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Tuesday: January 22, 2008

Feed the Geek

Filed under: — site admin @ 1:58 AM UTC

A month ago I posted about Liver Pudding, a Carolina delicacy whose very name makes me shudder. Last week, Ann Althouse reminded us that her readers once paid her $200 to eat something she has always despised, an egg salad sandwich. Putting these two facts together, it occurred to me that I might be able to raise some much-needed funds, find something to write about, and gratify my more sadistic readers, all at the same time. I therefore undertake the following promises:

  1. For a PayPal contribution of only $20, I will buy and eat an entire one-pound package of Neese’s Liver Pudding, finishing it off in no more than a week, will post pictures of the stuff in the package, in the frying pan, and on the plate, and will write about its taste, texture, and any other characteristics worth noting on both of my weblogs.
  2. For another $20 each, I will do the same for Neese’s C Loaf (main ingredient: pork stomachs) and Scrapple. (I haven’t seen Liver Mush or any of the other more exotic Neese’s products in the grocery stores I frequent, but am willing to look for them, if anyone wants me to try them.) For no further charge — because I’m sure I’ll like it — I will also buy a package of Neese’s Country Sausage, to see how it compares, if readers answer the first two challenges.
  3. For $100, I will make and review a haggis. My local Asian grocery store had two of the three main ingredients last time I was there (lamb stomach and liver) and I should be able to get a lamb heart there or somewhere in town — perhaps at a Halal butcher. (The recipes call for sheep, not lamb, but surely either will do?)
  4. Finally, for $200 I will purchase a package of ‘pork uteri’ at the Asian grocery, cook them using an authentic ancient Roman recipe from Apicius, eat them, and provide pictures and a review, as before. Sows’ wombs were a Roman delicacy, as admired as lobster or Porterhouse steak today, but I’ve never tried them and am torn between intellectual curiosity and visceral disgust.

Now I need to look through Apicius and see if there are any more Roman delicacies to add to my fund-raising challenge. The Asian grocery carries goat penises and ‘intestinal bung’, but I don’t recall anything like either of those in Apicius. And I doubt that I can get hold of flamingo or dormouse.

Monday: January 21, 2008

What Hillary Is Thinking Right Now

Filed under: — site admin @ 12:05 PM UTC

“By this time next year – for God’s sake, don’t fuck it up, Bill! – I will have been President for one whole day. I’ll be sleeping in the big four-poster bed, and Bill will be sleeping in the smallest guest bedroom in the White House. (Memo to self: check floorplans to see which one is smallest and furthest from mine.) With Secret Service men in the hall round the clock to make sure he’s sleeping alone. (Memo to self: make sure his detail is all male, and old, and ugly, just to make sure.) I’ll tell him the CIA got word of a plot to kill him, so it’s for his own good. He always knows when I’m lying, but in this case that’s a good thing: show him who’s boss. Who’s the boss now, Bill? Hahahahahahaha! (Memo: check to see how long it would take to redecorate the smallest bedroom and make it really uncomfortable. Too cold, with a bed that’s too short for him and way too narrow for two, and not enough blankets, and mice. Can I have mice in his bedroom and make damned sure they never get near mine?)

“By this time next year – for God’s sake, don’t fuck it up, Bill! – that moron Bush, and that fat bastard Cheney, and all their minions (God, I love that word) will be out in the cold. Maybe even literally! Can I arrange to have their cars inspected as they leave, and all their luggage unloaded and searched very slowly and thoroughly right out on the White House driveway, and make them all stand around in the cold for at least an hour? I could claim I heard that they were taking White House property with them, and of course I don’t believe it, so thorough inspections are for their own good. Maybe my men can find a souvenir paperweight or two, or maybe I can have some planted, or why not just leak it that way to the press? They’ll eat that shit up, they always do, and I can pretend to be all solemn and forgiving and more-sorrow-than-anger and shit. Or maybe I could claim the CIA told me there was a bomb in someone’s luggage. A bomber in the White House who only kills those who are out of power? Lame, but they’ll eat that shit up.

“By this time next year – for God’s sake, don’t fuck it up, Bill! – A, and B, and C, and especially D will be in the White House with me. Also E, and F, and G. E’s a fat slob, and totally inept, and F’s too vicious even for me sometimes, but the looks on the faces of the Rethugs when they see them riding in the front gate in their limos will make it all worth while. (Memo to self: make sure they have competent deputies. And remember not to call the assholes ‘Rethugs’ or ‘Repugs’ – or ‘Assholes’ – out loud. Time to schedule a couple more hours of smiling exercises with H? Check with her agent to see when she can fit me in, then arrange a fund-raising trip to SoCal.)

“Best of all, by this time next year – for God’s sake, don’t fuck it up, Bill! – I will have personally fired J, and K, and L, and M, and (won’t they be surprised!) N and O and P. And Q. And I forgot R, and S, and T, and U. Who was that chef who annoyed me that one time, but Bill wouldn’t let me fire him? Find out if he’s still there, and fire his ass. If he’s retired, or changed jobs, order up a tax audit or an immigration investigation or something. Maybe both. Jesus, how could I forget V? And W, and X, and of course Y and Z. (Memo to self: make a detailed list, and make sure it has an innocuous title.) Wait, maybe I shouldn’t fire them personally. Have them fired without even acknowledging that I know they exist? That needs more thought . . . WWSD, What Would Saul Do?

“Now what was the first thing I did? I mean what will it be? I really need to spend less time on these fantasies, and more time campaigning. But they’re so delicious! Better than sex, or at least sex with Bill. So what should I do first? How about firing the entire staff of the White House Travel Office, just to show I can? Who works there now, anyway? Who cares? It would show the bastards who’s boss now – I mean then. Fuck, time to stop dreaming and worry about crushing Obama first. Like a bug. A big juicy bug. A big juicy bug with a little human head saying ‘Help Me’ as it wiggles it’s crushed legs and antennae and it’s gooey white bug-blood oozes out on the pavement. Wait, that’s another fantasy I don’t have time for now . . . .”

Saturday: January 12, 2008

A Redundant Simile

Filed under: — site admin @ 7:29 PM UTC

Conrad Black writes of the New Hampshire primary: “The great oracular experts of the American media floundered like halibut.” Aren’t the last two words entirely superfluous, given that flounders and halibut are closely related and some species are called by both names?

Monday: January 7, 2008

Song That Always Makes Me Think of Bill Clinton — and now Mike Huckabee, Too

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:46 AM UTC

The Hoosier Hotshots: “Them Hillbillies Are Mountain Williams Now”. Speaking of which, shouldn’t that be “Is Mountain Williams”? Or is that error (or colloquialism) a step beyond the first, and a step further than the Hotshots cared to go?

Wednesday: January 2, 2008

Surprising Lack of Disambiguation

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:48 PM UTC

On my drive from Raleigh to Baltimore on Christmas Eve, I took the slightly longer scenic route past the Pentagon and up the George Washington Parkway on the Virginia side. As I passed the exit for C.I.A. Headquarters, I was surprised to see that the sign reads “George Bush Center for Intelligence”. Given the loathing for the other President Bush that seems to be rampant there, I would have thought they would have insisted on renaming it the “George H. W. Bush Center for Intelligence”. They would have had a plausible pretext: the need for disambiguation. In fact, it’s surprising that it wasn’t named that in the first place: the C.I.A. website says that it was named after H. W. in October 1998, when W. was about to be reelected governor of Texas and was already one of the more likely Republican nominees for the 2000 election.

I also wonder whether the current war would be going better if we had an intelligence agency that didn’t have its own highway exit and website. Then again, perhaps we do and the C.I.A. is just a Potemkin agency designed to avoid awkward questions.

Tuesday: January 1, 2008

Recycling

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:25 PM UTC

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to post here every day, and to cut down on my comments on other blogs. (It’s so much easier to find one’s own posts when a subject recurs.) To get started, I’ll recycle and merge a couple of comments I recently left at Betsy’s Page.

One of the stupidest of the tag-team trolls that infest her blog recently defended clitoridectomy in the Muslim world by equating it to male circumcision. This assertion is of course (a) obviously false and (b) a favorite of anti-Semites. Male circumcision is often said to detract somewhat from sexual pleasure — not that many men would know, since the vast majority of circumcisions are done on infants, and adult circumcision would no doubt have psychological as well as physical effects. However, it also protects against AIDS, and is currently recommended for non-religious reasons in countries where AIDS is rampant, e.g. parts of Africa. Clitoridectomy reduces sexual pleasure to zero, and is designed to do exactly that: it has no other purpose. Accompanying operations often make sex downright painful for the woman, though more pleasurable for the man. When other commenters replied that clitoridectomy is much more like castration than circumcision, the troll tried to evade the issue by writing: “Clitorectomy and circumcision have some aspects in common, as well as some differences.”

Of course, heart transplant surgery has “some” (quite obvious) “aspects in common” with the ancient Aztec practice of cutting out the living hearts of captives and eating them, but anyone who equated the two morally would be a liar or a fool.