White Horse Cafe located in Dreary, Idaho

Do I Need an MFA to write an Omelet Review?
Instead of creating my own omelet masterpiece at home, I opted for a unique omelet experience at the White Horse Cafe.

At 10AM we looked at the clock, noticing that the end of omelet time was drawing near. If we wanted to reach the White Horse Cafe in Deary before they switched their grill over to the afternoon’s hamburger orders, we’d have to leave soon. To omelet or not to omelet–the decision had to be made quickly.

I thought of the omelet fixins we had in the kitchen. Eggs and tomatoes from the farm. Potatoes from my dad’s garden. Fresh bread and organic fair-trade coffee from the Moscow Food Co-op. The answer was clearly yes, we have to go check out the omelets at the White Horse Cafe. It’s because I enjoy a gamble–will the mushrooms be canned or fresh? The cheese real or processed? The service with or without a smile? How many coffee refills can I demand from the server with my 45 minutes worth of omelet bought power?

What it comes down to is I’m no omelet-making specialist like the person in the kitchen at the cafe. I have no special training in the omelet making process other than a 7th grade home economics class and a bit of experimenting on my own.

Side note: I don’t even know if I’m qualified to be writing this article. I do not have a degree in English, MFA or PhD. I took a 400 level poetry class but that’s about it for writing. When is it time to pick up the pen and actually write? Artists such as Quentin Tarantino, Ernest Hemingway, Nicole Blackman, Johnny Rotten, John Lennon, Henry Miller, Kim Gordon, Allen Ginsberg, Charlie Chaplin, Blanksy, Charles Potts, Reagan Butcher, Lenny Bruce, and Gloria Steinem have made a cultural impact without the guidance of grades and tardies to shape their art. I do, however, think that if you are single with extra money and time, definitely check out an MFA program, mainly for the interesting people you can meet and the possibilities of an adjunct teaching career. (I would be in an MFA program except that Amy convinced me to travel the world, make documentaries, buy a guitar, kiss in exotic places and eat lots of omelets.)

Wendell Berry got me thinking about the role of specialization in our culture. In The Unsettling of America: Culture & Agriculture, he writes that specialization is “the disease of the modern character.” Here’s the explanation: “A system of specialization requires the abdication to specialists of various competences and responsibilities that were once personal and universal. Thus, the average–one is tempted to say, the ideal–American citizen now consigns the problem of food production to agriculturalists and ‘agribusinessmen,’ the problems of health to doctors and sanitation experts, the problems of education to school teachers and educators, the problems of conservation to conservationists, and so on. This supposedly fortunate citizen is therefore left with only two concerns: making money and entertaining himself….And not surprisingly, since he can do so little else for himself, he is even unable to entertain himself, for there exists an enormous industry of exorbitantly expensive specialists whose purpose is to entertain him.”

So you see where I’m going with this? It’s the weekend–I only have to concern myself with spending my money to entertain myself with 45 minutes of omelet-bought power. Here’s more from Wendell, explaining why I didn’t experience the utmost omelet satisfaction by turning the omelet-making over to the specialist at the cafe:

“The beneficiary of this regime of specialists ought to be the happiest of mortals–or so we are expected to believe. All of his vital concerns are in the hands of certified experts. He is a certified expert himself and as such he earns more money in a year than all his great-grandparents put together….The fact is, however, that this is probably the most unhappy average citizen in the history of the world. He has not the power to provide himself with anything but money, and his money is inflating like a balloon and drifting away, subject to historical circumstances and the power of other people. From morning to night he does not touch anything that he has produced himself, in which he can take pride. For all his leisure and recreation, he feels bad, he looks bad, he is overweight, his health is poor. His air, water, and food are all known to contain poisons.”

That’s how I felt after eating the omelet at the White Horse Cafe–poisoned, overweight, and lacking pride. Like a bad TV show, the omelet’s only value was in passing the time until our next entertainment fix.

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