Thursday, March 09, 2006

I am not obsessed

I have emailed the following to CNN. I will be pleased to report on their response.


Dear Sir

I am more than a little agitated by your article and TV broadcast about the lovely little crustacean that has been discovered.

Specifically, you state “The animal is white and 15 centimeters (5.9 inches) long -- about the size of a salad plate.”

I have no difficulty with the concept of 5.9 inches (although if we are to eschew the metric system, 5 and 7/8ths inches might have been more reactionary), and I can cope with 15 centimeters (although I would have to convert it to inches, being of a certain age), but I have no idea what size a salad plate is.

I have never heard of a salad plate. I have plates in my house, and I chose them according to the amount of food I want to put on them. I regret to say that the smaller plates are slightly less worn, chez moi. If I want to eat a lot of salad (and this is entirely hypothetical and I doubt whether it will ever happen), I will choose a large plate and distribute said comestibles accordingly. I will not choose a plate of 15 centimetres in diameter and pile it 28 centimetres high, with the sides tied down by spaghetti. That would be silly.

So, pray tell, firstly, is there really a standard sized ‘salad plate’ in the USA? Is it governed by federal mandate? Is it a criminal offence to possess a plate used for salad that is not of this size?

But more importantly what, pray tell, possesses you to think that your audience is so educationally challenged as to be unable to grasp the concept of slightly less than six inches, but to be able to visualise using crockery? If I were to tell you that today I drove my car at the speed of a Tom Graveney cover drive, would you understand that better than my saying 40 mph? If I were to say that my nose was as long as the stem of a Peruvian anemone, would you have any sense as to its dimensions?

Yours in anticipation

30 comments:

Kyahgirl said...

Hi :-) first time commenting. I'm just dropping in from Caroline's.

This salad plate thing is really eating at you, isn't it? You need more drugs.

Vicus Scurra said...

Hello Kyahgirl. Welcome, any friend of Caroline's is - well, let's not be too judgemental shall we?
Do you have salad plates in Canada?
As I indicate in the title of my latest posting, I am detached, and find myself able to function normally without thinking constantly about salad plates. And it is not the salad plates per se, but rather the obscure units of measurement. It's just that I see it as my duty to pursue important social issues on behalf of fellow inhabitants of the planet.
And that girl from a small planet seven light years beyond Sirius who keeps making comments of such a bizarre nature that I have to delete them.

Tennessee Jed said...

I thought it was an odd reference too when I read it. About six inches or half a foot would have been fine for American readers. The salad plate idea makes me think the animal is round in shape which it is not. Perhaps the plate reference has to do with the fact that someone will want to boil the critter and eat it now that is has been discovered.

Vicus Scurra said...

Thank you Jed. I bet they don't each much salad in Tennessee.

Richard said...

The poor unfortunate thing was discovered by French people. This offers no guarantee for its survival as a specie whatsoever.

raincoaster said...

We do, indeed, have salad plates in Canada, and they are about the same size as the American ones. I think this metaphor only came to them because they eat a lot of lobster salad. Perhaps they're hoping this new species will be Atkins-friendly.

Vicus Scurra said...

Richard it has hairy legs. I am sure the French will eat it.
Note. That is using up my allowance of cheap racial slurs for the month.
Raincoaster, welcome. I note from your website that you have expressed an interest in our marine friend.
I also note that you have been banned from more than one website. Do not expect to be taken so seriously here.

pittg - famous British politician, patriarch of the line (Pitt the geriatric).

raincoaster said...

So much for my ambitions of notoriety, eh?

broomhilda said...

My Dear Vicus,
So glad to see you are in top form, and are back on your medication.
I never, ever, use a plate for salad. I much prefer a bowl, that way the dressing never flows out onto the table.
Keep up the good work!

Adam said...

Yes, I usually go with a bowl myself.

I saw that in one of the below threads, you noted that you had never heard an American swear. Well, then I have an educational opportunity for you here.

It's also a nice example of high-brow intellectual humor (by Internet standards anyway.)

zkrhai- Arab drug used to treat Tourette's Syndrome.

Lin said...

Sheesh Vic, Were you dragged up instead of raised proper like? Everybody knows a salad plate is a plate or bowl for individual servings of salad and that said salad plate is always 6" diam.

Of course some chaps aren't terribly good at math and confuse 6" with 9".

Vicus Scurra said...

Adam. We are mature adults here who do not consider a condition such as Tourette Syndrome a suitable subject for humour.
Arse wank.

Lin. The rest of us a going to play "spot the posh folks". You will have to sit this one out. Salad plates indeed. See my response to Adam above.

Someone once observed to me, on noting that I had a large amount of breakfast cereal in the bowl that I was using "They don't make bowls big enough for you, do they?" I replied, "They do, but you're doing the washing up in it"

Salad plates.
'Oh, oh, no more buttered scones for me, mater. I'm off to play the grand piano'.

Vicus Scurra said...

By the way, good to see you back here, Broomhilda. You bring a certain something to this site.
Please leave it outside the door next time.

Richard said...

Once the cricket has finished I am heading off to Crewe's glorious West End with a consignment of delicate bone china and a crate of petits fours in an effort to educate the underclasses in correct dining etiquette. I have an armed escort.

Alan said...

I would have to say that were I to reserve a particular plate for salad, it would have to be much larger than six inches, on account of needing a great deal more salad in order to achieve a reasonable level of full-uppedness than you do of proper food.

Vicus Scurra said...

Richard, when I lived in Crewe, with my friends Richard and Peter (both later school teachers, one later a probation officer and even later with a criminal record for an offence related to terrorism) our concession to middle class etiquette was to have a "dirty cutlery drawer". I never told my mother this, and would never have gone public with this admission had she still been alive. I think you will find that the general standards of civilised behaviour have risen since we left the town.
Alan, you raise an interesting point. Actually, it is not interesting at all, but almost pathologically boring, but that should in no way be seen as a negative attribute on this blog. I had assumed that those people who lived in the salad plate universe had a plate for salad alongside a plate for the remainder of the food. It would not surprise (or interest) me if they had a separate plate for each food group. I am a tolerant and kindly person, but I cannot help but adopt a judgemental attitude towards these people. At the excellent establishment where I had lunch today, I had all of the eight dishes on offer on the same plate. I have no idea how large the plate was. I do not know what it was called. I think we all concur that 'plate' suffices. And it may be possible to eat sufficient salad in order to feel full, but I doubt whether it is possible to eat sufficient salad to feel satisfied.

sleub - a particularly sneery way to refer to one who has a drawer full of dirty cutlery.

caroline said...

Was that reply longer than the orignal post?
Kyahgirl is very lucky to find you ranting about salad plates and behaving, for you, in a somewhat normal fashion.
It was very frigtening back there when you kept wanting a hug.
Can I dismiss the body guards now?

kyahgirl said...

I hope you can get some kind of closure on this disturbing subject. :-)

We do have salad plates but they are typically only used in nice restaurants or by people who are much more concerned about proper table ware than I am.

Anyone who eats at my house can expect one plate for their meal (including their salad) and, if they play their cards right, a clean dish for their dessert. usually I ply them with so much wine and other drinks that they don't worryt to much about the dishes. Its a good strategy.

Vicus Scurra said...

Hi again Kyahgirl.
I knew that I liked you, you seem very sensible, despite being a friend of Caroline.
You will know that that last remark was just a little joke, and I am off now to give her a big hug so that she knows my true feelings for her.
She does seem a little highly strung don't you think? Fretting about the size of comments in proportion to the original article? Seems a little anal to me. I bet she has salad plates.

caroline said...

Nooooooooo. Anything but that.

Don't stalkers ever sleep?

Vicus Scurra said...

Caroline, how can any of us sleep when we are so concerned about you?
Go for a skip around your garden, sing to the flowers, and express all the joy in your heart. You will feel a lot better.

caroline said...

That's the last time I mention you in a post.
Bah.

*skips away with faries*

Mark Gamon said...

Where I come from, a plate is a plate is a plate. Except when it's a bowl.

That's probably why I haven't been able to bring myself to comment on this thread. Either that or it's because I've been having sleepless nights worrying about the Webinars.

I need a top-level briefing on this new threat, Vicus...

Sevid. Seven, with a cold in the nose.

Cherrypie said...

I have a set of salad plates. I use them only for cake.

Vicus Scurra said...

Cherrypie.
I hate to quibble with new friends, but if you use them for cake, then if anything, they are cake plates. Do not be dictated to by the packagers (evil lackeys of the corrupt capitalist running dogs) at Fortnum and Masons, or wherever you bought them from.
They are yours, you can call them cakeplates, tapioca plates or Ernest Hemingways if you wish. My suggestion, and I say this with great concern, is that you call them plates. A useful noun, that is readily understood by most speakers of English, yet at the same time not a term that cajoles you into believing that you have to use these objects for a particular purpose.

Sheryl said...

No, no, they said salad pate, not plate. It's a very popular lobster-shaped pastry filled with salad. Everyone in America knew exactly what he meant.

Vicus Scurra said...

Sheryl, thank you, at last the voice of sanity and reason. My gratitude is the size of 3 Yorkshire puddings and a medium pancake.

Pearl said...

Long live clarity of speech!

You've just made me very happy.

And yeah: Go ahead. Feel free to run with that.

:-)

Pearl

Vicus Scurra said...

Pearl. Pls to quantify the happiness.
A mango basket full? A lemming cart?

Vicus Scurra said...

Pearl. Pls to quantify the happiness.
A mango basket full? A lemming cart?