Miscellany & Poetry - On food, wine, film, lit & then some.

The Scoop Series: DNC SchmeeNC—The American Cheese Society 25th Anniversary Conference, with Forward Foods’ Steve “Wampus” Reynolds

Among Norman, Oklahoma’s most famous sons: James Garner. Vince Gill. Wampus.

Certainly Steve Reynolds is a solid fixture in my old hometown, cheered on in high school for various ingenious & occasionally illicit stunts detailed here, then for his winning turn on Jeopardy, & now for Forward Foods, the gourmet shop he runs with his charming wife Suzy Thompson, which is as fine as any I’ve frequented in Boston or Denver, boasting a luscious cheese selection & gastronomic curios galore, like

FFmayoFFchips1 &

FFlavendercheese &
FFgruyere

When Steve told me he had just returned from the American Cheese Society’s annual conference, I pressured him to dish until he caved:

What’s all this about? I assume there’s a tasting floor and also seminars and so forth? Do people dress up like dancing cheeses?

The ACS was in Chicago this year (last year, Burlington). It’s attended by cheesemakers, cheese & specialty-food wholesalers, cheese retailers, consultants, dairy scientists, a bunch of people who say they’re writers and others I’m forgetting. There are a couple of seminars a day and they’re aimed at different people—I wasn’t the target for “Demystifying Rennet and Coagulants.” [Other tempting topics: “Understanding Butter Flavor”; “Sell It or Smell It: Extending the Life of a Bloomy Soft Ripened Cheese.”]

Before the first seminars, different groups—Wisconsin cheesemakers, California cheese groups, wholesalers—laid out a spread for people. No one dressed up like a dancing cheese, pervert. Some folks did wear cow-spotted overalls and hard hats when they fashioned the Chicago skyline out of cheese. The Sears Tower was probably six feet tall. It looked to be all cheddar and jack. You don’t want a ten-grand Roquefort Carles sculpture.

If you ever want to feel more grossly full than you’ve ever felt in your life, go to the Festival of Cheese—1000 different cheeses laid out with beer & wine & all the condiments. Ugh. It’s sushi for me for awhile.

What was the coolest seminar you attended?

There was one seminar where Chicago chefs made courses with American artisanal cheeses (side note: HUGE circular debates about the word “artisanal” abounded). We ate double macaroons with a triple crème Fleur de Teche from Bittersweet Plantation, a savory pannacotta with Humboldt Fog & a melted Hudson Valley Camembert on brioche. They all RAWKED.

What was the weirdest or dumbest thing you encountered there?

Cranberry-chipotle flavored cheese. Enough said.

If you could only eat 1 kind of cheese for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

WHY DO YOU PRESENT THIS NIGHTMARE!?! I guess I would do a gouda or cheddar– something versatile, but I would miss the blues fo sho. You know how when you have a perfect bite at a great restaurant that makes you close your eyes? So many cheeses deliver that.

What America Means to Me by Denveater

Misteriosign

Bingicecream

Jellocookbook2

Jellocookbook1

Jellocookbook3

Jellocookbook4

(pics taken outside Mystery Night Club & inside Finders Keepers, respectively)

Squishy disquisition on peanut butter (Part 2): The Director’s PB & mustard sandwich

In Part 1 of this in-depth inquiry into the ideal ingredient, I indicated my total commitment to developing a true understanding thereof—to firmly grasping the essence of nut pulp—by vowing to eat the Director’s freaky favorite snack. Behold the peanut butter & mustard sandwich.

Pb&mustard1

Pb&mustard2

Although variations on the theme are likely countless—just because you really, really, really probably shouldn’t combine white-chocolate peanut butter with horseradish dijon on brioche doesn’t mean you can’t—we made our sandwich with Adams organic crunchy peanut butter* and Orowheat Oatnut bread, spreading French’s yellow mustard on one half & Inglehoffer stone-ground mustard on the other.

The verdict: Honesty trumps drama here; the results were inconclusive. Neither revelatory nor repulsive, it just tasted like something you make when you’re drunk enough not to realize you grabbed the wrong jar from the fridge until you take a bite, when you’re hungry (& drunk) enough not to care. And then you do it again the next night, & pretty soon you’re just used to it.

That said, the Inglehoffer half had the edge; though spicier, the mustard was nonetheless subtler somehow, mingling with rather than muscling out the nut flavor the way the French’s tried to.

Meanwhile, speaking of jarring yet potentially juicy, yellow-&-brown, savory-sweet juxtapositions, the Director went to M & D’s for chicken & waffles & all I got was this stupid—OK, mouthwatering—pic.

MDschickenwaffles

*Not the company Scott from Part 1 works for; thought I’d leave the poor guy out of this one.

The Scoop Series: Squishy disquisition on peanut butter (Part 1)—interview with a PB industry insider

Scott works at a small company that makes peanut butter. A really small company. No, smaller. If I said, “in a nutshell, it’s small,” I’d probably be speaking literally. Being peanut butter’s Mel, upon meeting Scott I had to pester him for a brief interview. Probably as freaked as Bret & Jemaine are here, he nonetheless kindly agreed.

How would you define the perfect PB and how have you arrived at that definition? 

I grew up on Jif; I was terrified by any other brand.

Not-Jpbc = CopyofMunchScream

As I got a little older, I started to go, “Oh, this is full of things that want to kill me.” I swapped, for a little while, to the organic oil-on-top stuff, but so much of it tastes like drywall.

Peanutbutterspoon
= <Drywall5

I know this sounds like absolute shill-talk, but I love my company’s plain PB. You get to taste the nut, which is something that, mysteriously, a lot of PB makers forget to look for. It just has a fresh, deep, roasted flavor that I haven’t found in other brands as well a little salty kick that reminds you: “Oh, it’s not just a ‘dessert’ food.”

What do you love about the industry you’re in (not your job per se) and why? What are you most horrified by?

I remember being in college and seeing kids surrounded by stacks of books and thinking, “I don’t love anything that much.” When food really came into my life, I found myself in the library surrounded by stacks of cookbooks and I kind of went, “Oh.” Tradeshows are a definite plus; you leave with a giant sack of premium chocolate and cheese and cookies and mixes and teas and whatever.
I also love our product, so getting paid to proselytize is great, especially when I feel like I’m really helping to better people’s lives. Or their pantries, anyway. What scares me the most is seeing the kind of things big companies are putting into food. Spend an afternoon with a food label and Wikipedia and the things you’ll find out—yikes. Some of the shortcuts they employ are freaky.


Know any funny stories/urban myths about accidents involving PB? Aside from that one about how eating a spoonful prior to taking a breathalyzer can skew the results toward a lower blood-alcohol level, so keep a jar in your glove compartment? Not a firsthand account, mind you.

Not offhand, but if you do a Google Image Search for “peanut butter,” you get a picture of that baby covered in PB. It’s supposed to be cute, but it scares me to death. Like Anne Geddes on acid.

PeanutButter


=


“Anne Geddes Starting to Lose It,” The Onion, 7/25/01

Anne-Geddes

b/c

Lsd_powder_capsules_thumb
!!!

Do people taste PB the way they taste wine? Is there a whole jargon for tasting? Can you share some terms with us?

It’s funny you should ask, because we actually have a small handout on pairing our peanut butters with wine. I haven’t tried any of them. One suggestion was to pair peanut butter with crackers and serve it alongside a rosé.

We don’t have an official lexicon for PB tasting, but there are definitely some criteria we use when we’re testing a new flavor. For us, the flavor has to work with the PB. We try to keep it not so sweet.

F y’all’s I, I came across a scientific study that attempted to create a PB vocabulary, with one chart titled Definitions of Attributes to Describe Roasted Peanuts:

Appearance

Brown Color
The intensity or the strength of brown color from light to dark brown.



Roughness

The appearance associated with uneven surface.


Glossy

The appearance associated with the amount of light reflected by
the product surface.

Powdery
The appearance associated with the amount of powder particles on
the surface.


Aromatics
Roasted Peanutty
The aroma associated with medium roasted peanuts.

Oxidized
The aroma associated with rancid fats and oils.

Cardboard
The aroma associated with wet cardboard.

Raw/Beany
The aroma associated with raw peanuts having green bean
character.

Tastes
Sweetness
Taste on the tongue associated with sucrose solutions.

Salty
Taste on the tongue associated with sodium chloride solutions.

Sour
Taste on the tongue associated with acidic agents such as citric
acid solutions.

Bitterness
Taste on the tongue associated with bitter solutions such as
caffeine.

Texture
Hardness
Force needed to compress a food between molar teeth.

Crunchiness
Force needed and amount of sound generated from chewing a sample
with molar teeth.

Tooth Pack
The amount of sample left in or on teeth after chewing.


As in “After a bite of that glossy oxidized spread which I would associate with citric acid, my tooth pack is huge!”



The Director’s favorite snack is a PB & yellow mustard sandwich. What say you to this?

The only thing I can say is, if you love it, eat it! But PB and mustard? I’ll hold my tongue—as far away from that sandwich as possible.

In Part 2, we’ll be holding our tongues to it. Stay tuned (or stuck, as the case may be).

Cool stuff in my house (Part 5)

the fortune-cookie logo on this tee

Tee

this 80-year-old broken projector the Director adores

Proj

this book of poems, including one titled “Drinking in the Daytime” with the keen line “I’m sucking on the barrel of a crystal pistol / To get a bullet to my brain,” which surprisingly does not rhyme with another ending in “champagne”

Seidel

& this Mexican smoked salt, as black to the palate as it is to the pupil & terrific sprinkled on pan-fried peppers, especially pasillas, but multicolored baby bells are a nice choice too.

Salt

My love, my sommelier (& manager, executive chef, accountant…)

Phish-baiting is one of the Director’s favorite pastimes. I wish he did it while wearing a cap with the slogan “Out for Cyber-Trout” a la Michael Moore’s in Roger & Me, but no. He just does it, so when I received the following e-mail a few weeks back, I forwarded it to him—or rather to Jasper Nothing, his alterego. The exchange was brief but magical.

From: Mr. Aaron Artkinson <aaronartkinson@yahoo.com>

Date: April 17, 2008 3:02:21 PM MDT

To: Denveater

Subject: DININER ENQUIRY

Reply-To: aaronartkinson@yahoo.com.co. uk

Good day,

I am Aaron Artkinson, i want to make a dinner reservation for my member in your Restaurant. Please confirm these reservation in your Facility.

Details of the Reservation :

Date: 17th June to 20th June 2008.

No of person: 13 person

Arrival times: 7:30 PM each day

Payment Type: Credit Card Only ( I hope you have credit card facilities)

Please confirm if you have the availability and provide me with the charges for 13 person in 4 days,Then we will make an advance payment to hold the booking.

Kind Regards

Aaron Artkinson


Jasper Nothing wrote:


Dear Mr. Artkinson,


Thanks for contacting us. Luckily we still have open tables on those dates and can easily (and happily!) accommodate your entire party. I can confirm a table for 13 persons at 7:30 pm for the evenings of June 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th, 2008.


In regards to the charges; those will depend completely on what it is you and your dining companions would like to order. Shall I send you some options? Will you be drinking wine?


We take all major credit cards, including that black American Express one. Do you have that one? I eagerly await your response.


Sincerely,

Jasper Nothing (manager, sommelier)



Aaron Artkinson wrote:


Hello Jasper ,


Many thanks for your prompt response. We will appreciate if you prepare a 3 course menu for my group for the dinner. No special dietary. We will be happy for any suggestion you may render since this is our first dinner in your restaurant.


Date:17th, 18th, 19th,and 20th.


Kindly provide the total cost of the dinner for the 13 persons for the 4 night dinner so as to provide my credit card details for full payment confirmation.



>Private dining room is needed if there is any. Your response will be appreciated


Kind Regards,

Aaron Artkinson



Jasper Nothing wrote:


Dear Sir:


I am so, so sorry for my delayed response. I can only remind you that it was the last week of April…and you, of course, know what that means. I have worked out the menu with my Executive Chef for the four nights you will be dining with us and have detailed the courses below. Please let me know if there are any problems with the menu and we can devise another right away. I have paired wine with each course except one. Trust me that Coke goes best with the second course.


style=”margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; “> First Course (appetizer)

Potato Chips (w/ salt) – $8

Catena Malbec 2006 – $8


Second Course (main)

Panda Pot Pie (w/ steamed baby carrots) – $8

Coke – $8


Third Course (dessert)

Catena Malbec 2006 – $8

Peppermint Schnapps – $8



style=”-webkit-text-stroke-width: -1; “>Meal total 6 x $8 per person, or $48 per person for a total of $624


Please advise if this menu is acceptable, and if not I will have my Executive Chef prepare something different. Also, please let me know if you would like to sit with your dining companions or have your own table in case you do not like them.


Sincerely,

Jasper Nothing (manager, sommelier, executive chef)



Aaron Artkinson wrote:


<
/p>

Dear Jasper,


Thanks for your reply and assistance so far i have gone through the menu and is splendid,however we shall dining off from what your have on ground.and we will book for the dining room.I will make a payment of $2000.00 to you in advance, this is because we are not sure of what the guests might like to eat and drink as such as will cover the cost of their meals and drinks.


Moreover, we were able to make an arrangement with a pre-paid flight/ transport agent who will be taking care of the guests transportation/flight logistics. So in order not to share the credit card information with a third party, I have decided that only one person will have to handle the credit card information.


However, the prepaid agent is not yet a credit card merchant therefore cannot charge credit cards. On my own side, i would have sent him his money direct but do to all the arrangement have be finalised through credit card, therefore he cannot charge credit cards.


So once you are in receipt of my credit card details,you are required to charge $9000.00 in your account then deduct $2000.00 as initial deposit and transfer $7000.00 to the prepaid flight/transport agent , whose information I will forward to you once this is confirmed.


N.B: All checks and balances will be made with you on 17th June which is the final day of the booking. So confirm this and provide me with your


(1) YOUR FULL NAME

(2) FULL ADDRESS

(3) PHONE NUMBERS for office record.


Get back to me immediately.


Kind Regards,

Eng.Aaron Artkinson

Tel: 447031921122 , 447005800544

Fax: 447005800533



From: Jasper Nothing<
/span>

Date: Thu, 01 May 2008 15:31:19

To: Aaron Artkinson <aaronartkinson@yahoo.co.uk>


ong>Conversation: Deposit Payment Information………………………………………..

Subject: Re: Deposit Payment Information………………………………………..


Dear Mr. Artkinson,


Whew! That all seems complicated to me and I’m not real sure I understand it completely. Let me run this by you again to make sure. I am to charge $9000 and you are going to give me $2000 to hold the restaurant for the 4 nights, correct? I am then to send the remaining $7000 to your transport agent? I have to admit I am somewhat offended! Did you even LOOK at the menu I and my sommelier and my executive chef took the time to put together? The cost of the meal was $624 PER night. You wanted to hold the restaurant for FOUR nights. That equals um…hang on…$2496! And that’s without any tip whatsoever!! By the way, don’t you love the word whatsoever? It’s three words and one word at the same time?!? Isn’t that weird? Think about that for a second. Insomuch as…wait…there it is again! Three words, one word! I wonder how many of those there are? Heretofore. That’s another. Notwithstanding…another! Anyway, back to the tip. Normal tipping procedure here is 20%. 20% of $2496…hang on again…is $499.20. That equals a total of $2995.20. That’s almost $3000! I guess that’s a long way of asking, should I keep $3000 and send $6000 to your transport company, or do you want me to charge $10,000 and keep $3000 and still send $7000 to your transport company?


Please advise me what to do and we can move forward on the transfer. Have you ever had Panda? It’s juicy.


>

Best,

Jasper Nothing


style=”-webkit-text-stroke-width: -1; “>(manager, sommelier, executive chef, accountant)


***

END OF CORRESPONDENCE

Philosophiconundrum 1: How to eat endangered species

Gushing once again about the astonishing BBC/Discovery series Planet Earth & its remarkable footage of rare species, our friend the Whistler said that if he ever got the chance to dine on snow leopard, of which there are less than 8000 on God’s green earth,

Snowleopard_2

he’d “totally eat the shoulder & then just throw the rest away.”

This of course made me spray wine through my nostrils laughing & inspired me to ask around: if you could eat any endangered species, what would you eat & why? Seems I offended some of my friends & colleagues & a lot of them just ignored me, but a special few responded:

MC Slim JB, Boston-based food writer, cocktail expert & sartorial wiz:

Have you seen the Marlon Brando/Matthew Broderick comedy The Freshman? Brando repeated his Godfather character, this time for comedy. A major plot point revolves around a club where the super-rich eat the last living specimen of some rare species, making it extinct.

I would like to feast on the last living neoconservative Republican, with his children & grandchildren for dessert. It would be returning a favor, in a way.

Echoing Slim’s enthusiasm for fat-cat cuisine was Joey Porcelli, author of Rise and Dine: Breakfast in Denver and Boulder & coauthor of The Gyros Journey: Affordable Ethnic Eateries Along the Front Range:

I would eat a Republican for Thanksgiving dinner because they will become endangered this November. I would make jerky out of all the tough, crusty, aged & brittle parts (99%of the species), throw away the fat & attempt to thaw the heart to see if it had any tenderness. I would pickle the ears & snout but toss the still-wagging tongue. I would use the clay feet to make an excellent stewpot. Next I would toss in a few root vegetables and a bag of Doug Bruce and call it illiterate peasant stew.

25censure600
Don’t jettison those jowls, Joey! They’re the juiciest!

Matthew Rohrer, acclaimed poet by day, seething turophile by night:

Blue-whale babies gain over 200 pounds a day drinking their mother’s milk. I’d like to have some of that milk in my coffee.

Whale2
(Or you could just go straight to the source & drink out of this beaker!)

[Also,] I think a great new craze could be started at those chain Australian-style steakhouses with what I’m going to call “jumbo calamari”: enormous deep-fried rings of elephant trunk, breaded and seasoned and served with a dish of marinara sauce. It’d be the perfect appetizer to follow up a day of shopping at Costco or Sam’s Club. Bigger is definitely tastier.

Trunk
Dibs on that smiley tip.

Steve Reynolds, aka Wampus, 1-time write-in protest candidate for homecoming king, escort of 2 hookers to senior prom & Jeopardy champ; current owner of the lovely Norman, Oklahoma, gourmet shop Forward Foods:

I’d eat the Nashville crayfish to extinction. First, the name sounds like a bad backing band for some prepackaged country singer. Second, I don’t eat the mammals or birds & rarely eat the fish—but sucking the good bits out of a southern delicacy only found in Tennessee wouldn’t bother me much.

Crayfish

Culinary Colorado author & blogger Claire Walter briefly checked in from a café overseas—where “our Olde Englishe Countrye Inne has no Internete access”—to note:

There is/was a restaurant in Nairobi that specialized in bushmeat. Some African species have become endangered because people eat them as expensive delicacies. Yuck!

Or is it, Claire, really mmm…think wild red colubus simmered in simian foamy virus…or crocodile grilled with a little trichinella…

Croc

+
Trich
=suppertime!

On a more serious note, said Clay Fong, Boulder Weekly restaurant critic & coauthor of The Gyros Journey: Affordable Ethnic Eateries Along the Front Range:

In my teens, I used to fish for salmon off the Golden Gate, a stone’s throw from the Farallon Islands. We’d catch our limits of fresh wild fish, clean them on the way back in & grill them that night, wrapped in foil with white wine and garlic. However, I recently read that the salmon fishing season for both commercial and recreational operators has been canceled for the California coast. The decrease in the number of salmon returning to spawn to the Sacramento River was 1 of the reasons given for the cancellation; 6 years ago 800,000 fish returned to the river for spawning, the projection for this fall is a mere 50,000 fish.

Alaskansilversalmon

Clay, you’re absolutely right—as an old friend used to say, hey, I’m a nice lady! I promise to watch my intake of the near-extinct.

Except snow leopards. Especially right-wing snow leopards.

***ADDENDUM***
The Director made his answer rhyme!

Oooohhh panda! Plump panda,
Puffed panda in a pastry shell!
Potatoes, tomatoes & the zest
Of the last living snail.

Wrap shark fin in eagle skin and
Roast it til it’s just past rare;
Baked cheetah with Cheetos
And rhino horn if we can find a spare!

The tang of an orang makes me
Happy though I’m now quite full.
Then dessert comes, and I wonder if I’ll even care
Huzzah! Hooray! It’s a pie full of polar bear!

But seriously, enough about poop: My all-time favorite cookbooks

I’ve been to culinary school, profiled my share of cookbooks (including Party Nuts! & Loretta Lynn’s You’re Cookin’ It Country), even written encyclopedia entries on the historical uses of everything from beans to sarsaparilla. I’ve been undressed by kings, & I’ve seen some things that a woman ain’t supposed to see…oh, no, wait, that was Charlene. Damn. At any rate, obviously, nothing in my vast experience could have prepared me for the lessons of Basic Microwaving. Behold the porn dog.

Bmsausages

Bmsausages2

I guess Charlene could have told me that wieners & frankfurters vary in size, but the fact that fat affects shrinkage…I’m thinking that’s got to be an eye-opener for all but a very narrow (er, as opposed to thin) segment of the population, no?

Anyway. Because BM brought out the scatological worst in me (as any BM worth the monogram tends to do), I feel compelled to lessen any possible offense I’ve caused by introducing those cookbooks that, idiosyncratic though they may be, have over the years brought out the best in me. Not the scatological best, either, just the regular best.

No. 3: Madhur Jaffrey’s Step-by-Step Cooking, Madhur Jaffrey

Jaffrey

While it implies the book’s for novices, the compound adjective “step-by-step” more accurately indicates the geographical range of the recipes, crossing Asia from Jaffrey’s native India to Indonesia. They’re vibrant & pungent, easygoing & humble. Like me, heh.

Try: Vietnamese ca tim nuong (smoky eggplant & pork in lime sauce); Indian badami roghan josh (lamb in dark almond sauce)

No. 2: Tapas: The Little Dishes of Spain, Penelope Casas

Tapascookbook

Practically organized to reflect the concerns of a real-world host/hostess (sections include “cold tapas” and “tapas with some last-minute preparation”), Casas’s neoclassic covers the recipe spectrum from quick-&-easy to time-&-labor-intensive; either way, the results manage to impress.

Try: pastel de salmon ahumado (smoked salmon pâté—easier than its gorgeousness would suggest); addictive albóndigas Sant Climent (lamb meatballs in brandy sauce)

No. 1: Lettuce in Your Kitchen, Chris Schlesinger & John Willoughby

Lettuceinyourkitchen

That’s right, my favorite cookbook in this whole wide world features salads. If you think there’s nothing to them but chopping, dressing & tossing, you’ve got a whole huge other think coming. Versatility, complexity, substance: these recipes boast them all.

Try: chicory with garlic pork, pickles & black-eyed peas in charred tomato dressing; Bibb lettuce with grilled scallops, sausage & pineapple in mango–black pepper dressing

Rémoulade is a handy-dandy doody-doody.

Some years ago, when I was an MFA candidate studying poetry, I kept a notebook by my bed to jot down wee-hour notes on the verse I tended to compose in my dreams. One morning I woke up so excited to reread a line I’d written in the dark a few hours before, vaguely remembering it to be deeply, poignantly witty, full of lace-veiled longing.

That was it.

N_pw_30560_feinkost_remoulade_remou
Doody-doody: ask for it by name! (I believe the French would stress the final syllable, doo-dee doo-dee.)

Open letter to Denver restaurateurs: Make this family’s orders extra special

Look, if you’ve spent more than a few milliseconds of your time reading this blog, you know I have a blackly bitchy streak, overlapping with crimson streaks of immaturity & gracelessness, which, combined, pretty much cover the whole canvas. I don’t think I pretend to be a model of basic decency, much less sterling virtue. But I can say that I have always striven, I hope successfully, not to be an ugly American—the kind who mistakes the logistical freedom to do something with the absolute right to do it, the letter of the law with its spirit.

Thus I figure it’s my patriotic duty to call those who do fit that description on their misguided assumptions—not on some equally misguided assumption that they’ll give two shits about my opinion, but out of the desire to make the kind of noise that some non-&-leaning-toward-anti-American might hear & think, well, at least some of them try not to suck so hard.

The other evening, the Director & I were in a quiet local Ethiopian joint quietly minding our own damn quiet business when a woman walked in who, at first, did nothing but reveal to me my own prejudices: she was a blandly attractive frosted blonde in a T shirt & jeans with an equally blonde prepubescent daughter in tow, & I admit to being surprised that such seemingly staunch Abercrombies & Fitches might be down with the likes of mitmita, berbere & teff.

But then she also did nothing to stop little Sierra or Madison or Amber-Savannah from whipping out her cell phone before they’d even been seated & chatting away as though she were old enough to have anything worth saying in the privacy of her own pink ruffled bedroom, much less in a public space aiming for a modicum of ambiance.

Nor did she do anything to stop her husband, a grade-school soccer coach from the looks of his getup—not a uniform or anything, mind you, just the sort of atrocious polo shirt/bright short/high white sock/bright sneaker combo a grade-school soccer coach wears in his downtime—from waltzing in fresh from Subway with their 2 no-less-towheaded, sweatshirted boys, odds are Jaden & Taylor.

Thence they proceeded to unpack their sandwiches, chips, & bottled drinks & have a fast-food feast right there at the table of someone else’s restaurant (couldn’t they at least have ordered sodas from their waitress?) of which even Dad partook, although he also shared Mom’s order of whatever you might be able to get super-mild & with utensils. Wanna see?

Fuckers3

In a bit of fairness to Mom, the Director saw her giving Dad an earful, & we’re hoping she was telling him how appallingly, almost hilariously if it weren’t so infuriatingly, inappropriate & insulting this all was. Maybe she was pointing out that their brood of Aryan youth was old enough to start learning about new cultures & trying new things rather than ramming their own down everyone else’s throats. & in a bit of fairness to Dad, he said something to the waitress to which she responded, “Oh, that’s okay,” & we’re hoping it was an apology.

We’re also hoping those sandwiches were contaminated with just a touch of e. coli. Not enough to do major damage, of course—just enough to keep them up all night, having their beloved Subway & eating it too, over & over.

***

With respect to this (or any) post, I highly welcome spirited dissent & free legal advice. The latter has already led me to replace the faces in the photo with featureless lavender blobs, which after all retain an uncanny likeness.