Thursday, August 10, 2006

Phone Solicitor

Norris was tiring of immersing her hands in water. Talk about sub urbanity she thought. As if in answer, the phone rang, “Hi, I ‘m calling for the children’s hospital” said a young woman’s voice. Norris was let down; it was not a real call from someone good.
“Oboy” she was good at getting rid of telephone solicitors, but did not exactly enjoy it.
The telephone voice giggled at Norris’s dolorous reply and Norris asked “Do you want money?” Just before the girl could resume her memorized speech- “no”
“Well, do you want children?” Norris was thinking ahead here, “Because I don’t have either”.
“No,” the girl replied.
“Well, what is it then?”
“I want to know if you want the paper.” By now the pre written speech was totally out the window and Norris thought why do I want a paper from the children’s Hospital? They put out a paper? Talk about non-sequitur, sheesh, I didn’t mean for this to get out of hand.
“When you get the paper delivered, one dollar goes to the hospital…” the girl seemed to be veering back toward her previous spiel.
“Wait, I pay the hospital?”
“No, you pay the carrier but...”
“The hospital gets the money and I get the paper?” This is not too awful Norris thinks, and then thinks of having her Sunday mornings shattered by the rude blatting of the front doorbell, and having to face some obnoxious adolescent while still in her pajamas. “No, thanks, I’m not here a lot.” (Subject closed)
“Okay,” the phone voice registers, ( lost another one.)
Norris reluctantly returns to submergence.

Dinner Plans

and household woes

Hi , I’m really depressed.

Oh? What is it this time?

Well, I just discovered while cleaning the top of the stove, that the funny burning smell we were looking for last night was the brand new counter top and the brand new cutting board. This apartment isn’t even a month old, and already I have ruined something. Lou is going to hit the roof and I don’t know if I can take it.
Did you know that the amazing Ginsu steak knife makes a wonderful wood plane? In fact, it worked better than the actual wood plane I used first. In my usual Lucy tries to hide a cow in the kitchen style, I was hacking burnt wood off the cutting board when I realized that it smelled just like hotdogs.
Does this mean that all these years I have been eating thinly disguised kosher wood chips? NO, what it means is that all those old hot dogs are being made into cutting boards since people got so hinky about nitrates in the food. They chop up the dogs and press them into clever wooden shapes. In fact, I hear they do a mean parquet floor too, but that could be salami. I’ll look into it for you. Does the extra cash I blow on Kosher mean I get hickory instead of knotty pine? What do you think?

Well, I think this is great material for a story- it’s pretty funny stuff actually and you should write it all down like I told you yesterday.
I’m getting ready to go to my new job now. I just love wearing this neat little tuxedo shirt and my patent leather shoes. Do you want to have dinner at the monster inn before the Comet dance at the Planetarium tonight?

Well, here’s where my life is starting to resemble fiction, I already wrote our conversation before calling you. Do you think our lives are losing spontaneity?
And to answer your question, I don’t know if we can afford it; even if we only get the “victim”, we just shelled out 80 bucks for groceries last night and what with the counter and all he’s going to be in one hell of a mood and it will be a miracle if we get to the dance at all.

Maybe you could put a potted plant on the burnt spot.

No, it’s right next to the stove, which would not be good at all.

Okay, so how about a lamp? You have to see well to cook, right?

No, same spot, it’s just awkward. Anything put there would be knocked over by someone’s elbow.

Oh well, Dave and Denise are coming in at 6:30 and we’re going out for dinner and then to the dance.

Yeah, when they say 6:30 that means 9:30 if you’re lucky.

No, they promised to come early which means they could show up on time, and if they don’t show by 8:30, we’re going without them because we promised Timmy and Bagwan we’d be there by at least 10.

Oh. We.., maybe we’ll meet you. Or maybe there will be a national disaster before he gets home and the burnt counter won’t seem so bad. I’m working on dematerializing in case that disaster doesn’t come through. How about that?

Good idea! If you perfect it, let me know. Actually, you could dematerialize over here but I have to clean. I’ll see you tonight. Maureen is coming from the suburbs; I think we can get a ride with her.

Okay. She goes to the phone, calls Tess and reads the story to the phone, and hangs up. No answer. She leaves a message:
Hi, I really don’t have to call you now because I have already written the whole conversation down in case you’re not home…..still, no one answers; how typical. At least I got a few pages of dialogue out of it.
She tries calling someone else.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

How to buy spices

An excerpt of the soon to be published Che Sera Cookbook:

When shopping for herbs and spices, get anything that looks good to you, or anybody with you, or the odd bystander in the spice store. Buy lots of colors, shapes and textures- you can find out what to do with them later, and if you don’t you still have the raw material for amusing home d├ęcor. Nothing looks better on your kitchen wall than a lot of glass jars full of great looking stuff.
Note: you may want to avoid buying some things which are too hot to serve as anything other than say, paint remover. This is precisely what sales help is for; don’t be afraid to ask for assistance in weeding out the more lethal items and hope this is not one of their “bad” days. If it is, buy stuff anyway, it will cheer you up some; probably nothing will help them.
Should you feel I have been too vague about suggestions, my guideline is:
1. green stuff
2. yellow stuff
3. red stuff
4. leafy substances
5. things that have shape
I don’t bother with labels. It astounds my friends and makes cooking look much more difficult than it really is. People are sure I am psychic. If you want to give this impression but are sure you will put curry into your tapioca, simply label the bottom of the jars. It is mistake proof and you sill still appear to be a culinary genius.