Monday, November 20, 2006
Normally, we try not to think of Rachael Ray.
We regard her in the same category of tragic unmentionables as Olestra and PCBs, pollutants and substances liable to cause what Frito-Lay, in a public relations coup, termed "anal leakage." We're annoyed by everything about the woman, from the extra "a" in her first name (a bugbear of ours) to the fact that she looks like she's walking around on stumps (Miss XaXa's pet peeve). But really, who isn't?
We always have to be careful around Iphigénie, our white Paraguayan parrot. The television alcove at Withering Depths is upholstered in hand-tooled aubergine morocco, and whenever Iphigénie hears that distinctive taxicab-horn voice as we're flipping around the channels, she flies into a rage and starts ripping out chunks of morocco. Such is the effect of Ms. Rachael Ray on the animal kingdom.
In moments of charity, we like to endow her with substance and self-awareness. We conceive of a previously unsuspected Rachael Ray, a sort of existential chipmunk (look at those eyes!) on a treadmill, performing a noble service to humanity by giving us 30-minute glimpses into the abyss of curdled perkiness and Kierkegaardian despair. Rachael Ray as memento mori, if you will.
Of course, such moments of charity are as fleeting as macaroons from Ladurée, and arise only after we have hit the bottle of (perfectly legal!) Swiss absinthe once too often. Nonetheless, we had one such moment last week, when we heard about the incipient Rachael Ray Sex Scandal. According to those unimpeachable bastions of accuracy and reliability, The National Enquirer and The New York Daily News, Rachael Ray's husband had a kinky, five-year affair with a woman he met outside a lesbian bar (!) and whom he paid to spit on him.
When we mentioned it to Miss XaXa, she quipped, "With her food, he must have plenty of practice spitting up." When we cleared up that he wasn't the one doing the spitting, she said, breaking into fluent headlinese, "Yucko!!! Rachael Ray Spitting Mad: Spittoon Hubby Loves Loogies, Lesbians."
Sure, we cackled. Sure, we guffawed when we read the woman's claims that Rachael Ray's husband paid her up to $500 per session, and that she virtually supported herself by spitting on him. But then we felt a completely unknown tingling in the general thorax area. Could it be...pity? We think it may well have been. We found ourselves saying, "Sure, she may be the Clydesdale horse of the Apocalypse, but that's still kinda rough."
And then yesterday, during an all-too brief respite from a particularly vexing weekend (Lady Chatterley didn't know the half of it when it came to stablehands, or, for that matter, stable hands), we chanced on an episode of "Iron Chef America" pitting Rachael Ray against Giada de Laurentiis. Well, that did it. We began frothing at the mouth, and when the Chairman intoned, "Today's secret ingredient is..." we hissed, "Boobs!" Then Miss XaXa began yelling at the television, "I speet on you, Rrachel Rray," and we decided it was time to mix another batch of sidecars.