Shortcuts: Never Microwave Your French Fries

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I did something stupid. It was reckless, irresponsible, and frankly, well below my standards.

I microwaved my leftover French fries.

I haphazardly tossed them onto a paper plate and microwaved them for 35 seconds. They were warm, warmer than when the waiter delivered them to me even. They really didn’t even taste that bad. They had that unnatural chew to them—you understand what I mean if you too, in a fit of hunger or insanity, thought that microwaving your French fries would allow you to enjoy one of the most satisfying delicacies in America.

Perhaps the real crime was having any leftover fries at all. But today, I finished precisely half of my hamburger and felt too full to even try the platter of fries glowing before me.

I had two choices—eat myself into oblivion or box up the fries with the rest of my burger to be microwaved later in the motorhome. (For the record, throwing away fries is never an option. Don’t even begin to entertain that idea.)

I knew the fries wouldn’t be the same. They needed an oven. They need three minutes under the broiler and a fresh coat of salt. Everyone knows that’s how you bring dead, lifeless fries back into our vibrant world.

But I didn’t want to wait and hadn’t prepared for this. I didn’t want to turn on the oven, wait for it to heat up, and heat up our small home. Plus, our broiler is on the bottom of our oven, not the top. It doesn’t crisp them just right that way.

So full of excuses and misguided logic, I went to the microwave, like a fool.

Sometimes in life we try to take shortcuts. Shortcuts sound like promising ways to get ahead in less time or with less work. Most days I wish I could just write a book real quick instead of learning how to sit down every day and writing a blog. The practice of writing feels more exhausting than it is worth.  I itch to jump ahead to the end, instead of working through the process. The process takes time, effort, and trial and error.

Taking shortcuts is like microwaving your French fries. No matter how delicious those French fries could be, the microwave will never make them taste as great as an oven could. A book I write today wouldn’t be as good as a book I write at the end of the year after I’ve practiced and let my ideas simmer and be refined.

Today I’m taking a shortcut and editing a journal entry I wrote months ago about how depressed I was over microwaving and ruining my leftover French fries. (I take French fries very seriously). I’m turning this journal into this blog post, and taking a writer’s shortcut. It makes publishing something easier, but is it my best work? Probably not.

Today I’m taking a shortcut because I’ve been filming for eight hours and taking an hour break to post a quick blog for you.  Shortcuts make our lives easier. Just please save yourself and don’t microwave your French fries.