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It’s showtime Saturday night, baby! The stage never bigger, spotlight never brighter, and grill never hotter! What a spectacular setting for my world premiere and then glorious, honorable, celebrated death!

Grand opening! Grand closing!

I was born without a name, in some equally anonymous Pennsylvania town, and I’ve worked my entire life with tonight in mind. With each and every decision, it would have been easy to give up, but my thick skins helped me persevere so I could fulfill my destiny. While I’m definitely a nature over nurture guy, you have to believe in yourself to get this far.

Look, the life of an onion may not match the full breadth of the human experience, but we are much better at self actualization than those awkward bipeds will ever be. I started from humble roots, growing underground and never seeing the light of day until I was evicted from my home. When I was harvested, I wasn’t sure I could be special. I thought that I, like thousands of other onions from the run-down farm where I grew up, would wind up in some mundane mirepoix.

Instead, I have been chosen for the onion volcano ritual.

So to have been selected for tonight’s triumphant slicing, stacking, and fireball spewing volcano display is both the most ultimate success and the most glorious death an onion can have. And to do it at the Times Square Benihana? That is destiny at its peak.

Is someone chopping onions in here? YEAH BABY, THEY ARE AND IT’S ME!

Before I serve myself up to the hibachi gods and travel-guide tourists, I must recognize where I came from, as is longstanding onion tradition. It would be pretentious of me to not mention the elephant in the room. Of course I am a white onion, and that comes with a certain set of advantages.

My ancestors had a head start in this country, meaning my white skin allowed me to benefit in numerous ways. Let’s start with the fact that white onions were accepted into Benihana long ago, making me legacy. I grew up in a beneficial area on an upper-middle class farm, where I never had to worry about socio-economic factors like supplement-deprived soil, or water quality, or direct sunlight. I’ve always been told I have vast potential, and no one limited my options with things like “side salad” or “discarded burger accountremont” as happens to my red brethren. The world sees me as milder and less obtrusive, based solely on the color of my skin. How fucked up is that?!?!

I acknowledge my white onion privilege, and I wish I could have done more for others. Alas, I am merely a 5 month-old onion getting ready for my flambé closeup. I hope that speaking these truths on this stage makes me an ally, but it may be too late. I know my limits. I’m not one of those egotistical, better-than-everyone-else shallots, that think their breath don’t stink.

The teppanyaki chef just gave me the nod, my 5 minute warning.

Time to knock out a few last push ups and get that extra swole before showtime. I know some of the snow peas in the back always get nervous before the knife drops, but THAT’S WHAT THIS IS ALL ABOUT! An oil bath, a hot grill, and then the Ginsu takes over.

As I savor my final moments, I think of what a glorious death awaits me, as part of this beloved culinary ritual. I could have been stuck in a stew, life slowly draining out of me. I could have been diced in a home kitchen, with some hack fumbling around with a serrated blade. I could have been an onion ring, drowned and then burnt. Or worst of all, getting straight up bit into in some bro-tastic frat ritual. Instead, I get to become an onion volcano. To erupt with flavor, bringing joy to the eyes, mouths, and noses of the masses. A true triple threat!

I am Allium Cepa! My ancestors were served to kings! We have survived plagues and famines and tonight is my calling. Tonight I become a dragon. Tonight I breathe fire. Death is but a moment… while the image of a perfect onion volcano can leave a child a memory for a lifetime. I must go.

Josh Bard

Josh Bard is a guy. A sports guy, an ideas guy, a wise guy, a funny guy, a Boston guy, and sometimes THAT guy. Never been a Guy Fieri guy, though.

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