By Risa Mickenberg

Senator Kamala Harris

Senator Kamala Harris

Why do you ask if we want “freshly ground pepper”?

Why do you never offer other spices to be ground at the table?

Let me repeat the question another way: Why is pepper being so aggressively promoted?

How much would you estimate all of this free pepper costs annually?

I see. Yet why are so many people constantly trying to give pepper away?

You’re going to every table. Why can't other spices seem to break the stranglehold that pepper seems to have?

So you don’t know where this whole thing began or who’s responsible, but you’re offering the pepper and someone here is in charge of the pepper, and someone is responsible for making sure every patron in this restaurant is offered freshly ground pepper. Am I correct?

Are there any consequences if you don’t offer freshly ground pepper?

What are the other responsibilities of the person who walks around grinding pepper on peoples’ dishes?

And is that a designated role?

Do you like pepper?

Yet you’re the one with the pepper mill. Would you put pepper on rigatoni?

Seems like something you should be able to answer.

Okay. Did a sales force sell the idea to this restaurant?

Was it American?

Can you tell me exactly how pepper, a spice, got itself linked with salt, a mineral which according to doctors is necessary for life?

It’s a simple question.

Unlike Morton’s or Lawry’s, there is no brand name pepper. Yet it is marketed to the point of omnipresence. This puzzles me. Do you think there is a conscious strategy here to conceal the entity or entities behind pepper?

Is “S&P” connected in any way to the S&P 500?

Not to your knowledge. Could this potentially be a branding opportunity for the salt-pepper consortium?

Who controls the salt-pepper consortium?

Are you sure there is no salt-pepper consortium? Yes or no please.

In your opinion, is pepper addictive?

What's the difference with “getting people to develop a taste” for something and fostering an addiction?

A dependency. An unhealthy, immoderate desire. A craving beyond all bounds of logic.

You’re “not sure.” But you, personally, don’t like pepper.

No, I wouldn’t like any pepper.◊

This article is from the upcoming issue #11 of The American Bystander, due out June 2019. Subscribe Now.

RISA MICKENBERG (@taxidriverwisdm) is a writer, performer and flenser holding it down in New York City. Her feature film, EGG, a bleak comedy, is streamable wherever movies are streamed.

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