This is something I expect to see in a fortune cookie, one day. I vaguely suspect that such fortune cookies with this message already exist- and are served to high-maintenance customers of Chinese restaurants that ask, almost forcefully and somewhat repeatedly, for no MSG in their food- for problem children, as it were, who have no real physiological problems with MSG, are being picky because it's the health conscious trendy hip thing to do and not enjoy a good meal. When I say "enjoy a good meal" I don't mean gluttony, but true satisfaction in a meal that has been well-prepared and crafted, like edible art. After all, scientists were only trying to make the food taste better and enhance your culinary experience.

This saying has so much wrapped up into it, if you look at it properly. It says, "Stop being a pain in the ass."
It also says, "Part of the good things in life is accepting the bad- so deal with it and quit your bitching."
One other thing it says is, "MSG is part of the meal. We could no more take it out than we could dispense with chicken in our chow mein dish. This is the way of things and to request the impossible is to invite negative response. Here's your negative response: You just ate a meal with MSG in it. Tough shit. Don't like it? Buy a salad instead and leave us alone."

Life is too full and rich to go around asking for stuff to be eliminated from it. True, it's not always the stuff we want, but life is a delicate balance of getting what you want and what you don't want. What we want is not necessarily what we need and what we need is not always what we want. To enjoy the balance there, simply be happy with what comes your way and value every experience you have. In other words, make do with what you've got. Life is also too short to complain about bullshit things only you, and no one else, really gives a damn about.

I once read a great thesis on the nonexistence of evil. Anything "evil" is, by definition, negative. When you have a positive, there is something added, something is there. When you have a negative, there is something taken away, something is not there. Like so:

Positive : Happy
Negative : Angry (not happy)

Positive : Brave
Negative : Cowardly (not brave)

Positive : Love
Negative : Hate (the absence of love)

Positive : Light
Negative : Dark (not light)

Anything that is negative, that is evil, cannot exist because it is the absence of something. We live in a world of existence, of substance. Evil cannot exist in a world of substance, of material plentitude. As soon as anything "becomes" evil, it is withdrawn from the world of reality and is displaced into the world of iniquity, fear, darkness- void.

Taking the MSG out of your meal is to invite evil by diminishing the nature of something that was perfectly good on its own for a lot longer than you've been around.

This is not to say that people who react poorly to MSG are being picky- far from it. But people who request that MSG be eliminated simply because they're being trendy? Such people deserve, in my opinion, a fortune cookie message like this.

My Mom is actually allergic to MSG -- not horribly, hive-breaking-out allergic, but enough to make the meal unenjoyable. Because of her, we almost never ate Chinese when I was growing up on the East Coast -- even when she said "no MSG," there would be some.

Now that I live in the Bay Area, they visit me once in a while. I have come to realize that there are significantly better Chinese restaurants here than in suburban Boston. So, I took them to a great Chinese restaurant and my Mom requested "no MSG" as usual. The waiter looked at her quizzically -- "We don't use that anyway!" She didn't have any problems.

So... it doesn't have to be part of the meal.

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