Laurie Notaro's Army of Foodies, the Amuse Douchers of the Culinary World

Say it loud and proud -- in sterling silver. Then duck.
Say it loud and proud -- in sterling silver. Then duck.

Every army has a pecking order, and the Amuse Douchers are no different. To rise in foodie rank, you have to be bold, you have to be fearless, and you have to...basically not have any other interests, hobbies, or loved ones that check in on a regular basis. We ALL suffer for our art, but unfortunately, if you're sitting at the same table or even in the same restaurant, everyone else in suffering along right with you.

Here are the highest offenders, based on my experience alone, of foodies that not only crush the boundaries of good taste, but also do it while they're swallowing or popping capers with their teeth. In order from highest to lowest, may I present the Army of Foodies:

The Lecturer The guy who believes himself to be Pliny the Elder and educate everyone at the tables to the layers and nuances of each dish. Sometimes, when jealous, he even stands up and will wander over to your side to test your assessment of the dish you ordered, are trying to eat and will pay for. He will correct you when he sense you have erred, saying, "No, I'm afraid your palate is experiencing a user error. That was a atom-sized particle of cumin I detected, not coriander." This guy also works at Wells Fargo in marketing, and after drinking slightly, tries to emulate the puddle of spit that gathers on the bottom of James Oseland's bottom, somewhat droopy lip. He, at times, will hold up his hand during dinner, whip out his Moleskine and will take notes while going for the big mouthfeel.

The Up-and Comer He has a list in his head (and probably hidden somewhere deep within his hard drive) of how many chefs know him by sight: "Chris Bianco waved back at me tonight. DID YOU HEAR WHAT I JUST SAID?" "I know Matt from Matt's Big Breakfast. Used to be a bartender. Cool guy. Once we talked about rosemary. Now he uses it in his breakfast potatoes. But I am cool with that." In his studio apartment on 35th Street and Indian School, there is a collection of volcanic sea salt in a variety of earth tone colors. One of them has the word "clay" in the name. They are not to eat. They are simply to be admired. Looking only, please. He would draw from his sagging 401K if the right truffle came along. Just for the story, just for the legend. His screen saver is a picture of him smiling at Binkley's. The blur in the background may or may not be Kevin Binkley. What that picture doesn't say is that he took the photo himself.

MFA Fat Girl with Pink Hair I believe there are at least 17 copies of the same drone in a square mile radius of downtown Phoenix alone, possibly on assignment from an Original Queen version to cover more ground efficiently. She's at every opening. She's at every "Taste of," "Culinary Festival," "Ben and Jerry's Free Scoop Day" and "Chef's Night" event. She's also at museum openings, but you will only see her by the tower of cake balls. She once considered applying for the Cordon Bleu, but decided she couldn't stand up that long. Her marriage is on the rocks because her code writer of a husband has Celiac's and won't bend to the pressure. It's sad. But food's not. She'll write you a short story about it. She is also oblivious that the "edgy" expiration date for pink hair was in 1993.

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