Hey Cucumber Guy: An Open Letter
You, Cucumber Guy. Yes, you. The one in the restaurant kitchen adding the cucumbers to the salads. You did it again. You served me an otherwise well-crafted salad with cucumber slices like hockey pucks. What am I supposed to do with these? Weight down important papers? Make cucumber water? Treat my crow’s feet to some quick moisturizing therapy?
Cucumber Guy, I propose your delegating the fine slicing to us is no minor inconvenience. Consider the downstream effects on customer service, flavor ratios and personal safety.
Let’s begin with why we came to your restaurant in the first place–to get a damn salad. We could have made a salad at home. We could have gotten out our own lettuce, carrots, and–wait for it–diced cucumber. We came to you instead, out of laziness or to celebrate. Perhaps we’ve heard you make a particularly mean salad, worth the extra bucks. Regardless, we came with the expectation of a finished product, not a rough chop. Frankly, Cucumber Guy, it smacks of insensitivity. Come on, show us you care.
If we can’t appeal to your emotions, there’s always your professional reputation. You and everybody else back in the kitchen were in on the salad planning. You all carefully selected and proportioned the ingredients, but then you leave us to guess the intended cucumber-to-bite ratio. Frankly, all we know about your salad is what we’ve read on the menu. We’re going to screw it up. We’ll be halfway through with a cucumber shortage, or we’ll have nothing but a bowl of cucumber pucks at the end. The real loser is flavor.
Then there’s the most practical concern–safety. Left to its own devices, the cucumber is among the most potent choking hazard in saladdom. Sure, we can mitigate that by some knife work, but the average customer, no matter what they claim, lacks the knife skills of the average Cucumber Guy. This may not sound so dangerous with a side salad and butter knife. What about a grilled chicken cobb with a steak knife? Yikes. Do patients in surgical suites have to help on their own incisions? No, they don’t, or at least hospitals ought not to allow it. You’re the professional. Make the cut.
Look, we know you’re busy. There’s a lot of salads to make and a lot of cucumbers to slice. Just half the cuc before you slice. You’re done. The same solution works for those high-speed vegetable slicers. Some purists may recoil in horror, insisting the slice method provides structural integrity for the seed. That underestimates if not ignores the inherent cohesive properties of the cucumber seeds. They are tough, sticky little buggers. If you lose a few, consider also how often you see someone chop the head off a cucumber and slurp down the seeds. Doesn’t happen. A intact carrot has amazing structural properties as well, but that didn’t stop you from shredding it.
There’s a simple solution here, Cucumber Guy. The cucumber is right there on the chopping block, and the knife is right there in your hands.