The inevitable finally occurred on last night’s Top Chef, when Howie Kleinberg, the subject of endless debate between Josh Ozersky and Adam Platt, finally got the boot. Things weren’t looking well for Howie when his dish in the Quickfire Challenge was so bad that he chose not to serve it at all, and when, in the elimination round, Howie produced some truly unpleasant-looking mushrooms for a catered cruise, his banishment was all but assured. Howie knew as much and volunteered to leave. We got on the horn with Adam Platt immediately afterward to find out how wish fulfillment feels.
Ozersky: Well, are you happy now?
Platt: I have to say, that shaved little pug dog fell on his sword with some dignity.
Ozersky: You never saw that coming, Platty. You always underestimated my man Howie. It was like the pass at Thermopylae all over again!
Platt: Howie versus the world. I was actually hoping he’d bull rush that priggish panel of judges and start banging some heads.
Ozersky: But why did Howie make such shitty dishes? Is he really that bad?
Platt: That one goateed judge was a particularly cold
and evil character. I wouldn’t want to be cooking little mushroom turd duxelles for him.
Ozersky: At least he didn’t make that ridiculous Boo-Berry wonderland or whatever. That dish Hung made looked like something I did when I was stoned at 3 a.m. at Livingston College in 1986 — and I didn’t get applauded, either.
Platt: You’ve been watching too much of this lunatic show, Cutty! I’ve had my blessed vacation. I see the banality of it all with clear eyes.
Ozersky: Meanwhile, it was you coming back that jinxed Howie! While you were away he was doing fine.
Platt: Howie should have been gone way before Tre. I can’t believe I just typed that sentence.
Ozersky: Who can I root for at this point? I feel a sense of mounting indifference.
Platt: Indifference?!? Who was ever excited by this witless spectacle!? I want my vacation back.
Ozersky: You know, you say that, but then whenever I see you, it’s always like, "Oh my God! Tre is so awesome! But I think Lia’s a better cook … etc. etc."
Platt: Like many orotund males, Cutty, we have a shallow relationship. We have nothing else to talk about but Top Chef.
Ozersky: That’s mean, Platty … here after I’ve turned to you for love advice time and again.
Platt: You’re right. I recant.
Platt: Let’s go have a pork chop.