: only eat with good friends, a cat, or alone.

  • 2 Mamie // Nov 25, 2011 at 4:14 am

    My suggestion: ditto above and use the imitation butter when corn season comes around. It would probably go to far to try to trick someone to bake with it.

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