Please allow the following digression – it may not be a “wonderstuff,” but I still think it’s a smashing idea.
Some people believe that Hollywood is wasteful – that, as an industry, it tosses out much more than it saves and recycles a fraction of what it produces. James Cameron’s assurances about a green production of Avatar aside, I would agree with the assertion that profligacy festers in many of Hollywood’s corners and those of its subsidiaries. It is for this very reason that I offer the following suggestion – it may not solve all the wastefulness, but if we each do our own little part, blah blah blah.
It was after the most recent episode of Top Chef (I promise, it’s the only reality show I watch) that a fabulous idea struck me and I devised a way for the production company, Bravo, to eliminate what must be a hefty portion of their waste.
Cash prizes not withstanding, Top Chef must be an expensive show. You’ve got your reality participant stipends, your weekly food budgets, your royalty checks forked over (get it?) to products, restaurants and guest chefs, your cooking equipment, set design, judge and host salaries, crew costs, boat rentals, car rentals, loft rental, et cetera et cetera et cetera. Sure, I know Buitoni is one of several sponsors, and that a popular show makes more money than it spends, but, please, you know the studio would be interested in figuring out a way to get more for their dollar (or at least establishing another hit show without inaugurating a whole new set and truck load of materials). And there is a solution – one that came to me as I watched yet another episode of the hot-shot chefs abandoning a disheveled kitchen, full of dirty pots and pans, messy plates and disorganized utensils. My wife is glued to the screen to see who’s going to win and who’s packing his/her knives, but all I can think is, who are the poor schlubs who have to clean up all that?
Coming this spring to Bravo TV! Ten of the country’s best dishwashers and busboys are about to be put to the ultimate series of tests. The Quickwash Challenge: How many dishes can you wash in two minutes? How big a stack of plates can you carry before they tumble? The Sanitation Elimination: Who can get his section of the kitchen the cleanest? What’s the best recipe for a mopping solution, or a grill cleaner, or an oven degreaser?
Think about it, Bravo. This could be huge? For crying out loud, half the set and props are already sitting there!
There’s Buffalo Hank, the grizzled, dishonorably discharged war vet whose been cleaning the Route 16 Truck Stop kitchen for going on three decades, and has plenty of wisdom to convey when it comes to staying a step ahead of the health inspector. There’s Paco, the illegal immigrant from Albuquerque whose table bussing techniques are so fast that you barely know he’s come and gone (necessary skills when the diner you work in becomes a favorite coffee and pastry spot for INS officials). There’s Oz, the seasoned dishwasher who has elevated scrubbing to a Zen-like art form and finds filthy kitchens an opportunity for greater spiritual transcendence. There’s Jolene, mother-of-six and part-time hair cutter who tidies her TGIFridays kitchen like she does her own, an ironic ambition considering neither ever seem to actually get cleaned. And there’s Turtle, the third-year college freshman/meth head who may not have the cleanest hands or the fastest mop, but he sure knows how to mix those chemicals. They’re all after the grand prize: to replace the outdated, politically-dicey lumberjack as the image of Brawny paper towels, and a lifetime supply of ammonia and bleach, sponsored by Lysol.
I’m telling you, it smells like another hit…
p.s. – Tell me, readers: would you watch?