Yes, everybody knows that the New York Times is as essential as food and water. That said, there are times when the obliviously elitist tone of the paper makes a casual reader want to tear his hair out in big nasty clumps. Here’s the lead from a recent food story on snail butter:

When I was growing up, my parents were so obsessed with eating snails à la bourguignonne that one summer while vacationing in Burgundy, they paid my sister and me 5 centimes a snail to collect them from the garden of the little house we were staying in. We placed them in a bucket and secured them with a screen top. The grown-ups then starved and purged the gastropods before cooking them a few days later—drowned in garlic parsley snail butter, of course.

When I was growing up, my parents were so obsessed with the grass being properly mowed that every summer they paid my brother and me a half penny a stick to collect them from the back lawn of the little house we lived in. We placed them in a pile behind the patio. The grown-ups then made us use a rusty 150-pound push mower that predated the War of Independence to mow the grass before we had dinner, which was usually grilled hot dogs—drowned in Heinz tomato ketchup, of course.

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