Patrick: Just set it to Wumbo.
Spongebob: Patrick, i don’t think Wumbo is a real word.
the burrito joint was ok, she says. except they put rice in the burritos.
i wait for the punch line. then, the horrible revelation. she’s serious.
you can’t mix rice and beans in a burrito, she says. something about texture. or tradition. or the voices in her head. something.
this must be how it is when you find out that a relative is an anti-semite or a lover of polka music. all these years, and you never knew them at all.
why is it a bad thing, i ask. beans and rice are the staple of many civilizations. they’re the perfect complimentary food source. and the tortilla makes a handsome little carrying case.
no, burritos are solitary creatures, she insists. they don’t like crowds. three ingredients max. and one of the three is not rice.
what if you just leave off the tortilla, i offer. surely just rice and beans are fine companions. no, she screams. no rice and beans. the rice just doesn’t belong. it is bland. it’s the annoying guest at 3 a.m. who won’t go home. make it leave! make it leave! the fist slamming concerns, but doesn’t deter, me.
i explain that it’s just different — san francisco style, as opposed to the texas variety. this hits a nerve with her. it makes perfect sense that californians decided to put rice in a burrito that was just minding its own business, she says. next they’ll tell me i can’t smoke in hospitals or play with lead. i laugh nervously, while wondering, playing with lead is bad? this explains much about my childhood.
my mind goes through endless computations trying to make sense of it all. finally, i hit on an example that makes sense.
well, i guess i see your point, i say. you’d never put rice in a stir-fry.
oh, no, you HAVE to put rice in stir-fry, she exclaims.
soon this woman will be entrusted with a chainsaw in the wilderness. oh, the humanity.