While we were in Washington, D.C., a few friends gathered at a pretty fabulous restaurant. It is one of those restaurants where the provenance of everything is specified on the menu. Order the food, receive the genealogy of the food.
And let me be the first to say, I was grateful for the information. The food was fantastic and the whole affair was just lovely. But I personally found it hilarious that the veal, the duck, and the pork were of Amish derivation.
(The pig never drove anywhere. The duck paddled by candlelight.)
Apparently I'm the only one who finds this so funny. I mentioned to one of my D.C.-located friends that we'd eaten at this place.
"You went to Fabulous Restaurant Name?" he said. Indeed, I said. Lucky us.
And then I sprang my "now let me tell you the one about the Amish duck!" on him, and he was all serious: "There's a lot of Amish people around."
And I was all: "But the meat! The MEAT is Amish? No, that's funny."
And he was all: [to himself] Nope, not all that funny.
The next day, I told this story to my cousin who lives in D.C. He was all, "No, that Amish veal thing, that's pretty funny." You know, the kind of funny that's by decree, but doesn't actually make you laugh?
Oh, I can deconstruct it. The savory soberness of Amish. The very alternativeness, the refusal of high-tech, the humility of it all. The plainness. Surely this must translate into . . . what? More righteous meat? I think that's how it works.
But I am still amused by it. Amish! Amish duck!
Our compatriot, at dinner, orders:
Maitre d'host: And for you sir?
Compatriot: I'll have the pork. (pauses--glances at me, the source of the Amish-themed merriment) The Amish pork.
Maitre d'host: Sir? (severe pause, so that the compatriot may reflect on his inappropriate jest) How would you like that cooked?
I'll take my Amish pork medium well done, thank you.