A rolling stone gathers no moss. A watched pot never boils. Fish don’t fry in the kitchen. And beans don’t burn on the grill.

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It is well-known.

But wait, host the phone a sec. Of course fish fries in the kitchen. Where else are you gonna fry it, the living room?

And yeah, beans do burn on a grill. Cause they loss with the grate right into the fire. Not that I’ve tried, however I’m saying, it just stands to factor.

See, this is why these two lines from The Jeffersons design template song bugged the living hell outta me for 4 and a half years. Until lastly, about a year ago, I uncovered out what in the people they actually intended.

Turns out, I should have well-known all alengthy. But if you’ve ever msupplied around them yourself, here’s the lowdown …

You might or may not recontact that Ja’Net Dubois passed ameans in February of 2020. She wrote the song “Movin’ On Up” back in 1974 — which, if you’re bothering to review this, you more than likely understand by heart currently, yet while we’re here, could as well have a little reminder…

Well, I got to reading about Ja’Net Dubois once her passing remained in the news. And lo and also behold, her life hosted the secret to the mystery of the fish and also the beans.

Dubois acted on Broadmethod in the beforehand 1960s and then relocated to tv, and she was also a singer and a songwriter. In ’74 she took on the “drop-in neighbor” duty of Wilona Woods in Norman Lear’s comedy series Good Times. Which phelp well enough, yet left Dubois with time on her hands.

So someday she runs right into Lear on the set and buttonholes him, asking if there’s anypoint else he’s working on that she can get connected through creatively. Long story brief, he allows on he’s acquired a new series that demands a design template song, and also she guarantees to have actually one on his desk by the following week.

Now according to Dubois, Lear didn’t tell her he was spinning off The Jeffersons from All in the Family, just that he had a new series around a man with a cleaning service. But in 1974 All in the Family was the optimal rated display on Amerideserve to television, and also it’s hard to imagine that any TV actor in the US — specifically one functioning for Lear — didn’t know that George Jefferchild owned a dry cleaners. I strongly suspect Ja’Net put 2 and 2 together on that one.

Thing was, though, Dubois had actually gone through her own suffer of “movin’ up.” Raised in Brooklyn, she had literally regulated to move herself and also her mommy to the East Side with her success as a singer and actress. So she finished up writing about herself. And of course, the song fit like a glove with Lear’s new series.

What I acquired wrong about “fish don’t fry in the kitchen, beans don’t burn on the grill” was that I didn’t connect it to the lines that came before. In my defense, it does lead off the bridge, so I’ll count it as an hoswarm mistake. In any kind of case, I heard it as some type of truism, choose “money doesn’t flourish on trees” or “you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear”. So it seemed to make no feeling.

But Ja’Net’s story revealed that it was about just how her own life adjusted as soon as she moved up. It was around her new home, “a deluxe apartment in the sky” that didn’t smell favor fried fish and also charred beans.

But that still leaves the difficulty of the grill. Who cooks beans on a grill?

As quickly as I realized what the first part expected, I knew automatically what the second component supposed, because I’d lived it myself. She wasn’t talking around an outdoor grill. No, she intended something choose a short order grill through a level top, the type I flipped burgers on for years, but created home — among these points, generally referred to as a hotplate:

Picture by Jonathan Kovaciny (Wikimedia Commons)

That best tbelow is a timeless Presto Cool Touch electrical griddle in all its glory. And for a few years earlier in my twenties I lived in a one room “apartment” in north Florida through a tiny sink, a mini fridge, a hotplate, and also a microwave. So I can tell you from endure that burning food on among these bit numbers is easier than falling off a log. Back in the 1960s, of course, Ja’Net wouldn’t have actually had actually the microwave, and while food preparation beans on the hotplate isn’t precisely haute cuisine, it’s still even more appetizing than spooning them up cold out of the deserve to.

You perform what you gotta carry out.

As for me, I still fry fish in the kitchen, currently that I have actually a stove to fry it on. But God just knows where that hotplate is. I deserve to only hope it gained melted dvery own in some scrapyard before the rotate of the century. But you never understand.

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Thanks for the song, Ja’Net. And hey, I think I’ll departure through the gospel version you taped for the cshedding credits of the display. I constantly did like that one.

Header image: CBS publicity photos from The Jeffersons (public domain: 1976, 1974, 1976)