I love my local grocery store. It’s always an adventure. Sure, they are usually out of at least two to three common items on my list, and the extra bags to keep chicken and meat from oozing over fresh veggies are seldom stocked, and their “store brand” items blatantly obfuscate my favorites, but I can sometimes buy things like this …
I can also enjoy a cappuccino from the coffee shop, watch the deli attendants make sandwiches, have a snack or three course dinner prepared for me, and eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at the tables set up in the front of the store, complete with ambient, industrial lighting and occasional “free” live musical entertainment. I can fill my prescriptions, buy flowers, enjoy specialty chocolates and fresh bakery items. I think I could live here, especially since they often sell chairs, couches and other vessels in which I could catch some Zzzzzs, like this fabulous hanging contraption, conveniently located next to the area that stocks my very favorite vegetable, bacon.
They also have interesting and informative “hands on” cooking classes. Although I have reached a high level of familial acclaim for my patent-pending “leaning cakes,” I still love taking cooking classes and learning new techniques. I now know how to hold and use a knife properly, cool ways to cut and dice things, easy ways to clean pots and pans, tried great recipes and generally had fun nights out with Hubs and friends.
Cue the lawyers.
At our most recent cooking class we learned that the use of knives is now prohibited at most classes (i.e. those that serve alcohol) as it was deemed too much liability risk by some genius corporate lawyers. Oh, we could still burn ourselves on the stove and oven, have our fingers mashed in various assorted small kitchen appliances or, statistically most likely, slip and fall on the floor, but at least there will be no knives for us to jab into ourselves in our drunken stupors.
I think this is actually sensible, as who can trust a bunch of adults to be responsible? In my experience, the folks that take cooking classes are very similar to the matinee crowd at art house movie venues, invariably an out of control, crazy bunch of loonies. And truly, who needs silly things like knives when cooking? Instead of the caveman diet, it could be the caveman cooking class, with everything being simply torn apart by hands and teeth.
I wonder, though, why my favorite shop doesn’t follow the lead of other purveyors of intrinsic dangers, like ski resorts and amusement parks. They could put a microscopic liability waiver on the back of each ticket, along the lines of “Purchaser acknowledges that cooking is an extremely dangerous activity, including but not exclusive to death, dismemberment, combustion of self, others or building, food poisoning, spontaneous eye bleeding and anal leakage, and grocery store/cooking class will not be liable for any and all physical, mental or emotional injuries that may occur.” I would definitely blow that up, frame it and hang it in my kitchen!
But I personally enjoy the trend for more of these types of babysitting restrictions. I think the fear of frivolous lawsuits should be THE main consideration in everything we do. In fact, I recently signed up for more classes. Tomorrow I am attending a cake decorating class. We are, of course, restricted from actually using icing, sugar you know. Friday I’ll attend a painting class, but no paints because of possible toxins. Next up, swim class. We won’t actually go INTO the water, as that is deemed too dangerous, but we will sit by the pool and discuss important strokes, etc. And I, of course, will be out of my head drunk at each and every one.