Rachael Ray, celebrity chef, guru and overall dynamo, has been the object of Bob’s desire for over a decade.
As Bob likes to say: “Rachael Ray is awesome. I love the fact that she’s pint sized. I love that she smiles a lot. I love that she can take ingredients and MacGyver it into dinner in less than 30 minutes.
I love that even though it seems like she’s not real, she is real. I love that she’s goofy in a very smart way. I love that I can turn on the TV at pretty much any point of the day and be able to find at least one show she’s on.
I can always count on Rachael to be there when I need something familiar.”
But where and when did this all begin? We’re going to have to go back a long way.
To be fair, I myself have always had a soft spot for Rachael Ray. When I was a student at the University at Albany in the early 90’s, she was working at a gourmet shop not that far from where I lived. Of course, I didn’t know that until much later. As a freshman art student I never did any gourmet grocery shopping, but I did frequent the shopping plaza where that store was. I’d like to think we crossed paths once or twice. If she saw me then, her path may have crossed the street.
It was hard to miss Rachael in the early 2000’s. The strip was about four years in when I decided that Bob needed a celebrity crush (don’t we all?). Rachael was an easy choice…not much explaining was needed.
A one-sided love affair was born. A love affair that, at last count, has spanned 12 years and 102 strips.
Bob heard nothing from Rachael in 2006. He was determined to change that the following year. To that end, he commissioned me to paint her a portrait.
He waited and waited and waited… nothing. Not so much as a mention or a cease and desist order. But squirrels are stubborn.
Coming tomorrow: A glimmer of hope and ultimate disappointment.