Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween Treat!

Tonight I offer a special Halloween Treat: a story written especially for you and by you.

Here's the blueprint.

I'll start off with a few lines to set the stage. Then you add to the story in the Comments Section. Later, I'll collect the whole thing and post it in one piece.

So, let's get started! Join in the fun and make your mark in blog history!

A Halloween Story


It was a dark and stormy night. The moon played hide-and-seek behind a veil of dark clouds. A wolf howled a mournful lament in the distance.

The Major entered the study. It was dark. The storm has interrupted the power and all the lights in the mansion were off. The Major stuck a match and lit a hurricane lamp he kept in his sea chest for just such emergencies. As the light grew beyond a flicker the Major looked down and gasped!

"The bastards! They've killed Kenny!"

And there in a slowly spreading pool of tapioca pudding lay Kenny. Face down and quite dead.


Your turn.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Bleu Tooth

“Hey, whatup?”

“Where are you calling from?”

“The car.”

“You shouldn’t be calling from the car. We talked about this and you need both hands on the wheel.”

“No prob! I’ve got the Bluetooth thingie working. Hands free! Look – no hands.”

Honnnnkkkkkkk!! “Sorrrrrryyyyyyy!!”

“I don’t want to look and Bluetooth or not you need to pay attention to driving and not be making frivolous phone calls.”

“It’s not frivolous. It’s a test. I don’t know how this button thing works but after a few tries I got it going. Not bad for not reading the manual. One click to call, two clicks to hang up, or is it the other way around?”

“Yeah, well you don’t have anything to say so call me when you do.”

>click<

Well, thank YOU, I thought. I had been fooling around with this Bluetooth cell phone earpiece for a couple of days and only just got it working. I was mighty proud of my technical achievement and wanted to share, but I guess technical expertise like mine can only be appreciated by a few.

About that time a blue Volvo cut me off by veering into the left lane.

Cabbage, I thought. I swear in French when I’m driving. Not real French because my real ability to speak French is très pauvres.

But, I love to swear in faux French, especially while driving. It gives me that, je ne sais pas ce qui, feeling of superiority. I say things in a French accent which makes the swearing respectable. That’s my story at least. Inspector Clouseau would be proud.

In an surprising turn of events the blue Volvo was cut off by another blue Volvo. Sacre bleu! Literally! Not only did this new Volvo driver cut the previous Volvo driver off, he cut me off, too!

You are a leetle cab-AZGHE! A mo-SQUITO du jour. Stu-PEED golf ball. Oui, you are a golf-BALL!

It’s important to get the em-PHA-sis on the right syl-LA-ble when swearing in faux Francais.

You pitiful cab-BAGE, I continued, bite my fing-GER, you witless EEL! I breek wind in your di-RECT-shun. Oui? You Fange-du-PU-terre! You Bichon de Bichon! You Strawberry Fraise! Oui, get out of my way. Allez, allez!

And, soon enough, the Volvos were on their way and so was I. Ah, such entertainment. Where would we be without Volvo drivers? A barren, boring landscape of driving monotony.

Later that day I arrived home and was confronted with this report.

“I had the most remarkable phone call today just after you hung up.”

“Oh, do tell,” I said taking the Bluetooth earpiece off my head and plugging it into the charger.

“Well, I had an obscene phone call!”

“Really?”

“Yes, and it was all in French. It went on and on about Volvos and bichon frieses and cabbages. It was so weird!.”

I paused. “Those Volvos, what color where they?”

“Blue. Definitely blue. The Frenchman went on and on about blue Volvos and cabbages and strawberry bichon frieses. It was totally weird!”

“Ah, yes, well, er, these things happen. I suppose. Mad Frenchmen, I mean, what’s next? Incensed Italians? Angry Argentineans?”

While I was muttering I made my way to the junk drawer in the kitchen and started poking around.

“What are you looking for?”

“Uh, the Bluetooth earpiece manual. I, uh, wanted to check on a few things. You know, to verify this and that buttonwise, so to speak.”

My wife looked at me knowingly and turning to leave the room said, “Oui, je comprends parfaitement.”

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Baaad News

I wish I could make up stuff like this, but there is baaad news from England.

It appears that during a serious and somber city council meeting discussing a permit to park a trailer on a farm which raises exotic horses and sheep, a councilman surreptitiously emitted “baa-ing” noises disrupting the proceedings. Possibly the first ever Sheep Heckling.

Outraged, the council launched an enquiry and after a year and many thousands of dollars (pounds) later…well, read for yourself from The Telegraph.co.uk:


It has taken more than 12 months and cost about £10,000 but a council is finally on the verge of discovering the identity of a man who kept saying "baa" during a planning meeting.

After a wide-ranging investigation, Havering council, based in Romford, Essex, has prepared a 300-page report, according to the Romford Recorder newspaper.

Unfortunately, the downside is that the prime suspect is no longer a councillor and is, therefore, beyond the scope of any punishment that it might want to mete out.

The incident has it roots in a planning meeting in September last year when an application was being heard to put a mobile home on a farm housing rare breeds of horses and sheep.

The solemnity of the debate was, apparently, interrupted by a male councillor making unhelpful "baa-ing" noises.

This so enraged Coun Jeff Tucker, who represents the area where the farm is, that he reported the incident to the Standards Board for England which, in turn, referred it back to Havering council for investigation.

Now, after a probe estimated to have cost £10,000 in staff time, the list of suspects has been narrowed down to four, who will be quizzed by the standards hearings sub-committee in November.


The perpetrator should come forward and confess, although he’s probably feeling sheepish about the whole matter. This issue has really served to knit the community together, though. Ever mindful, this Council, you’d have to get up pretty early in the morning to pull the wool over their eyes.

And, finally, in the words of the Bard from Othello, I think, where the shepherd boy croons

“I may look at other sheep but I’ll always be in love with ewe.”

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Where's Aldo?



OK, it's confession time. Confession Time for Billy.

Here it is. Deep breath. Exhale. One, two, three...

I read Mary Worth.

There, I said it. Surprisingly, I don't feel all that liberated, after all, Mary Worth is just a comic strip. But, you have to ask yourself, why would anyone read Mary Worth?

Mary Worth is a soap opera comic; an endless saga of personal minutiae appealing to nobody, really. “Mary bakes a casserole” is an exciting story line. “Mary considers stripes or polka dots” is more typical. (Finally, after 6 weeks of daily panels Mary selects “stripes”)

To say that Mary Worth is “slow moving” is to insult the very concept of slow-moving. Snails should be insulted; they are sprinters by comparison. Sloths should be insulted; zipping along the jungle canopy. Plate tectonics should be insulted; the Himalayas rose before that casserole got out of the oven. Why, I’ve seen days go by with Mary trying to raise an eyebrow. Monday it’s eye level. Tuesday there’s a bit of an arch, but it could be a hair on the newspaper. Wednesday, definitely it’s moving up. Thursday it looks more like a C and less like a parenthesis.

So it goes in the glacial world of Mary Worth. And that necklace. That damned pearl necklace. Does she ever take off that freaking pearl necklace?

The thought percolating in your mind right now should be, “Are you insane?”

Well, yes and no. You see I can’t shake this feeling that somehow, someway Mary Worth will get better. Mary will go on a road trip. Mary will party with frat boys. Mary will get a tattoo. Mary will get a job with an escort agency. Mary will cut her hair and dress like Grace Jones. Mary will run a marathon. Mary will get her freak on and party down! Yeah, baby!

Call me crazy. Call me an optimist. But, I keep checking up on Mary hoping that I don’t miss that magical moment when she moves ahead a hundred million years into our time! Sock it to me, Mary!

Alas, not the case.

Mary Cooks a Casserole took something like 3 years to produce. Mary does Dallas just isn’t gonna happen. What’s an optimist to do? It doesn’t look good.

Enters Aldo. Aldo Kelrast.

Totally oblivious to the obvious, Kelrast is an anagram of “stalker.” (I read that today on CNN. Duh)

Yes, Aldo has Mary Worth in his sights and is stalking her! What? A stalker in “Mary Worth” where each stalking step could take a year of daily panels?

But, no, the stalker episode moved at light speed. Light speed, indeed. Within a few weeks, yes, a few weeks, Aldo had gone from chance introduction to pest to stalker to…

To…

To…

Dead!

What? Dead? Death in “Mary Worth?” Yes, and in less time than the heat death of the Universe. Shock! Horror!

Spurned by Mary and confronted by her weird friends Aldo took his friend Johnny Walker for a ride and plunged over a cliff onto the rocks below, thus ending the story line a good ten thousand years before it should have naturally.

Whew.

I’m still in shock. If death can happen in “Mary Worth” so quickly, what does that portend for the rest of us? It’s a serious consideration. Death in “Mary Worth” changes the rules. Oh, the humanity.

But, more importantly, what about the casserole that’s still in the oven? Will it be overcooked? Will Dr. Jeff return from Tahiti having quite possibly encountered bronzed, nubile young women to confront Mary who has seen better days, like, 300 years ago?

A rapid story line followed by a death in “Mary Worth” is a serious disturbance in the Comic Force whose repercussions have yet to be felt.

Don’t fret, though. I and many others who sacrifice their intelligence daily reading “Mary Worth” will remain on the front line, ever vigilant.

We won’t let you down.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Not Eggplant

Earlier...

What's for dinner?

I'm going to experiement with aubergine.

Sounds good. I'm hungry enough to eat anything so long as it's not eggplant!

Right, not eggplant.

Later...

The film: The Food Channel presents - Kill Iron Chef Bill 2

Director: Quince Tomatillo

Scene 1: Dialog between Chef Bill and his down-and-out brother Budd.

Budd: You mean to tell me she cut through 88 aubergines before she got to O-Ren?

Bill: They all fell under her Hanzo santoku chef's knife. And, there weren't 88. They just called themselves the Crazy 88 Aubergines.

Budd: How come?

Bill: I dunno. They were just eggplants. Maybe they thought it sounded cool.

Budd: She got herself a Hanzo knife? I thought he swore a blood oath not to make another knife.

Bill: Apparently, he has broken it. She has the knife and she's coming here to turn you into a gumbo. You haven't by any chance kept up with your sauces and seasonings?

Budd: Naw, I gave that up a long time ago. My hollandaise is a separated mess and my bechamel is as runny as a four-year old's nose.

Bill: Budd, you have to realize she's coming here to defeat you and I have no doubt that she will win. She will be the Iron Chef.

Budd: I don't dodge guilt. I pay my dues. Bill, I'm a short order cook in a corporate cafeteria. If she wants to start a bake-off all she has to do is come down here and mix some batter and we'll be in a bake-off.

Budd: That woman deserves her revenge. And, and we deserve to lose. Don't we? Ha, then again, so does she!

And finally...the recipe

Here's the blueprint:


1 large eggplant, skinned and sliced
1 box Pomi brand chopped tomatoes
1 onion
1 ball fresh mozzarella
half pint whipping cream
two eggs

Pour enough chopped tomatoes in a casserole dish to cover the bottom. Brown the eggplant slices. I use Olive Oil Pam spray and a high heat. Place the slices in the casserole. Saute sliced onion and pour on top of eggplant. Cover with remaining chopped tomatoes. Season with black pepper, salt and garlic powder. Slice the cheese into quarter inch discs and arrange on top. Cover in foil and bake for 45 min to an hour at 350.

Remove from oven, whisk cream and eggs together, pour mixture over casserole, return to oven uncovered for 30 minutes.

Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.





A word about food photography. Without the proper lighting and using a point-and-shoot digital camera like mine your food will come out looking flat and yellow.

Cooked to a golden perfection is what I would have liked this picture to convey. There is hope. Check out Benjamin Christie's site on food photography.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Number One Hit

Twelve Two Two Fondue currently has the dubious honor of being the Number One Hit for the Google search of:

"buzzard recipes"

Ah, fame.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Rent-A-Snake

I need to find a rent-a-snake company.

I need a snake, a big snake, but I don't want to buy a snake. I don't have anything against snakes, in fact, I like snakes, not that I ever had one as a pet, or assassin, or whatever. Hmmm.

A friend of mine had a bull snake and he was cool, the snake. Didn't move much, but if you held a live mouse over his head the snake would flick his tongue in and out to an obscene degree. Drop the mouse and it would be Adios Mousie.

I always felt bad about my friend feeding mice to his snake because mice didn't bark. Really, when's the last time you heard a mouse bark? Like, never? A mouse might squeek if you step on it or feed it to a snake. (Ah, I temporarily forgot that part of the story.) But, a mouse never barks. Especially at night.

There you have it. Snakes eat quiet, hardly ever squeeking mice, and loud, obnoxious barking-all-night dogs go Scott Free!

It's unfair, I tell you. The mice are getting eaten for being quiet and the miserable, loud, rat-fink, beady-eyed neighbor dogs can bark, bark, bark, bark, bark all night for nothing. Bark all night and your chicks for free.

Stupid little dog, too. Short with a funny tail. You'd think that a dog that ugly would take caution to draw attention to itself, but Noooooooooo. Little barky ugly dog has to bark and yap and howl all day and all night.

An ugly mouse would never do that.

I checked eBay and there's a good selection of pythons available but their descriptions are less than adequate for my purpose.

Nice python, loves kids. Er, no.

Divorced. Python must go. Loves kids. Er, no.

Fire sale. Black and tan python must go. Answers to the name "Smokey." Er, no.


What I'm looking for is something like this:


Vicious dog-hating python. Must go. Devoured mastiff. Loves kids. Hates barky dogs.


No, I would only own a snake of this sort for a deterrant. Far be it for me to let such a snake loose in my back yard or my neighbor's back yard where the loud, obnoxious, barky canine terror from Hell lives. Nor would I deprive my new family pet snake from food prior to letting him exercise through the fence to our neighbor's back yard. Especially late at night when little Barky is roaming around, barking, by the pool. Alone. In the dark.

Not I and do you want to know why?

Because I'm a dog person. Yes, it's twue.