Out Of the Mouth of Babes: America's Fried Rice Tastes Better Than Genos' Steaks
In "The Little Prince ( Le Petit Prince)", a 1943 novel by the French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the author explains how sometimes adults don't quite get it the way children do. He writes: One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.
In "The Little Prince ( Le Petit Prince)", a 1943 novel by the French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the author explains how sometimes adults don't quite get it the way children do. He writes:
One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.
Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is exhausting for children to have to provide explanations over and over again. That's the way they are. You must not hold it against them. Children should be very understanding of grown-ups.
As this article is being written, Joey Vento of Geno's Steaks, the poster child for "adults don't quite get it", is scheduled to host a fundraiser on July 14, 2010, to "protect" SB1070 –the anti-immigrant law passed in Arizona--from the Department of Justice lawsuit challenging its constitutionality. Gov. Jan Brewer, Sheriff Joe Arapio, Congressional Candidate/ Hazelton Mayor Barletta all plan to participate (via radio). A protest rally is scheduled across the street to help send the message that Philadelphians haven't succumbed to the same ugliness as those in Arizona. By the time this article appears, we will all know: is Philadelphia still the city of brotherly love or have we, like Arizona, turned to brotherly hate?
5th grader Julia Culbert of Saratoga, California clearly gets it; she understands that immigration is not to be feared but rather accepted because it makes us, as a country, all the richer. At the American Heritage Awards ceremony held in D.C. this past July 2nd, Julia Culbert read her prizewinning essay, entitled "America's Fried", to a crowd of over 500 guests. Her essay appears as follows:
The mice gathered in their cave, lingering in the illuminated abyss. They often discussed politics and all had very definite opinions. Disagreements led to arguing, and arguing led to fighting.
Tonight they were discussing dinner, though. Anna, a girl mouse, was having fried rice. Her sister Adelaide was enjoying her steamed rice. Rice was really a fine feast, when it passed the holidays, and the mice loved it.
"My steamed rice is delicious. All one flavor, all the same. I'd never dare mix it with Vermeer's egg. How lush it is in my mouth," Adelaide whispered as the steam filled her round glasses.
Anna just had to speak up, "Now see here! Your rice is a bland mixture, all the same, like some countries in the world. My fried rice is mixed, like with each person immigrating here, and it tastes better with a little bit of each, like all the different cultures in America."
"Not true!" squeaked Mabel, "People have different ways! How could it all fit together?
"America is how. If you add soy sauce to that rice, it will taste a little better. But you need all the vegetables in order to get the best flavor you can," explained Anna. She was now full-out ready to explain it.
She sorted out all of the ingredients into little piles, taking some of Mabel's sauce and Adelaide's rice.
"Now," she commanded to all the other mice, "try some carrot."
Each mouse took a cube of carrot, shrugged and popped it into their mouths. Their expressions didn't change, so Anna pushed further.
"Take some soy sauce," she again directed the mice. This time they all spit it out and grabbed paw-fulls of rice, gulping water and gasping.
"This is a country at war," Anna said solemnly, staring at the dirt, "For it will never come together." Anna was ready to give her final instructions.
In order to complete the fried rice, she had to ask for everyone's dinners. They reluctantly handed it over when she demanded it. Chopping, mixing, frying and scooping, she began to mix what was really an example of America. Stepping away from the stove with the bowls along her arms, she handed them out to her fellow mice.
"What is not there is what we decided not to mix," she concluded. All of the other mice stared at her, waiting for instruction. She sat down with her own bowl, looking at them. "Have a bite," she directed.
All the mice looked at their plates, but did not eat. "Why does it all look so wrong and so mixed up?" asked Mabel
"We are all different, but isn't it more pretty when we are together?" Anna questioned. Mabel nodded, so all the mice took a bite.
"Incredible! Amazing!" "Way better than just carrots." Comments spouted from all around.
"I guess you were right," admitted Adelaide, "it's better mixed together. No wonder 25 million people immigrated here."
"So, shall I make fried rice again tomorrow?" Anna giggled.
I, for one, prefer fried rice to Geno's steaks. So Joey, enjoy your steak while the rest of us relish the diversity of our fried rice.