Archive for the 'Fiction' Category

Santa Sick; Warm Milk and Dirty Hands Implicated

Tuesday, December 25th, 2007

Public health authorities this morning have announced that Santa Claus, beloved semi-anonymous benefactor of millions of children, has fallen ill. Epidemiologists are focusing on milk left at room temperature and cookies left by children who failed to wash their hands as the likely culprits.

Mrs. Claus, reached via satellite phone at the North Pole, said, “I’ve been warning [Santa] for years not to eat all of the cookies and drink all of the milk left for him by all of the children all over the world, but he enjoys those treats so much, he just won’t listen to me.”

Santa, a rotund man of indeterminate age, may have been more susceptible to the pathogens as a result of being elderly and sleep-deprived. While December has always been a tough month for the jolly old elf, sources report that the past decade has been particularly tough. One elf, who spoke with reporters under the condition that he not be named said, “Kids today want much more than they used to. Whereas we used to be able to satisfy most demands via woodworking and occasional metallurgy, the modern child wants electronics. So we elves have been working around the clock for most of the year to fill orders for MP-3 players, cell phones, and the ilk. Santa’s been putting in his share of hours, too. I don’t know if he’s slept twelve hours over the past three weeks. I know I haven’t.”

Anita Andomyorussa, MD, the doctor overseeing Santa’s care, is quick to assure parents and children that leaving treats for Santa is still a goood thing to do, and that Santa highly prefers homemade cookies over store-bought. “Santa loves the care and attention that go into making Christmas cookies,” she said, “and from a gustatory standpoint he prefers cookies made with butter over those made with margarine. However,” she continued, “I highly advise that children wash their hands before putting out any treats for Santa. Also, as children’s bedtimes usually fall well before Santa arrives at people’s houses, it’s best if any milk left for Mr. Claus is cooled in a bowl of ice so that it stays within the safe holding range of under 45 degrees Fahrenheit.”

Santa, who is recuperating in an undisclosed location due to fears that revealing his whereabouts will unleash a flood of paparazzi and pilgrims upon the understaffed hospital that is overseeing Mr. Claus’s medical treatment, is said to have a good prognosis and is expected to fully recover.

The Parable of the Old Man and the Deer

Thursday, February 8th, 2007

I was having a tough time coming up with an idea for a post today, so I started browsing through some of the stuff I wrote in college. What follows is a short story I wrote in 1999.

Parable of the Old Man and The Deer

An old man lived in a rustic hut, deep in the forest. He would often see deer run through the thick woods that surrounded his home, but they would never stop. One day, in the hopes of seeing one of the creatures up close, he left a plate of vegetables sitting near his home and watched through a window until, after several hours had passed, a doe stopped and ate.

The next day, the man left another pile of vegetables sitting in the same place, hoping that the deer would return. This time, though, he sat motionless outside his cabin to await her arrival. She returned at about the same time she had come the day before. He knew it was the same doe by the string of successively larger spots that trailed down her back from her left shoulder. Approaching the food, she sensed the man’s presence and stopped, her muscles becoming perfectly rigid. Suddenly, she bolted into the snowy forest.

But the man still did not move. He waited until the hungry doe finally returned and nibbled at the food. Still uncomfortable with the man’s proximity, she left having eaten only a very small portion of the man’s offering. He gathered up the remainder and took it inside with him until the next day, when he put it, replenished with more vegetables and a couple of sugar cubes, in the same place.

The doe approached the plate tensely and tentatively, but ate everything, sugar first. After finishing, she looked at the man for several seconds before she abruptly turned and ran.

In this manner, a relationship was formed. Each day, the man would leave the doe food; and each day, she would come eat it, not caring that the man was always a tiny bit closer than he had been the day before. But still she would not let him touch her. Whenever he would try, she would bolt.

So it went, until one spring morning when Daisy Doe (as he had named the fine-looking specimen) ate a carrot from his hand. Several weeks later, she let him stroke her forehead, with two fingers, very gently. Daisy found that she enjoyed his touch and allowed him to pat her each day when she returned, after she had eaten her meal.

The sun hung high in the blue June sky when Daisy laid her head upon the man’s lap. He worked her sore muscles gently with his fingers, easing out her pain with his skillful touch. Soon, she had drifted off to sleep.

The man ate venison for dinner. This is the way the Devil works.

Intro to the Bellevue Tandisque

Saturday, October 7th, 2006

So, my wife says I caught her off-guard posting a piece of fiction whereas until now this had been generally an instructional-type page. The idea behind the Bellevue Tandisque is an inside look at how the commercial kitchen can be. A bit crass? perhaps at times, but that’s how things flow, and if you can’t stand the heat… well, you know the rest. The point of view may shift rapid-fire in scenes on the line; though the changes may cause you some initial confusion, it’s a reflection of the atmosphere when shit hits the fan.

Order Fire Pick-up
Slips coming in faster than ____’s
panties drop on a first date
time loses its relevance
the only when that matters is now because
that’s when things need to be done
and things fall…
into place? or apart?

Friday Night at the Bellevue Tandisque

Saturday, October 7th, 2006

“Table 10’s on fire! Table 53’s on fire! Table 86 is on fire! Table 91’s on fire! Table 14’s on fire!” and still the chef kept calling out tables, even as Guy’s ticket machine kept spewing new orders. “Table 22’s on fire!” He was calling table numbers that Guy hadn’t even looked at yet, trying to pick up orders that Guy hadn’t even put on the grill.

Guy looked up from the pile of fish he was trying to season and throw on to start cooking. “I’m in the weeds!” he called to no one in particular. Perhaps he was hoping that someone would come to his rescue and dig him out of the hole he was in. If that was the case, he was bound to be disappointed. No one else on the line was in better shape than he was.

Two stations down, Brad was about to run out of vegetables. It was his own fault, really: he’d used about an hour of his prep time carving an extremely detailed dildo out of an especially large carrot to give to Tina, the restaurant’s lone lady line cook. Everybody else had thought it was hilarious, especially when Tina had put it in her bag to take home with her. All Guy saw was a waste of time and a promise that he would be in the weeds from the moment he walked in the door Saturday afternoon, when he was working the vegetable station.

Tina, who was between Brad and Guy on the saute station, was cussing up a storm in her husky, smoker’s voice. She had pans going on all eight burners: bourbon chicken, skewers of shrimp scampi, shrimp diavolo, poulet tandisque… and still had a stack of veal dredged in flour in her hand she needed to saute for a scallopini the chef was trying to pick up. She shrugged her shoulders, threw it in a fryer basket, and dropped it into the hot grease of the deep fryer.

“Behind you, coming down!” Stan was pushing his way down the line from the grill station with a filet mignon in one hand. It wasn’t really easy for him to fit his three hundred pounds of lardassdom through the couple feet of space available. Brad didn’t see him coming and turned to toss a pan of vegetables; Stan pushed him out of the way and just barreled on through, screaming, “I said behind you!”, flecks of spittle collecting on his moustache as he bellowed. He reached for the second fryer basket just as Tina was dumping an order of calamari into it. “What the hell?”, he roared, “I needed that basket!”

“For your fucking steak?” Tina shot back, “Go back down and grill it like you’re supposed to. I’ve got too much shit to worry about down here without trying to help you jerk off with your food.”

“I don’t have time to cook it on the grill,” Stan spat back, flinging the steak onto the corner of the fryer. He turned and started lumbering his way back down the line. “Drop it for a couple minutes in the fryer to give it color,” he called over his shoulder, “and then throw it in the microwave to finish. I need it to be mid-well.”

Tina picked up the steak and had her arm cocked to chuck it at the back of Stan’s head when a sharp voice boomed at her from the other side of the line. “Tina!” the chef barked, “We don’t have time for you to be playing games. Fry the fucking steak and get it ready yesterday!”

“Yes, sir.” she grumbled, but as soon as the chef turned around she shouted down the line at Stan, “Watch your back, asshole. I’m gonna burn you.”