I Think About This a Lot is a series dedicated to private memes: images, videos, and other random trivia we are doomed to play forever on a loop in our minds.
Once upon a time, a woman named Michele Bachmann ran for some sort of political office. Was it the presidency? Who knows. Almost all information about Michele Bachmann has left my mind, except for one important tidbit: Her favorite food is celery.
Her favorite food is celery. Her. Favorite. Food. Is. Celery.
If you don’t remember this delightfully weird and random fact about Michele Bachmann, I truly envy you. For what feels like one hundred years (okay, since 2011), this is all I have been able to think about when I see celery. Michele Bachmann’s favorite food is celery. When I worked in a grocery store, I thought about it every time I rang up celery for a customer. Michele Bachmann’s favorite food is celery. I think about it when someone asks me what my favorite food is. Wow, I’ll have to think about that one. Speaking of, did you know that Michele Bachmann’s favorite food is celery?
She volunteered this information in an interview with the Brody File, a blog for the Christian Broadcasting Network. In the interview segment, titled “Michele Bachmann’s Fun Interview,” she divulges her love of the vegetable:
“I will tell you my favorite food of all time is celery. Honest to God, my favorite food is celery.”
“I will personally consume the entire stalk of celery. At the Thanksgiving table, I have the plate of celery in front. I know it’s strange. It’s my favorite food.”
Please, for a moment, try to forget that celery isn’t even a Thanksgiving staple, unless you’re adding it to stuffing. Please focus on the fact that a woman who is running for political office, a space where image management and dumb luck are apparently all you need to succeed, decided to confess, out loud, that her favorite food is celery.
I cannot figure out what is the most troubling aspect of this revelation. Is celery — CELERY, PEOPLE — really her favorite food? Does she really find nothing better than gnawing on a piece of plain celery? Nothing? Salted-caramel gelato, mozzarella sticks, garlic bread, a perfectly ripe peach, fish tacos? All just “meh” to Michele Bachmann? Okay, fine. Maybe she really does love celery, the vegetable that tastes like if 400 strands of plain dental floss fused together and spent four years buried underground.
Even if that’s the case, WHY would she tell people that? Why didn’t anyone on her staff say, Hey, what if we went with something else? I would argue that even something as simple as “carrot” is a better answer to that question than celery. I keep thinking about that episode of Veep where Selina’s team spends all day brainstorming which ice-cream flavor she should pick when she goes to visit an ice-cream parlor later that day. (They settle on rum raisin.) It’s an intensive process that rules out boring options like vanilla, and celery is the vanilla of the vegetable world.
So, did Michele Bachmann’s team talk about this? Did they workshop answers? Did they do an icebreaker on day one of the campaign and get to know each other by going around the room and saying their name, their position, and their favorite food? After hearing, “Hi, I’m Michele Bachmann, I’m the candidate, and my favorite food is celery!,” were they like, Sounds good! On to the next agenda item?
Once I start thinking about this, I enter a never-ending cycle of thoughts that makes me increasingly angry. You had a chance to endear yourself to the American people and you chose celery as your favorite food? I would rather see Michele Bachmann pander to whatever vote she was trying to court that day. To see her be a fan of maple syrup for the good people of New Hampshire. For her to convey to the denizens of Atlanta that she just loves kickin’ back with an ice-cold Coca-Cola. Wow, she knows that Chicago deep-dish pizza really is the best pizza!
Celery is such a weird, alienating choice. I guess I’m the chump here for allowing Michele Bachmann to occupy my brain space in any significant way for almost a decade. But, until something else cool happens to celery (let’s be real, that’s never happening), I am forever stuck in this celery-induced hellscape.