Gravy, like Dangerfield, gets no respect. Its the stuff we slap together at the end of the meal preparation, because someone wants it, or because it seems so easy to assemble, or because that junk crusted at the bottom of the pan might be of some use, so why not? You know that old pizza-compared-to-sex gag? Well, gravy is good when its perfect, and utter crap when itís not perfect. Itís damned even if it does.
But this isnt a food column. Its an opinion piece. I wanted to talk about gravy in the abstract sense. Gravy as the fine thing that happens when you didnt expect it, the blessed little bit of sunshine that peeks through when youre driving to the beach in a thunderstorm. Its the twenty you find in a pair of jeans you cant fit into anymore. A headache that ends before game-time is gravy. Come to think of it, a mercy-fuck is gravy.
If you think about it, and you probably wont, a lot of life is, well, gravy. Take going to a movie. Thats the thing, the intent. What you were going to do. So is getting popcorn and a coke with no ice. Still something you planned. Now a series of things happen:
You actually like the movie. Nope, still intent.
You were surprised by some quality of the movie. Not gravy. It is rare good fortune, but it was still intended, down in a secret part of your soul, where we dare not frequent.
You find a buck on the sidewalk. Thats gravy.
Or you see a friend there you havent seen in years and you are dressed reasonably well and you brushed your teeth before you left the house. Seeing the friend is good fortune. Being dressed nice, well, thats just dumb luck, and you know that you owe the karma beasts bigtime. Your teeth brushed? Thats the gravy, baby. A big soggy boat of gravy.
Were supposed to be rational people.