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In 18th century France, the potato was not a popular food item. Spuds were often used as animal feed, but not thought fit for human consumption. In fact, in 1748, the French parliament passed a law forbidding intentional cultivation of potato plants, because they were considered so dirty that they were thought to cause leprosy.

Enter Antoine-Augustin Parmentier. While imprisoned in Prussia during the Seven Years' War, he was fed potatoes by his captors, and became convinced (correctly) of their nutritional benefit. Once he came home to France, Parmentier began a campaign to popularize the potato - successfully getting them relegalized in 1772, feeding them to patients in his care, giving bouquets of potato blossoms to the King and Queen, hosting lavish parties at which he served potato dishes, and so on.

One of his most famous pro-potato publicity stunts involved posting armed guards at his potato patch at Sablons, suggesting that the off-limits vegetables were highly valuable... and then instructing those guards to accept bribes from the townspeople, who then "stole" from his fields. Parmentier, of course, was successful, and potatoes are now a common element of French cuisine - and, indeed, several potato-based recipes now bear his name.

As any parent could tell you, nothing increases the desirability of an item quite like declaring it forbidden.

(Friday afternoon, INT: hairdresser)

NP: So... this is new.
EB: I have made a strategic error in my life.
NP: Talk to me.
EB: Right from day one, I made a rule that he's not allowed to express sexual or romantic attraction for me, right?
NP: Right.
EB: And because Jamie is Jamie, he's completely one hundred percent literal about that rule.
NP: Right.
EB: So... every single interaction I have with him, in the back of my mind, I'm thinking... what would he be saying right now?
NP: So he's been... quantum flirting with you?
EB: Jamie has been quantum flirting with me, in my brain, for a solid month. And I can't say or do a damn thing about it.
NP: Oh goodness.
EB: Like I said: strategic error.