This Just In ...

Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Culinary no-no #282

Culinary no-no's


This week, it’s personal.

I’ve been very blessed during my professional career having worked at some exciting places with many talented individuals and I’ve had numerous opportunities to meet all sorts of fascinating people.

To some degree, I’ve always been involved in broadcasting dating back to May of 1978. From the start of my career until the early 1990’s, except for an annual stint hosting the Auction on Channel 10, I was primarily a radio person, and I was on the radio a lot.

Charlie Sykes changed things.

When my friend came to WTMJ and almost immediately started his own Sunday morning pundit panel roundtable discussion program. I’ll never forget when he came into my office at WTMJ and asked that I be a regular panelist. Not long after that, another good friend, Mark Siegrist who I hired at WTMJ Radio after his many successful years at Channel 12 told me Channel 10 was starting a panel discussion program and needed someone of my persuasion. And so I was on television every week, albeit for 30 minutes, and still am to this day.

Television is powerful, mighty powerful. Today, even with just a weekly gig at public television for half an hour (26 minutes actually), it’s rare that someone doesn’t recognize me when I’m out and about. I repeat, I’ve been blessed because everyone, I mean everyone that’s approached me has ranged from cordial and friendly to extremely supportive. No one, and that includes individuals I’ve criticized has ever been anything but nice.

Please don’t get me wrong. Most folks don’t know me from Adam. And a small minority react to me in such a way leaving me shaking my head.

Many people know there’s a bit of an age difference between my wife and me, more than 10 years but less than 20. My once thick brown hair now thin and grey makes it quite obvious. Before we were married and before we gave birth to beautiful Kyla, Jennifer and I often drew raised eyebrows and long glances. I tried not to notice, but being a keen observer, others’ reactions to us were nearly impossible not to catch.

I’m not quite sure what’s so weird or freak show-like about an older man with a younger woman (and we’re not talking an 80-year old with a  20-something), but in some plant life humanoids it  generates giggles, elbows to the side, guffaws, hands covering mouths to disguise whispering, snickers, even nasty frowns. This juvenile behavior goes way beyond the obligatory and expected pastime of people-watching.

Making the inconsiderate crowd look even more foolish is they act as though my wife and I are invisible, that we don’t see or even hear what’s going on, yes hear. Some of these critics have been an arm’s length away rattling off sarcastic jokes, not a least bit concerned if caught, if you will.

We don’t know these people. What the hell? If you get your jollies out of poking fun at others, wouldn’t you have the sense and decency to at least wait until they’re out of sight and earshot? I have always resisted the urge to walk up to these boobs and ask, "What's your problem?"

This under the microscope judgment more often than not happens in restaurants.

Scrutiny has let up a bit since we now are a threesome with Kyla, but it’s still there, just different. One elderly couple that patronizes a place we go to very often rifles icy long stares in our direction whenever we’re seated near them. Maybe they hate kids in restaurants, I don’t know. Even when I look over and see them frowning, neither makes an effort to even flinch. The daggers just keep comin’.

Here’s a rule to follow. If you really have no clue as to what the hell you’re talking about, why not just zip it.

Like all parents, Jennifer and I think we have the best in our Kyla. She steals the show whenever we’re out and we receive many wonderful comments and we’re deeply appreciative. Every now and then, a smiling onlooker has to approach and not just insinuate but flat out congratulate me for being the proud grandpa. Without hesitation, I proudly and happily set the record straight by informing that Kyla is my lovely daughter.

Universally, the gaffe is followed by an apology. I tell the red-faced individual it’s alright.

“I still got it.”

My comeback makes wiping away the omelet less difficult.

Sincerely, this stuff doesn’t bother me too much. I just don’t want my wife, and someday my daughter having to put up with this nonsense. It’s probably inevitable, though, because people are rude and ignorant, even when they have no business looking down their noses at anybody else.

On this Father’s Day, even though I do my very best to shrug off the imbeciles, anyone ridiculing my family when we’re simply out to enjoy ourselves is way out of bounds. There’s been a call for greater civility in our society. Hopefully that includes how supposed grown-ups act when out to eat.

There are times I do get the last laugh (“I still got it” for example).

When Jennifer and I were still courting (there’s a word you don’t hear much anymore), we dined one December evening at Mader’s. It was a weeknight, so it wasn’t as crowded as it could be. I was in a suit and tie, Jennifer was dazzling as usual. We tend to dress up when we go out.

We were seated in the middle of the restaurant, a few tables away from a group of about ten guys who were obviously from out of town, possibly here for a convention. They, of course, noticed my attractive wife in what I’m sure was something festive, and her geezer mate. I mentioned the elbows and the snickers earlier. These knuckle-draggers didn’t care if 60 Minutes was filming them. They let out the hoots and hollers loud enough to be audible at our table.

As we prepared to exit at the end of our dinner, we knew we had to walk past the losers. I told Jennifer to just follow my lead as she walked ahead of me.

Just as we got near their table, not a Rhodes Scholar was speaking. They did have ****-eating grins on their faces.

At that point, I made it  apoint to look at my watch and say something to Jennifer loud enough that the assembled bozos could clearly hear.

“I’ve got plenty of time. I told my wife I’d be home by ten.”

As I requested my car from the valet, I’m pretty sure Neanderthal jaws were still dropped at that suddenly quiet table.


Like Michelle, Barack is fully capable of a no-no.

Martha Payne also writes about culinary no-nos.

Hey kids, say it ain't so!

I don't care what's on it...$65 for a pizza?

I know why the fat lady sings

“Why did I get fat? Why was I eating until I hurt and regarding my own body as something as distant and unsympathetic as, say, the state of the housing market in Buenos Aires? Obviously, it's not wholly advisable to swell up so large that, on one very bad day, you get stuck in a bucket seat at a local fair and have to be rescued by your old schoolmaster, but why is being fat treated as a cross between terrible shame and utter tragedy? Something that—for a woman—is seen as falling somewhere between sustaining a sizable facial scar and sleeping with the Nazis?”

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