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I think I’ll do the mashed potatoes (Does This Make Me a Pervert?)

English: A small plate with a serving of mashe...

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Personally, I think it is perverse that so many diners in restaurants are now doing their food. This phraseology may not bother you in the least. Actually, I’m fairly sure you don’t give it a second thought. I, on the other hand, am driven around the bend whenever I hear someone say to a server “I think I’ll do the (fill in the dish). It chafes my brain. It sets off in my skull one of those Doppler Effect police sirens you hear in every French noir gangster film. I do not like it, I do not approve of it, and I do take umbrage. Also, I think it is a fine how do you do. Call me a prude; I will not do my food. (Is this a t-shirt?)


The image conjured up in my admittedly elevated imagination by the phrase “I’ll do the mashed potatoes”, unless one is stepping out onto a dance floor, is not, in my head anyway, a pretty one. I admit it, and I’m sorry. But I can’t help it. Does this make me a pervert? Am I out of line here? I don’t know – one does repair work on a car. One does one’s nails. One may do a crossword puzzle. We all do the dishes. None of these activities that we do of a normal day creates the same kind of ghastly images in my mind as the aforementioned doing “the mashed potatoes” because unlike doing any kind of potatoes, be they, boiled, baked, French fried, scalloped, or mashed, these other things are things that we all routinely do. But, as any child of the sixties knows, or any child of any of the subsequent decades, one does not do food. No! One can however, if one gets lucky, do some body. Or, if one gets very lucky and is very adventurous, and the party is really as they say, mad good – one can do, or get done, by two or three bodies. I am almost certain that the great swordsman Giacomo Girolamo Casanova himself, even in his randiest state, could not bring himself to do the mashed potatoes, even if what was set before him was the most voluptuous plate of velvety, creamy, hot, mashed potatoes ever to appear before his jaded eyes. Even if he were crazy drunk out of his– well, I’m not going to go that far…you just never can tell with a fellow like Casanova. I myself, no Casanova by any stretch, but in my time no slouch in affaires d’amour either, could never bring myself to deflower a cantaloupe, much less entertain the idea of running my junk through a dish of hot mashed potatoes. Non, mes amis…jamais. Ixnay, evernay. Forgive me Mississippi and Alabama et al., but it just seems so…backwoods-ish.


So – okay, but what ever happened to “I’ll have the mashed potatoes” anyway? And when did it happen? I can understand when a cook in the kitchen says I’ll do the mashed potatoes, the word “do” being used as an active verb, in this instance the act of actually standing over the stove, potato masher in hand, and making the mashed potatoes. And where was I when people ordering in restaurants, or shopping at the meat counter in the market, started to do their food? i.e.; “I’ll do a pound of the liver”. Have I missed some sort of new movement here? Is this because of the fear of STD’s? Is it because it’s just a whole lot more safe to do it with a pumpkin squash – and maybe even less messy in the long run? Or are people just a whole lot more adventurous than I, even in my wildest moments, ever was? Every time I hear someone say something to the effect of, “let’s see…I’ll do the avocado, then I’ll do a cup of the chicken soup, and for the main…hmm…I think I’ll do the meat loaf,” Really? That’s an awful lot of doing guy. You could get a hernia from all that doing. And, I can’t help but wonder how hot that soup could be anyway… and – a cup? Uh…I don’t know.


I am here to tell you that no attributes my server can breathlessly ascribe to the poached wild Wahoo I’m considering ordering –  not “fresh”, not “beautiful”, not “sumptuous”, not even “a seductively delicious game fish, boat dressed, and slowly poached in a glorious mélange of mirepoix, leeks, and parsley, with just a soupcon of fennel, slowly sweated in butter flown in this morning from Bordier’s La Maison du Beurre in St. Malo on the Brittany coast, and then gently enveloped in a barely shimmering court bouillon made with a 2007 Joseph Phelps Sauvignon Blanc, which by the way has gorgeous legs, all ultimately brought to a perfect climax in a slowly building symphonic crescendo by chef ” – not even all that could make me want to do this fish, thank you. I don’t care how “game” it may be, or how “wild”, or if it actually yells “wahoo!” in the throes, or if you “dressed” it in a garter-belt –as our friends the Brits say, it’s just not on.


In the online free dictionary the word “do” as in “let’s do lunch” is the eightieth (!) listed usage of “do”. I’d like to know how, in the name of Ralph Kramden’s Chef-O’-Da-Future, did it move up to a position of such common usage? Did it arise out of the vernacular of “do coke?” Do business? Do the monkey time in your prime? Be warned; whatever answer you may provide to this question will not ameliorate the feeling that arises in me upon hearing someone talking about doing some item of food. In my mind I get a mental picture that is, to me anyway, very funny, and several steps below bestiality. Also, I can’t help but associate the aforementioned phrase “let’s do lunch” with some glib, slick talking, polka-dot suspenders-wearing big time hedge fund manager on Wall Street, wearing a fifteen thousand dollar Bijan suit, diamond Cartier cufflinks, and alligator shoes, whispering obscene dollar amounts into his/her cell phone, feet in said alligator shoes up on his/her huge desk, and/or his/her con artist counterpart in Hollywood  – either of which automatically engenders in me great churning waves of nausea.


So you intrepid folks out there who like to live on the edge can, and by all means certainly should, continue to do all the hanger steaks, cheeseburgers, and bagels, lox, and cream cheese you like. Or, since you are doing all your food, may we consider it juuuuust a little more than like? Perhaps some new kind of man boiled potato love? And of course, you can always do a nice plain organic non-fat yogurt – if you’re mindful of the need for safe sex – although a lot of them are Greek-style. Me? I’ll just go on my merry way far behind the times merely having my ordinary, unexciting but tasty, mashed potatoes. But that’s just me.


© tony powers and Barking in the Dark, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to tony powers and Barking in the Dark with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About barkinginthedark

Tony Powers is a writer/actor/musician. His full bio may be seen by clicking on the picture, and then clicking on either of the 2 boxes below it.


52 thoughts on “I think I’ll do the mashed potatoes (Does This Make Me a Pervert?)

  1. It is a little creepy in the trenchcoat-man-in-a-playground sort of way.

    Oh the verbage of America. We’s so smart.


    Posted by Sara | March 9, 2012, 3:20 pm
    • Sara, that man in the trenchcoat opened it and exposed himself to an old Jewish lady who looked at him and said ” you call that a lining?” thanks for the comment, and the sub. i shall endeavor to entertain, inform, and annoy. 🙂 continue…


      Posted by barkinginthedark | March 9, 2012, 11:28 pm
  2. Reminds me of some horrid movie I saw years ago where some hormonal teenaged boy did an apple pie. Fresh from the oven. Still can’t eat my pie without feeling a little dirty. Thanks for that! And hearty congrats on being FreshPressed. Very well done and well deserved!


    Posted by girl in the hat | March 8, 2012, 6:33 pm
  3. Reblogged this on Billy Moses.


    Posted by Billy Moses | March 8, 2012, 5:27 pm
  4. and that image…. yakh… reminding me something else…. 😉


    Posted by ridafatima | March 8, 2012, 5:14 pm
  5. after reading the post,my brain seemed to be a “mashed potato”…. really…. 😉


    Posted by ridafatima | March 8, 2012, 5:10 pm
  6. I, totally like, think it, like, happened coza that completely like awesome Mountain Dew thing. Or like maybe it was the Nike thing. You know, we all like do whatever advertisers like say, ya know?


    Posted by Red | March 8, 2012, 1:41 pm
  7. Am I glad you got pressed?
    If I said in that in South London, that also be misconstrued!

    You give good rant!


    Posted by The Other Me | March 8, 2012, 10:24 am
  8. Thanks to you, whenever I see a plate of mashed potatoes, I’ll probably bust out laughing, and they’ll think I’m insane. So I’ll have to go into this big spiel about Barking in the Dark said about mashed potatoes, and blah, blah, blah… you know what I mean…


    Posted by Don in Massachusetts | March 8, 2012, 12:34 am
    • Oh sure Don. After your comment abot turning over a new leaf I see you.. (inset Twighlight Zome tunnel effect-)
      playing widh said taters, building a tower, considering the alens,knowing that Jesus was one, then off to to a mission. Soon you’ll be lost behind the red curtain of LDS -weepes incontrollably-


      Posted by Rachael Black | March 8, 2012, 12:42 am
      • Between you and Tony, both sides of my body are hurting from so much laughter. Now I’ll never ever want to see a plate of mashed potatoes, canteloupe, and/or Wahoo again… go on..


        Posted by Don in Massachusetts | March 8, 2012, 12:50 am
      • Rachael, u one funny girrrl – but what are/is “weepes”? as i wrote to Michelle and Don got “freshly pressed” yesterday, (for Norman Mailer-daemon – a piece i did last fall) and 6,000 hits later, i’m tryin’ to catch up. please be patient all. as always, thanx for reading, commenting, and continue…


        Posted by barkinginthedark | March 8, 2012, 4:42 am
      • Wow. Missed the Freshly Pressed. Congratulations. See how far behind on emails I am? Just read your last one on this post.
        Can’t IMAGINE 6000 emails. I bow to greatness my friend.
        Please dismiss the typos, and apparent grammatical errors. Lack of sleep = Bad.
        Hope you’ve caught up!!


        Posted by Rachael Black | March 27, 2012, 6:32 pm
    • LOL! I thought the same thing while reading this. In fact, I was just thinking of making and HAVING some mashed ‘taters myself tonight. Craving some carbo’s…. Mmmmm… some sour cream mixed in, butter, dash of salt, cracked pepper. Okay, I’m drooling on my keyboard. Back in a bit.


      Posted by She speaks.... | March 8, 2012, 4:02 am
      • mmmm…yesssss! Michelle – that’s the mashed potatoes i’m tawkin’ about. i hope they were good. also, i’m gonna be backed up a bit…”got freshly pressed” yesterday, (for Norman Mailer-daemon – a piece i did last fall) and 6,000 hits later, i’m tryin’ to catch up. please be patient all. anyway, thanks for enjoying this. how’s the t-shirt coming? continue…


        Posted by barkinginthedark | March 8, 2012, 4:34 am
      • Congrat’s on your freshly pressed!!!!! Wow! You most absolutely most definitely deserve it. A year ago? Now, I’m not dissing your post here, but doesn’t “freshly pressed” mean, well… freshly pressed?

        Haven’t done much with the t-shirts lately… working on the sites and Lyn’s graphics and website for her dog grooming shop. I got a lot of work to do. Plus caught a bit of a mild bug, so been dragging a bit.


        Posted by She speaks.... | March 8, 2012, 4:51 am
      • yeah, more like totally wrinkled. anyway, stay warm, stay well. continue…


        Posted by barkinginthedark | March 8, 2012, 5:17 am
    • thanks Don, as i wrote to Michelle, i’m backed up a bit (no, not that way Rachael)…i got “freshly pressed” yesterday, (for Norman Mailer-daemon – a piece i did last fall) and 6,000 hits later, my fingers are sore. anyway…thanks again for the great comment. always glad to cause laughter. continue…


      Posted by barkinginthedark | March 8, 2012, 4:38 am
  9. I concur! “Doing” a tuna sandwich implies alpha-pup, aggressive behavior, while “having” a tuna sandwich suggests a gentler, more civilized encounter.

    Plus, doing food sounds stupid.


    Posted by SusanWritesPrecise | March 8, 2012, 12:09 am
  10. Well said. It’s about time a fine morally upstanding young man spoke the words the rest of us were thinking!
    Amen! I shall not do potatoes of any of the varieties you describe, nor shall I be getting busy with that morally odiferous Wahoo of the questionable sanitary habits.

    And those rumors of me in the 5th story walkup with the potatoes dauphinoise are totally made up! Scurrilous lies… (mmm)…spread by…(dauphinoise)…my enemies…(sooo creeeeaaammmyyyy)…

    Sorry, gotta go…

    Great piece Tony, loved it!


    Posted by El Guapo | March 7, 2012, 10:48 pm
  11. This may be far removed and a tad Ozarkian, but recall the “Do the Dew” ad campaign for Mountain Dew? Perhaps this was the tipping point.


    Posted by winsomebella | March 7, 2012, 9:27 pm
  12. Ugh. I’ve never heard this but, if I did, I would feel compelled to slap the words right out of the offender’s mouth. What an atrocity.

    And yes, ‘doing’ food does make you a pervert. A filthy deviant pervert.


    Posted by thingsmybellylikes | March 7, 2012, 9:04 pm
  13. I hadn’t given this much thought. Although, I doens’t bother me, not that you bring it up, I find it kind of funny. “Your doing the mashed potatoes? shouldn’t you get a room for that”? I have been cursed with a very immature sense of humor and it has gotten me into plenty of trouble. Perhaps the worst was, as a kid, in church or CCD. There are so many other meanings in the Catholic mass that torments the immature. “Peter and his circle of friends”, “come, lord Jesus”, “Oh come all ye faithful”. There are literally thousands more. A good childhood buddy and I would laugh so hard that we’d cry and the poor teachers of CCD had no idea why. My mom thought I was crazy and she was probably right. “Tommy, how could you laugh so hard when the Monsignor was giving his homily? When we get home, you need to go to your room and read the bible”.


    Posted by Tom | March 7, 2012, 8:18 pm
  14. Well Tony you know me. One look at the words ‘mashed potatoes’ followed by ‘pervert’ piqued my interest.
    Now a tricky question to your (utterly correct) disdain for people’s complete lack of grammar education:
    Why are New Yorkers the only ones to stand on line? muahahaha

    Received a lot of confused facial expressions when entertaining out of town/state visitors while living in the city. Simply mentioning that we probably had to wait on line was inevitably followed by questions regarding Marty McFly’s skateboard.

    Oh alright it could be a colloquialism, but it could be any PS in the five boroughs. Evil Communist plot or Ebonics for the denizens of Gotham?
    You be the judge…


    Posted by Rachael Black | March 7, 2012, 8:02 pm
  15. Who was it who “did” the apple pie in some film (was it American Pie?)? I agree with you – as much as I like to “do”, and to do things in the proper sense of doing things, I, for another, will continue to want, to have, to order, to eat, but not “do” my food. I have always envisioned those who “do lunch” as air-kissers, or perhaps NYC’s infamous “ladies who lunch”.

    And I think that “I don’t do my food” is an excellent T-shirt idea.


    Posted by Seasweetie | March 7, 2012, 7:55 pm


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